stork - symbol of childbirth - all over the world?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Encolpius, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    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?
  2. Stefan Ivanovich Senior Member

    Paris, France
    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.
  3. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    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.
  4. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    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..."
  5. invictaspirit Senior Member

    Kent, SE England
    English English
    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?
  6. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Maybe it's one of Aesop's or Brother Anderssen's stories?
  7. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    - 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.
  8. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Here it says it originated from German and Dutch nursery tales
  9. Alicky

    Alicky Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina- Español
    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? ;)
  10. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    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.
  11. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    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!
  12. Elibennet

    Elibennet Senior Member

    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    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.
  13. Venezuelan_sweetie

    Venezuelan_sweetie Senior Member

    La Jerusalén de los Suramericanos.
    Venezuela --> Spanish -or something alik
    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!!!" :eek:

    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!
  14. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    My momma told me they got me from "el basurero".
  15. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    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.:rolleyes:
    There's also a popular joke that modern parents can tell their child that they have "downloaded him/her from the Internet".:D
  16. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    I like this one! I've never heard it before, but it's so cool.. :D :D :D
  17. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    English UK


    This is from a lecture by Umberto Eco

    Lots of information about the origins of the symbol, the earliest being Hebrew.
  18. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    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":D

    My regards
  19. Alicky

    Alicky Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina- Español
    You are right. I am aware that my post wasn't the smartest one :p
    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?
  20. Here, it's a stork, too :D
  21. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    hello new members, new answers? thanks
  22. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Storks have been absent from the UK and Ireland for over 600 years but German folk-tales kept alive the idea of babies arriving in their bills. More recently so do "New Baby" congratulation cards.

    A common story when I was young was "You were found under a gooseberry bush." The saying is very recent (OED: 1944)
  23. HUMBERT0

    HUMBERT0 Senior Member

    Interesting, when I was a child I heard that babies came from Paris on Storks (maybe that’s why babies took so many months to arrive…) :)

  24. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Hans Christian Andersen popularized the myth in his strange story "The Storks" (Storkene, 1838).

    BTW, in the Czech Lands the girls are sometimes brought by the crows.

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