‘Advice’ Malaysian Parents Give

Sometimes, the most effective way to educate children is to scare them.

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  • Wednesday, 30 March 2016
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‘Advice’ Malaysian Parents Give
Eat your rice, or else... (Image: Annie Andre/Free Images)

I used to believe that swallowing the seeds of fruits will cause a tree to sprout from the top of my head. As silly as it sounded, I was a gullible kid, ready to believe everything my parents had told me. And there was no way I wanted to risk going to school with a plant on my head. Of course, I eventually realised that it was their trick to get me to be careful when eating and not accidentally choking myself. But did the ‘scare tactic’ work before my common sense kicked in? Oh, heck yes.

Here are a few other ‘words of wisdom’ that Malaysians have received from their elders…

“Finish all the rice on your plate. Else they will cry and haunt you in your dreams!”

In other words: Don't waste food!

“Finish your rice. Each uneaten grain will turn into a pimple on your future husband’s face!”

In other words: Don't waste food!

“Stop eating so slowly. It’ll cause worms to grow in your stomach!”

In other words: “Hurry up and finish your meal. Don’t waste time.”

“Don’t eat the neck of the chicken… unless you want to have a crooked neck on your wedding day!”

In other words: “Don’t hog every morsel of food on the dinner table. Leave some for your parents.”

“Never swallow chewing gum—it will clog your poop chute!”

In other words: “Be careful not to swallow chewing gum. It might choke you.”

“Eat your vegetables or the poochandi (boogeyman) will come and catch you!”

In other words: “Eat your veggies because they are good for you.”

“Don’t sit on pillows. You’ll get boils on your bum bum!”

In other words: “People lay their head on pillows. Don’t be rude and make them go to sleep with a lingering scent of your butt.”

“If the first drop of rain touches your head, you’ll grow lots of white hair!”

In other words: “Don’t play under the rain. You will fall sick.”

“Cutting your nails at night will shorten your parents’ lives!”

In other words: “You can hurt yourself cutting nails in the dark.”

“Cutting your nails at night will make you poor!”

In other words: “You can hurt yourself cutting nails in the dark.”

“Stop shaking your legs. You’ll turn into an animal in your next life!”

In other words: “It’s impolite to shake your legs in public.”

“Never walk under a ladder or you’ll stay short.”

In other words: “It’s not safe to walk under a ladder. Objects may fall and hit you.”

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