Dandelions

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 29
Occupation: Vice Principal
Residence: Oakland
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/10/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Context: The informant is my older sister (LC) and the following text is transcribed from our phone conversation. She reflects on a good luck ritual she used to do with her friends that was taught to them by their parents.

Main Text (LC): “The belief or myth behind the meaning of the Dandelion is that if you make a wish and blow on one, and the seeds all go everywhere, your wish will come true. And I think that’s the myth everyone knows about them. But now, to me, they mean something else. They show up in this book about activism and social justice that I read and the book states that the dandelion is a metaphor for change. The book says that just like the dandelion, only one seed is necessary to spread great change, and I find this message very powerful.”

Analysis: The belief or ritual that blowing on a dandelion grants your wish has been commonplace in the United States for a long time. This practice reminds me of how a child blows out a birthday candle and makes a wish. I think it is interesting how the dandelion is used as a different metaphor in the book my sister read and demonstrates how an object’s symbolism can change over time and garner new meanings.