A question about culture (what does string around the waist mean?) - page 2

Hi folks, While doing a clinical in the ED this past weekend, we had an infant come in who, when stripped down to his birthday suit, was found to be wearing a thin "belt" of leather/string tied... Read More

  1. by   missmercy
    Have a friend who worked in an ED in a CHildren's hospital -- she had an underprivledged kid ccome into the ED w/ his parents. He was pretty dirty, so while mom and dad were filling out paperwork with another nurse, she cleaned him up -- and OOPS! cut thestring off -- thinking it was just something the kid had done. Parents were furious:angryfire ! Nurse was horrified and totally embarassed:imbar that she had failed to even think it could be significant. She says the experience has made her much more culturally conscious!!
  2. by   UK2USA
    Many children of Asian (India, Pakistan etc) descent have a thin string around there body. Whether it be aroung the wrist, ankle, neck or waist. Sometimes a metal or wooden icon is attached. This is of cultural significance and should never be removed. In adults I have seen patients who have kept the same string but as they have grown have transferred it from the waist to the wrist.
  3. by   teeituptom
    didnt know that, thanks
  4. by   Rep
    For supertitious people in Asia, the string is an amulet to protect the child from "evil spirits." Warning: Don't ever try to remove it without permission, you may get the ire of the parents.
  5. by   nursenpnk
    I will be starting in the PICU monday, i will keep my eyes open for these lil strings, very interesting, big fan of learning about cultural practices :-)
  6. by   Mrs. M.
    Quote from Mimi2RN
    Hmong babies often have a string bracelet. Something to do with keeping the baby's soul attached to him.

    Anyone read "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down"?
    I've read that book. I worked in peds in the 80's/90's in central California - lots of Hmong immigrants.
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from taoist
    "The son's "thread" -- a strip of thin string worn for life, and slung diagonally across his chest and back, from shoulder to waist -- showed that he was also a Brahmin, Hinduism's highest caste. "
    The "Sacred thread" is typically white cotton. Bachelors have three strings tied/twirled together. Husbands have 6. Husbands who have lost their father have 9 (this differs from sect to sect).

    It is changed every year - typically during the Hindu new year day (naturally, differs from the Gregorian and Julian calenders). It is used as part of every day prayer ritual - a very loose analogy can be drawn to rosary beads.

    This thread is also called "Poonal" or "Jan-ae-yo".

    The "sacred thread" however, is different from the one work around the waist. This waist thread is typically of a darker hue. While the sacred thread has religious hue - this waist thread has no religious specification... just cultural.

    Like Rep pointed out, many asians use them to ward off the "evil eye" (same reasons babies are adorned with "beauty spots").

  8. by   veritas
    " The Indian culture has prescribed RITUALS AND RITES OF PASSAGE at various phases of an infant's development. When the child has lived for a full lunar phase (28 days), this is celebrated by tying a protective yantra or blessed charm (tali) around the child's waist with a string which may be changed to a gold chain after six months."

    This is a general Hindu/Vedic/Asian Indian thing. Not necessarily anything to do with their caste/class.
  9. by   Agent47
    I am from India and a Hindu. Yes, the string is of large significant in our culture. Actually, when the umbilical cord is cut, a small part of the cord is put in a silver enclosure and tied with a thread around the waist. It is believed that the mother's umbilical cord gives protection to the baby.
  10. by   tryingtohaveitall
    Quote from Mimi2RN
    Hmong babies often have a string bracelet. Something to do with keeping the baby's soul attached to him.

    Anyone read "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down"?
    Yes, I read this for a grad class. Interesting read.