Culture

Señora Myths are Passed Down From Generation to Generation, But Are Any of Them Real?

At some point during our formative years, we all heard an old wives’ tale or two, right? Some seemed innocent enough — think “eating bread crust will make your hair turn curly” or “cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.”

But actually, lots of these old wives’ tales came with some extra baggage that may have done a number on our collective psyche. Sure, they may have seemed harmless when we first heard them, they’ve managed to worm themselves into our thought patterns and maybe even created a few bad habits along the way. But don’t blame abuela, she too was passed down this knowledge before she passed it on to you.

These superstitions get passed down from generation to generation, and often enough they’re so effective they get snap us into total compliance. But few of us know why we’re so fearful or the reason behind them.

Nevertheless, these old wives tales are part of Latino culture.

Vick’s Vapor Rub Will Cure Everything

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Sure, you may know it as Vaporub or something totally different depending on where you grew up, but no matter your background, we can agree this menthol pomade has been hailed as a cure all by abuelas everywhere.

Sure the ointment may make us feel better (placebo anyone?) but it actually can be deadly if ingested and is toxic when used improperly.

Having A Baby Daughter Will Steal Your Beauty

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This sends several problematic messages. First of all, it implies there is something inherently wrong with having a daughter — which is obviously ridiculous. I swear this sounds like something a man who wanted a strapping young boy to “carry on his good name” started spreading.This old wives’ tale would have you believe beauty is entirely physical or superficial. But beauty is many things: mental, physical, emotional, psychological… none of which can be stripped away by the natural and, it must be said, beautiful act of giving birth to a baby.

You Can’t Make Tamales When You’re Angry

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According to this old wives’ tale, if you even attempt to make tamales when you’re enojada…they just won’t turn out right. And nobody’s wants to work so hard on tamales for them to end up flat and flavorless.

Opening An Umbrella Inside Is The Worst Luck

Seriously, this one I believe in so much I freak out at even the thought of it happening by accident. This is another superstition that crosses cultures but leave it to Latinos to add in another layer – if you do this, you won’t get married.

Going Out With Wet Hair When It’s Cold Will Make You Sick

If you grew up in a Latino household, you can bet you’re used to hearing your mom or abuelita scolding you for going outside with wet hair. But this myth has been debunked more times than you’ll eat pozole when you do actually have a cold. Colds and the flu come from viruses (and some bacterias) – plain and simple.

You’ll Never Get Married If A Broom Touches Your Feet

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Basically, if you’re single and ready to mingle, don’t go near any brooms. This old wives tale says that if someone is sweeping and they accidentally brush your feet with the broom, you’ll end up single forever.

To Find Love, All You Need Is Four Eggs

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To draw someone to you, you need 4 eggs: break two in corners, and one more at the door of the person you want to attract. The last one put inside a white cup and place it under your bed. That’s it. True love.

Cutting Your Hair During A Full Moon Could Mean…?

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It’s believed that cutting your hair during a full moon could actually make it grow faster. Is it true? Well, maybe. The long-trusted Farmers Almanac actually lists the best dates to cut your hair based on the lunar calendar…so maybe?

Shaving Your Legs Causes the Hair to Grow Back Darker

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Let’s be clear: there’s nothing wrong with not shaving. This old tale would have you believe that having thicker or darker hair anywhere on your body is cause for major concern. The reality is that cutting does not stimulate new hair growth.

Brooms Can Help Determine Your Social Life

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Again, with the brooms. This one says that if you put a broom behind the door, your guests will leave sooner. And if a broom falls, it can tell you a lot about your visit depending on the direction it falls. Backward = bad visit. Forward = good visit.

Putting Your Purse On The Floor

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“A purse on the floor is money our the door.” This isn’t specific to Latino families, in fact, it’s very common belief across Asia as well. But both cultures share the believe that if you place your purse on the floor, you’ll soon be losing some money.

Itchy Palms And Your Finances

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This is another very common wives tale across cultures but Latinos add a unique twist and get very specific. Basically, if your right palm itches you’ll be coming into some coins. Meanwhile, if it’s the left – be prepared to be a little less wealthy since you’ll likely be giving money away.

Heartburn During Pregnancy Can Lead To A Head Full Of Hair

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There are soooo many superstitions related to pregnancy but this one is definitely interesting. Woman struggle with all sorts of symptoms during pregnancy including heartburn. So this one stands to reason if you’re dealing with heartburn, your baby will be born with beautiful locks of hair.

If You Drop a Biscuit, It is a Sure Sign Your Husband Will Be Poor

Credit: The Pioneer Woman

This one is straight up laughable but for some reason is still all to common. I mean let’s dissect this one real quick: not all little girls are going to grow up to marry a man. Nor will every little girl even want to get married. Then there’s the whole issue with thinking that women only value wealth in their potential mate. Yea, this one has got to go.

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Hopefully, These Latino New Year’s Traditions Will Make 2021 Better Than 2020

Culture

Hopefully, These Latino New Year’s Traditions Will Make 2021 Better Than 2020

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It is almost the New Year. That means that we are almost done with the dumpster-fire of a year known as 2020. We are all grappling with a virus that has spread across the world and there has been a long list of bad news this year. So, why not try one or all of these traditions to bring good luck in 2021.

Burning Dolls

In Ecuador, you burn dolls or photos of things you didn’t like from 2020. It is believed that this will guarantee that you won’t have the same issue in the next year. Honestly, it makes sense to wish things to be different in 2021.

Wear Yellow (Or Red) Underwear

The underwear you have on when the clock strikes midnight might be more important than you think. In several Latino cultures, wearing red underwear for New Year’s will usher in a year of love and luck in romance. Yellow underwear will bring a year of financial success. No word yet on what happens if you wear one pair of each but you might as well give it a shot.

