“You’d better put socks on that baby or else…”

“…she’ll get diarrhea.”

That’s right: diarrhea. :)

(This message brought to you this evening by our friendly Tianjin neighbourhood dumpling ladies and traditional Chinese medicine.)

More about free Chinese advice and ‘compliments’:

More about having a foreign baby in China:

More about Chinese medicine:

4 thoughts on ““You’d better put socks on that baby or else…””

  1. Generally, I’d say the talk of the dumpling women should be taken with a large block of salt, but in this case, they may be right, even by coincidence.

    It is possible to catch hookworm through the feet. One kind of hookworm (Necator americanus) is found in China. One symptom of hookworm is diarrhea. The “Hookworm” WP article is worth reading.

  2. Wow. That’s incredible. It reminds me of a theory I once heard (it’s somewhere on this blog) about how the spitting is actually a biological response to parasites common in pork.

    These particular women were worried about the “wind” giving her diarrhea through her feet, but I don’t know if they meant physical wind or Chinese medicine “wind”, or if they would even see a difference.

    We don’t assume that 饺子 大姐s are the best at articulating the subtleties of traditional Chinese medicine, but the popular-level folk wisdom we get told on a daily basis is often amusing.

  3. I love it. After a year of being berated by my wife and mother-in-law about this, I am now horrified by the sight of bare baby feet.

    Also interested to see the parasites in pork theory here. It recently appeared on Seeing Red In China. I thought the fellow over there actually put together an interesting bit of biological functionalist theory all on his own. Is there such thing as plagiarism in the blogosphere?

  4. I stand corrected. The same person posted that bit in your comments section as posted in Seeing Red…4 years later! I’m still suspicious, though. The two posts are verbatim copies.

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