Superstition – Korea

“Koreans have this thing where they tell you not to whistle at night otherwise snakes are gonna come and bite you. We say that if you keep whistling, the snake will keep following your whistling.”

Sung learned this superstition from his parents when he was about five years old. Although he learned it in his home in Los Angeles, CA, he says that it came from Korea. His family is from Seoul, so they know much of the stories from that area. The snakes could potentially have come from their prevalence in the rural areas of Korea, making this idea plausible. This superstition is usually told to children if they are whistling to make them behave and not be noisy at night. Parents do not want their children to disrupt the elders of the house or even neighbors. It is more geared towards children because adults would not believe this. As people get older, they drop this superstition because they know better and that it does not really happen. However, children, the passive bearers, will believe almost anything an adult tells them, just like the figure of Santa Clause. This is a magic superstition where an action might provoke an unwanted action.

Sung thinks that this superstition was created by elders in order to scare kids so that they would be quiet and not annoy people with their whistling. He is not quite sure what the origin of the story is, but he believes that it is all a lie and completely untrue.

I agree with Sung’s view on this superstition because whistling can be very annoying and disruptive to people that can hear it. It is difficult to make children stop doing something once they learn it. If parents just tell their kids to stop whistling for no reason besides that they are being noisy, they probably will not listen. However, if you scare the children with this superstition, they are more likely to be silent. Children are very gullible and believe most things that adults tell them, especially when they deal with scary creatures. As the monster in this superstition, snakes are very real to children. They are not some imaginary creature, but instead are actual reptiles that could hurt them. This superstition could be believed by children up until they get over their fear of snakes, so I am guessing around the age of twelve or so. I am not so sure if this superstition would work too well in American society now because snakes are not a big factor in a typical American household. Many Americans have nice homes that would prevent snakes from entering and attacking children. Living in a sheltered environment, children nowadays are less likely to believe in this superstition.