Eat 12 Grapes At Midnight

This is the most common tradition and it is so tasty. You have to eat 12 grapes at midnight to bring a year of good luck. Be careful though. If you have a particularly sour grape it means that month will be a rough one. A fun way to do it is to put the grapes on your champagne flute, down the champagne and eat the grapes.

Wear White

Start the year on a good note. Do no wear black when celebrating New Year’s because that will usher in a year of bad luck and we want to make sure we leave that in 2020. Wearing white is a good way to get the kind of luck you want out of 2021. Forget the little black dress. Try a nice white jumpsuit to start the year.

Clean Your House

Now, we all know that you do a wonderful job of keeping a sparkling clean house every day of the year. That is just how mom raised you. However, give it an extra scrub to make sure you start on the best possible foot. They do say that the dirtier and more cluttered your space the more cluttered your life is. What could it hurt?

Throw A Bucket Of Water Out Of The Window (Or Door)

All of that bad energy from the year is still in the house. There are so many ways to get rid of it but one of the best ways is to fill a bucket with water and throw it out the window (or door). The water has the power to get that bad energy and release it from your home.

Walk Around The Block With Your Suitcase

We haven’t been able to go anywhere in 2020 because of the virus and all of the lockdowns. Try this one again and maybe there will be some travel in 2021. Take a suitcase and walk it around the block. Or you can walk around the house or apartment. That should set you up for a little bit of travel next year.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

READ: New York Times Square New Years Eve Celebration Canceled

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Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Video Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Culture

Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Video Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Not everyone has the privilege of growing up surrounded by their cultura, with parents there to pass on knowledge of traditions and customs from home. That, combined with heavily opinionated internet trolls, has led to many people struggling to feel confident in their identity. In a digital world that tries to force us all to fit into boxes, what does “Latino enough” mean and how do you know if you’re there?

Recently, we asked our Instagram community “what does being Latino mean to you?” and although some responses had details in common, for the most part they were as unique as every member of the community itself. There is no one definition of Latinidad, and therefore there is no way to measure what exactly makes someone “Latino enough.”

We got the chance to talk to Alaina Castillo, musical artist and TikTok Queen, about how she identifies with Latinidad and what this TikTok video means to her.

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Checklists don’t define you so don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not enough! 😤@alainacastillo #AreYouLatinoEnough #FamiliaLatina #hhm #orgullo

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What does being Latina mean to you? – mitú

“It means that I have something to identify with and be proud of because of my family members, my culture, and the things that I participate in as a Latina.” – A.C.

Side note, this was a personal reminder that we represent the community wherever we occupy space, whether we realize it or not. We are all participating in things as members of the community.

What’s something that, as a Latina, you are proud of? – mitú

“The strength and endurance that we have. I’ve seen it in my dad, his family, and so many others and it makes me feel proud as well as encouraged to achieve my goals with the same mindset as them.” – A.C.

While they may not be perfect (and let’s face it, who is?), our parents are the definition of hard working. Remembering that their blood runs through my veins always keeps me going when the going gets tough. Si se puede!

What Latino figures inspire you? – mitú

“Selena, even though she was an artist that I didn’t really grow up listening to. When I found out who she was, she was someone who I related to because she was a Mexican-American learning to speak and sing in Spanish, while breaking a lot of barriers that people had set up around her.” – A.C.

La Reina del Tex-Mex was a trailblazer indeed! Who else could forget Selena’s iconic “diecicuatro” blurb when she appeared in an interview with Cristina Saralegui? The important thing to focus on is that she was TRYING! As long as we’re all working on improving and being the best versions of ourselves, that’s the best we can do, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

Name one meal that, no matter where you have it, always reminds you of home. – mitú

“Homemade tamales!!!! 100%” – A.C.

You know we love some good tamales, so naturally our next question was…

Where is your family from? – mitú

“My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Ohio.” – A.C.

Mmmm…Mexican tamales 😋

Have you ever been to those places? – mitú

“Yes, both places. I went to Mexico when I was really young, maybe about two times, and then I’ve traveled to Ohio on various occasions to see family. I was young each time I went to those places so they’re little memories I think of when I miss my family.” – A.C.

What would you say is the most “Latino” item in your home? – mitú

“We have these blankets from my grandma that I grew up using. I thought they were normal blankets but then I saw on social media that almost every Latino household has some and I was like hmmm, what do you know?” – A.C.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

What would you say to people who think that not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino? – mitú

“I think it’d definitely be nice to know the language fluently but some people aren’t taught Spanish growing up and that’s not their fault. Not speaking the language doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same customs or should be rejected from the culture that their family is from. I decided to learn on my own because I’ve always been interested in Spanish, and also so I could speak with my family and I see that’s what a lot of other people are doing too.” – A.C.

One more time for the people in the back: not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you any less Latino.

How do you celebrate your Latinidad? – mitú

“With pride. I wouldn’t be who I am today without influences from my family so it’ll always be something I carry with me and proudly show throughout my life and career.” – A.C.

What do you hope people take away from this trend? – mitú

“That Latinidad is something you’re born with and it can’t ever be taken away from you,” – A.C.

So forget about the opinions of other people! All they’re doing is projecting their beliefs onto you and that is not an actual reflection of who you are. We hope you are inspired to embrace your Latinidad on your own terms, and that you walk more confidently in your identity. So duet us on TikTok and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AreYouLatinoEnough to join in on the fun!

Did we mention quarantine has not stopped Alaina Castillo from dropping new music? Check out her latest single, “tonight,” below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com