Rip Up Tortilla

“You can’t throw away a full tortilla in the trash. You have to rip it apart before you throw it away.”

“Why? Is it bad luck?”

“Yeah, but it’s more religious. It’s just rude to throw it away full.”

I can safely say that this is one of the most interesting customs that I’ve heard. I never really thought of it this way, but after hearing this, now I know I will consciously never throw away a full tortilla. It does seem rude now that I think of it because it is like throwing away untouched food. I thought the religion part that was incorporated into the meaning of this story made the tradition even more believable and respectful because it gives a sense of purpose behind why people would follow it.

Griselda Vega is a 41 year old mother of two sons. She also works in the office with me. She was exceptionally excited to share with me her culture’s stories and traditions which made it exciting for me to interview her. Griselda was born in Mexico and lived there until the age of 20, when she moved to the United States. At the age of 21, she was employed, and she works at the same office since then.

With this specific custom that she practices, Griselda told me that this is a pretty common practice in her culture. However, she told me that this was more than just culture, it was related to their religion as well. Throwing away a full tortilla was considered rude in their religion because it referred back to Jesus’s last supper where he broke bread for his disciples. Every time people tried to throw away a full tortilla, they would have to rip it up into pieces before they tossed it away.