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Posts tagged folklore

from "Never Marry a Women with Big Feet: Women in Proverbs Around the World," by Mineke Schipper, Universiteit Leiden :: via MetaFilter

The clever cooking pot! It loses meat and keeps the soup [said the husband: his wife ate the meat while cooking; ironically blaming a thing for the misdeeds of a person]. / Oromo, Ethiopia

A child who remains in his mother’s house believes her soup the best. / Efik, Nigeria

A good wife and a strengthening cabbage soup, you should not want more. / Russian

A hen’s soup and a girl’s laugh bode no good. / German

A woman who follows the fashion will never boil a good soup. / English, Jamaica

An old hen makes a good soup. / Spanish, Central America and the Caribbean

Asking [a neighbour] for salt does not yet make soup. [You have to depend on your own efforts.] / Krio, Sierra Leone

Beauty will not season your soup. / Polish

If you can’t control your moustache, don’t eat lentil soup. [If saddled with a jealous wife, to lead a peaceful married life, in her presence play no game that involves a sportive dame.] / Burmese


Behavior | From eating vultures to clear up syphilis to treating H.I.V. with garlic and beetroot, quack medicine persists in folk remedies around the world, writes Ewen Callaway in New Scientist.  Now an Australian study describes the cascades of human gullibility that help explain why.

Put simply, person X uses snake oil to treat her goiter, arthritis or what have you. Seeing this, friends assume snake oil works and more follow suit. Since it doesn’t work and X persists in using snake oil, more gullible people are exposed to the folly and fall for it than if X had been quickly cured with effective treatment.

Four out of five hucksters couldn’t have done better. [New Scientist]