Taiwanese Superstition

Informant Description/ Context of performance: My friend’s grandparents immigrated to the Bay Area from Taiwan in the 1960’s. Her mom is a Taiwanese American, and her dad is American, so growing up her main connection to her Taiwanese heritage were her grandparents. This is a superstition her grandma passed down to her, and it’s become a tradition she carries on every year.

Original Script:

Interviewee: I remember my grandma always talking about how it’s important to eat noodles on your birthday because it means you’ll have a long life.

Me: Is there a particular reason why it’s noodles?

Interviewee: Oh yeah because long noodles equals long life in Taiwan!

Me: Do you actually have noodles every year on your birthday?

Interviewee: Yeah… one year I forgot and it was 11:48PM and I ran to the cornerstore to get some cup noodles so I could have noodles before my birthday passed.

Conclusion (written by Interviewer): Every culture has its own superstitions for birthdays. In my culture, it is superstitious to ask for your elders’ blessings as soon as you wake up the day of your birthday. In my experience, each culture has its own practices for auspicious practices on one’s birthday.