7 Superstitions My Hispanic Grandma Taught Me

7 Superstitions My Hispanic Grandma Taught Me

Superstitions are crazy, but Cuban ones are even crazier.
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My grandmother, Tita, like most Hispanic grandmothers, was full of superstitions and words of wisdom, often giving off negative vibes with good intentions. She didn't speak a lick of English, didn't drive well at all, and was the definition of a strong woman.

After she passed, I knew I needed to do everything I could to keep her memory alive. I tattooed her birthday on my ribs, along with a gardenia, which was her favorite flower, and I looked for her in everyday experiences. Today, I carry her with me on my skin and in my heart.

Her influence on my life is still here today, and it has changed the way I carry myself. Here are seven things my grandmother loved to tell me to do:

1. "Para de hacer muecas," "Stop making faces."

"Your face is going to get stuck like that" was her reasoning behind this one-liner. Even if I was just chewing the inside of my cheek, she'd pop up out of nowhere and scold me.

2. "Ten cuidado con el sereno," "Watch out for the moonlight."

Alright, so this one was a little crazy. My grandma believed that the moonlight would get you sick if you went outside at night without a hat on. To this day, I still cover my head when the full moon is out.

3. "No te bañes si esta lloviendo," "Don't shower during a rainstorm."

So my grandmother had this fear that I'd be electrocuted if I showered during a rainstorm, not even a thunder storm. I cannot tell you how many times I waited for a storm to pass before I showered.

4. "No jueges con la perra cuando tienes la regla," "Don't play with the dog when you're on your period."

According to my grandmother, the dog could smell the blood and would try to bite me... so I couldn't play with dogs while on my period. So sad when all I wanted to do was cuddle with my dog when I had cramps!

5. "No te bañes despues de comer," "Don't bathe right after you eat."

If you took a bath after eating, it would paralyze your digestion and you'd get sick. Please don't ask for the science behind this one.

6. "No te aquestes a dormir con el pelo mojado," "Don't go to sleep with your hair wet."

If I went to bed with my hair wet, I'd catch an awful cold. This might be the only thing my grandmother said that's somewhat accurate. Nowadays, I'm more worried about waking up with serious bedhead.

7. "No camines sin zapatos cuando tienes la regla," "Don't walk barefoot on your period."

Walking barefoot while on your period was one of the worst things you could do, supposedly. It would cause cramps because the floor would be too cold and your body couldn't handle it... I didn't get it either.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nuñez-Rodriguez

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Is That A Black People Thing?

Does this happen to some of you?

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More often than not, friends of mine who are not African Americans ask me questions about different things I say and do. Honestly, I don't mind it, simply because it allows me to express my opinions. Here are a few questions that tend to come up:

1. Sugar in spaghetti.

I once said I needed sugar for my spaghetti and my roommate asked me if that was a black person thing. The answer is no. If the sauce is too bitter I feel like a lot of people would agree to add some sugar.

2. Natural hair.

There are so many questions about African American hair; sometimes, I don't even know the answers. There are some of us that wear wigs or weave. However, keep in mind that some African Americans just have long beautiful hair. Just because it's long doesn't mean it's fake.

3. The love of watermelon.

Just stop asking about the watermelon, please. It's getting old.

If you haven't figured out that not all black people eat watermelon, then I don't know what to tell you.

4. The love of fried chicken.

A lot of people eat fried chicken. I still do not know why this is a commonly asked question. I think that fried chicken is something almost everyone loves, not just black people.

5. The way we talk.

Yes, some of us use a lot of slang but so do other races. The way we speak differs for each black person. Oh, and if we do not use slang please do not say we talk like "white people." Thank you.

6. Always being angry.

This goes for African Americans in general, especially females. We are just like any other female: we get angry when you make us angry. So, saying that we are angry when we are not will make us angry.

7. We are always loud.

We can be loud but we are not the only ones, so stop trying to act like you never get loud.

These are just a few of the questions I am asked often. If you have anything to add to this list let me know. It is okay to ask a question about us and I am sure some of us would answer them. The only thing I want is to be asked in a respectful way.

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