Umbilical cord

The following story is collected from my friend. He lived in Turkey for the most part of his life, then lived in Australia for some time. He talks about a Turkish tradition in this collection. This interview is done on phone. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A: “Is there any interesting Turkish tradition you know?”

B: “When I was born, my mother gave my umbilical cord to my aunt, who lives in Australia. My mom told my aunt that she wanted my cord to be buried in a park in Melbourne. And according to my mother’s beliefs, which is very common with Turkish people, when my cord is buried in one country or city, I should end up, or interact in a way, with that country at one point in my life. As a result, I ended up living Australia for 9 years, which can be shown as a proof of the fact that beliefs and traditions can sometimes be true.”

A: “What are the reasons for people to practice this tradition?”

B: “They bury for many different reasons. You can bury it in a park of the university that you want to study in the future. If you want your kid to be a doctor, bury it around a hospital. If you want your kid to be a soccer player bury it in a soccer field. Once you bury it in a university, this does not meant your kid will have to go that university, he can go to a better one. You can bury it in a university in Texas, just giving an example, but your kid can go to Harvard in the future. Main purpose is to make sure your kid gets a high education.”

A: “Do you know anyone else who practiced this tradition?”

B: “Yes, my dad. My grandmother buried my fathers cord to ODTU university in Turkey, which is one of the highest ranked universities in the world. He ended up graduating from that school. Another example is my friend’s father. His cord was buried in a hospital when he was young and now he ended up being the head of that university.”

A: “Do you believe this tradition works?”

B: “There are many cases this tradition was successful but this does not mean it works or not. People can be more motivated to achieve their goals with  this tradition and end up working harder.”

Burying umbilical cord is very common in Turkey