SOME OLDER persons, repeated over and over again, used to say: “If you eat chicken’s butt, you will grow to be a stupid boy. You will be dumb!”
(In Magelang and Central Java, chicken’s butt or chicken’s rump is known locally as “brutu” or “silit/bokong pitik”. It is known scientifically as the pygostyle, and colloquially the pope’s noses and parson’s noses.)
But, as always, when I demanded an explanation, they couldn’t give reasons as to why I should not eat the brutu.
They didn’t explain me about the relationship between chicken’s butt and stupidity.
The fact was, though they told me not to eat the rump, but one day I accidentally saw my grandmother ate it anyway.
(Later I knew that chicken’s butt is fatty but quite tasty…)
Another older people’s advice was still related to meal: “If you leaving food on the plate, and you do not eat it up, your hen/rooster will die…”
The words of course could not be understood literally.
The significant point was that I should not unnecessary overfill my plate to avoid food wastage. I should take only what I can eat.
Another day, I also heard an old man said: “Do not eat in front of the door. It can make your mouth bigger/wider!”
(What kind of advice (joke?) was that? But the hidden message I learned afterward was that eating in front of the door simply do not practice good manners.)
Talking about moral values, my grandmother used to warn me not to sit on the pillow.
“It can cause pressure ulcers/bedsores in your bottom!”
(You may go beyond the literal meaning of the euphemism to find significance and unstated meanings…)***[firstname.lastname@example.org]