Tag Archives: morse

Siblings tapping though walls to talk to each other

“D” is a 19 year old female student at The University of Southern California. She is a Chemistry major and interested in pursuing Pharmacy after college.  She is Vietnamese on both sides of her family and describes herself as very close with her sister, whom she shares many Folkloric traditions with. She played soccer up through high school and is currently active in the rugby community.



“D: So uh… me and my sister our rooms used to be right next to each other so we would knock on the wall, and each time you knocked it corresponded with a different meaning. So like three knocks was asking if you were awake, two was yes, one was no, and than from there four was like ‘come to my room’, there was just a whole bunch of different signals we sent to each other. So from there, when we didn’t live next to each other we would just say “ONE” or “TWO” during conversations and we would know what the other person meant. It’s one of our things now.

Me: Do you guys still do that?

D: Yeah!

Me: Do you remember about how old you were when you started doing that?

D: Uh… we were about my sister was probably 10 and I was 8.

Me: So why the knocking, where you trying to hide that you guys were talking from your parents?

D: Yeah haha, they caught us sneaking out to talk to each other a few times, and the knocking made it so they couldn’t find out about it. ”



As “D” pointed out, she had a desire to speak to her sister and had previously been caught sneaking out of her room, and used the system as a way to avoid detection by her parents, while still allowing her to communicate with her sister. The fact the code is still used today even though they do not live near each other anymore, shows they still remember the system they had previously used while using it in a manner that allows them to accommodate for their current state of affairs.