Tag Archives: practices

Peels for The Initials of Your Spouse

Main Content:

M: Me, I: Informant

I:OOOoooo, I don’t know if you want this but there’s a lot of um you know like when you are peeling potatoes, you throw the peel on the floor and it’ll name the initials of who you are going to marry

M: I did not know that

I: There’s a lot of them. That was a thing,  ugh again my grandma, I swear she is a crazy *laughs*. Or or apples if you are peeling anything, you do it in one peel as far as you can get, and if it breaks apart that’s just more letters for you and then you throw it on the floor and it’ll—-

M: Cool, cool!

Context: She learned this growing up cooking with her grandma, who is old fashioned. This was a practice she really enjoyed even if the answer changed from time to time but was also a bit nerve racking. The context brings an added element here as this practice is done in the kitchen, traditionally a place that is deemed for women. Thus this practice is much more used amongst the women.

Analysis: This practice definitely is more geared towards women as I said in the context piece because of where it takes place, but if we dig deeper and see how it reflects the portrayal of women and how while they cook in the kitchen, they wish for their future husbands; it comes across to directly chain domesticity to females and further pushes the age old view that a woman wants to get married and looks forward to finding herself a spouse. Through this way, the older and wiser women encourage the younger and more naive girls to be excited for their domesticity. Especially because of the prevalence of fruits in this practice, which in folklore tends to represent the fertility and virginity of a woman, which is often linked to their marriage.

Coffee Grinds – Predict the Future?

The informant was telling me how Greeks used the dregs from coffee grinds to read the future:

Informant: In some cultures they read tea leaves, but in some cultures they read coffee grinds.

Me: huh

Support: dregs from the coffee

Informant: They took the dregs turned over a little cup and turned it three times, and then they read the inside of the cup – what dripped out – and read what they would see “oh your gonna take a trip, oh you’re gonna get married, oh this or that”

Support: they always said I was going to get married, but here I am!

 

Context: 

The Informant is a Greek woman who was born in the United States. She currently lives in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA. Though she was not born in Greece, her parents immigrated to the US and she was born into a very Greek community in Phoenix, AZ. The performance was held during an Easter party, in front of her younger sister, who provided supporting information, as well as me.

Analysis:
This was completely new to me, as I had never heard of this ritual and only faintly heard of the tea leave predictions. I think it is really interesting how different cultures share so many similar traditions and patterns, and while they are similar they are also very different. It also raises questions about why cultures come up with these practices, seeing that they are not always accurate, but fascinating nonetheless.