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Thread: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

  1. #1
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    stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    I wonder what parents answer(ed) to their very young children in different countries if they're asking where they came from.
    I think in Europe babies are brought by storks. or?
    [ɒkinɛk humorɒ vɒn, mindɛnˤtud, ɒkinɛk niŋʧ, mindɛnrɛ ke.pɛʃ]

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Brought in by storks in France, yes, although that is something parents would say rather jocularly not expecting the child to believe it.

    In my native Belgium, we were told with similar irony that boys were born in cabbages and girls in roses.

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    By the time I was born, Canadian parents were quite upfront about "babies growing in their mummies' tummies". We all knew the stork story, though.

    It seems that before that, the lore was divided equally between storks and parsley beds.
    "The trouble with normal is it always gets worse." Bruce Cockburn

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Oh, in Serbia there are verious stories. From the classical stork story to babies bought in store, or born from cabbage. But these are not told any more. Now the usual answer is "You grew in your mummy's tummy, and then she gave birth to you." "But How? "Well, she took you out of her belly. "Yes, but Hooooow?" "Ughhhh... you'll know when you grow up..."

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    This is interesting! No-one of my generation in the UK (born in the 1960s) was told the stork story. But we all knew it.

    Serbia, Hungary, France, England all have it...where did this myth begin, I wonder?

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by invictaspirit View Post
    This is interesting! No-one of my generation in the UK (born in the 1960s) was told the stork story. But we all knew it.

    Serbia, Hungary, France, England all have it...where did this myth begin, I wonder?
    Maybe it's one of Aesop's or Brother Anderssen's stories?

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    - Boys are born in cabbages and girls in roses.
    - Babies are brought by storks
    - Parents buy babies in shops

    I'm of the third kind, but my parents never told me how much they'd paid for me. But then I never asked.

    That is all over now. Currently, Daddy sows a "little seed" in Mummy's tummy.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them....well, I have others." (Groucho Marx).

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Here it says it originated from German and Dutch nursery tales
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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by invictaspirit View Post
    This is interesting! No-one of my generation in the UK (born in the 1960s) was told the stork story. But we all knew it.

    Serbia, Hungary, France, England all have it...where did this myth begin, I wonder?
    Serbia, Hungary, France, England plus some countries in Latin American. I was told The Truth, but yes, the stork and the cabagges were the other version.
    I'm curious to know why countries as different and apart as Argentina and Serbia have the same story to explain where babies come from. A worldwide conspiracy?
    Please correct my mistakes... and have no mercy.

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alicky View Post
    Serbia, Hungary, France, England plus some countries in Latin American. I was told The Truth, but yes, the stork and the cabagges were the other version.
    I'm curious to know why countries as different and apart as Argentina and Serbia have the same story to explain where babies come from. A worldwide conspiracy?
    Well, we have more things in common than you even could imagine. We have both Christian culture, you're catholic, I'm ortodox, but we both have Jesus Crist, Christmas and Easter. Serbia is a European country and therefore has grown in European tradition, and Argentina has a very strong Eruopean herritage, too. So, I wouldn't be so surprised we share a lot more things, than for example with Japan, or China, or Taiwan or maybe India. This is both different culture and different religion, so maybe there there are no storks nor cabbages. It would be interesting to hear someone from that part of the world.

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    I have asked my father how he found out, and he said that it was through friends. He never asked his parents...that topic would be inappropriate I guess. hehe! I was never taught the stork myth though I knew of it. My parents were upfront with me about it.

    I have some funny awkward stories about the my questions that came afterwards...PM me if you'd like to here them!
    Correccions en qualsevol idioma sempre són agraïdes.

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alicky View Post
    Serbia, Hungary, France, England plus some countries in Latin American. I was told The Truth, but yes, the stork and the cabagges were the other version.
    I'm curious to know why countries as different and apart as Argentina and Serbia have the same story to explain where babies come from. A worldwide conspiracy?
    Do you think the imigrants that populated our country only brought their bodies? They brought their language, their culture, their beliefs, their traditions. It would be interesting to find out about indian stories and explanation about childbirth.

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    I'm not from India, but I have always been quite curious about this type of cultural differences.

    I remember some friends from abroad sharing the myths they had been told. One of them was told that children were like fruits (that's why a pregnant woman's belly would look like a watermelon, I guess ), and they had to be sown into the future mom's tummy. So, by the time she was 8 or something, she swallowed a tangerine seed and went running to her mother, crying out loud, frightened to death, screaming: "mommy, mommy, I think I'm pregnant!!!"

    Another friend was taught not to be kissed by any guy until she was old enough to raise children (nice way to teach moral rules, huh? ), so once she saw her big sister kissing her boyfriend, she went right to her father's room, and said: "I know Mary (her sister) is now pregnant but, when will the baby come?"

    Those are the ones I recall at the moment, but there were much more (and much funnier, too). If I remember any, I'll post it here later.

    Have a nice weekend, everybody!
    Last edited by Venezuelan_sweetie; 8th December 2006 at 4:52 PM. Reason: Spanglish :(
    Incipiente, como las muelas del juicio.

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    My momma told me they got me from "el basurero".
    ¿88 relatos descarriados? Un leve desliz…

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Russian children are supposed to be told that they were brought by a stork or found in the cabbage. I doubt if anyone really expect the child to believe it.
    There's also a popular joke that modern parents can tell their child that they have "downloaded him/her from the Internet".
    Anna

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Etcetera View Post
    There's also a popular joke that modern parents can tell their child that they have "downloaded him/her from the Internet".
    I like this one! I've never heard it before, but it's so cool..

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    ...the stork, nourished by its parents, never separates from them but remains with them until their old age, repaying them with piety and deference....
    Hieroglyphica

    the stork nourishes its offspring by bringing them pleasing gifts,whilst bearing on its shoulders the worn-out bodies of its parents..
    Emblemata

    This is from a lecture by Umberto Eco
    here

    Lots of information about the origins of the symbol, the earliest being Hebrew.
    Cela s'appelle l'aurore

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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Well, I thank you for this intersting topic.
    I have been thingking of posting this question.But, since you have done , then my answer is :
    When I was a child , I often would ask my mother from where I came and how?
    Her answer was always ready:"You came from my knee as she is pointing to her knee cap"

    My regards
    إن كنت ريحاً فقد لاقيت إعصاراً

  19. #19
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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elibennet View Post
    Do you think the imigrants that populated our country only brought their bodies? They brought their language, their culture, their beliefs, their traditions. It would be interesting to find out about indian stories and explanation about childbirth.
    You are right. I am aware that my post wasn't the smartest one
    As you and Natasha pointed out, (european) immigrants brought their culture here.
    Perhaps what I wanted to express (very poorly) is how widespread some beliefs are.

    Which brings me to this question: Is this something new? Let me explain this a little better. Do you think that this stork story was widely known let's say a hundred years ago or is it something more recent, thanks to the media, for example?
    Please correct my mistakes... and have no mercy.

  20. #20
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    Re: stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

    Here, it's a stork, too
    In tennis the addict moves about a hard rectangle and seeks to ambush a fuzzy ball with a modified snow-shoe. ~Elliot Chaze

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