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

  1. 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 around his waist. I assume that this has some cultural or religous significance, but I can't find any sort of reference to this practice. Do any of you know what this might mean? I think that the parents were of Indian (not Native American) descent, but I could be wrong about that.

    Just curious about this, and I didn't have the opportunity to ask the parents...I was hoping someone might be able to help me out.

  2. Visit np2b profile page

    About np2b

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 81


  3. by   vbaby4life
    Hi, from what I have heard from my granny,they used to tie a piece of string around the navel as a way to hold the bellybutton in so the child would not have an outie.
  4. by   luanne123
    I might be wrong, but I think the Hindu religion has this.
  5. by   teeituptom
    Shucks if I know
  6. by   nekhismom
    I've heard of putting a penny in the belly button to prevent a hernia, or to repair a hernia, but never heard of a string arond the waist.
  7. by   np2b
    Thanks for the suggestions! I suppose this just teaches me that I need to speak up and ask when I have questions like these...

    Thanks again...
  8. by   nurseiam
    could just be a sibiling......
  9. by   Pab_Meister
    Nahh...you guys are all wrong....

    I'm doing a cultural paper as we speak. Here's the scoop:

    In Hispanic (Latino) culture, it is believed that a spell is cast on a child when a person with the evil eye (mal de ojo) admires the child without touching it. Children are protected by special earrings, necklaces, amulets or other jewelry, or, in this case, a belt, which should not be removed during examinations.

    Hope this helps....
  10. by   MishlB
    Russian Orthodox have a string tied around the waist at birth (?) and it stays on...committment to God? Not sure. Came in contact with a few in L&D, string NEVER comes off.
  11. by   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"?
  12. by   BRANDY LPN
    very interesting....keep em coming
  13. by   taoist
    Yea, it's an Indian Hindu thing. I'm not sure of the rational behind it though...
  14. by   taoist
    Quote from taoist
    Yea, it's an Indian Hindu thing. I'm not sure of the rational behind it though...
    found this online, and it makes a little bit of sense. My Indian friend (who is of the Brahmin caste) had previously made mention of how he was supposed to wear a string around his waist, so it rang a bell for me. Anyhow this is what I found...

    "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. "