Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meitei myths and beliefs about pregnancy

Can any community not have its share of myths and beliefs about the greatest mystery of them all--creating life? Well, I am sure, there's a bunch of these "old wives' tales" regarding pregnancy in every society. Here are some that I found out exists in mine and are still being followed and even propagated to this date! Most of these have been filtered down to me via word-of-mouth and well-meaning advice from female relatives and friends right from the day I was a bride! Enjoy these myths for the laugh-riot factor or for the fact that they are there!

Determining baby's gender:

As the tale goes, if you want to have a baby girl, try to conceive on the fifth, seventh,  ninth, or any odd numbered day after your period starts. And if you want a baby boy, you are supposed to conceive on the sixth, eight, tenth, or even numbered day of your period.

Another way to see whether you'll have a boy or girl seems to depend on what your age was when you conceived, much like using the Chinese calendar.

A lady I know has a battery of questions that ranges from which side you tend to lie on while sleeping (a boy if you feel comfortable lying on your right, a girl if it's the left) to which foot you tend to put forward first (right foot--boy, left foot--girl).

Also, being happy throughout the pregnancy is supposed to guarantee a baby boy! (Umm, wherever did we hear that it's the Y-gene? )

Determining baby's looks:

The person you view the most is supposed to influence how your baby will look!  By this logic, your baby could very well end up looking like the icecream-vendor you meet every day to satisfy your cravings! LOL!

Determining baby's complexion:

Eating veggies like eggplant and using coriander as garnish to be strictly avoided if you want a fair-complexioned child.

Misc. beliefs:

  • It's considered ominous if the expectant parents harm any living creature while the baby's still in the mother's womb.
  • A strict no-no for parents-to-be to hit nails into the walls of the home--actually, driving a nail  (or any sharp instrument resembling a nail) anywhere is out of the question
  • The expectant mom must cover her head with a piece of clothing while stepping out of the house post-sunset to avoid evil spirits. Also to be followed while she's in the loo or bathing...
  • The expectant mom must eat all the food she craves for, else it would lead to her having a baby that drools all the time

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