Tag Archives: taboo


Skateboarding Taboo – Mall Grabbing and Pushing Mongo

Background: The informant is a twenty year old photography student in New York City. He learned of the taboo while growing up in both Los Angeles, CA and Burlington, VT. He has skated regularly since he was 12 years old.  Context: The informant was teaching me how to skateboard in his San Diego neighborhood and… Continue Reading »

Don’t buy shoes on Qingming Festival

Main piece: Translated conversation: Me: I want a new pair of board shoes. Father: Sure, we can go shopping after the Qingming festival. Me: You mean after tomorrow? Why not tomorrow? Father: You don’t buy shoes(鞋xie) on Qingming because it brought bad luck (邪xie). Me:It sounds like a terrible joke. Father: I mean it. Background… Continue Reading »

Don’t Stick Your Chopsticks Straight Into Your Rice

Context: My informant is a 55 year old woman that immigrated from China to America in her early 30s. She is a mother, a registered nurse, and also a teacher in nursing school. In this account, she explains why Chinese people never stick their chopsticks straight up and down in their bowl of food. This… Continue Reading »

Why You Can’t Write Your Name in Red

Context: My informant is a 55 year old woman that immigrated from China to America in her early 30s. She is a mother, a registered nurse, and also a teacher in nursing school.This conversation took place in a hotel one evening. The informant and I were alone. In this account, she explains why Chinese people never… Continue Reading »

Why You Can’t Split a Pear

Context: My informant is a 55 year old woman that immigrated from China to America in her early 30s. She is a mother, a registered nurse, and also a teacher in nursing school. This conversation took place in a hotel one evening, and the informant and I were alone. In this account, she explains why… Continue Reading »