Archive for June, 2008



Published June 7th, 2008 by Mliesie

Da Yi Ma …..

Last Monday I decided I was fit enough again after last week’s Sports meeting, to continue my running training. Together with JJ and LL I would get back ‘on track’. To warm up, we always run at least 2-3 laps after which the real training starts. As we are running, JJ leaves the track after 1 lap, but I do another 4 before I stop. While I do my stretching, I ask why she only did one lap today and she then tells me something that again shows an interesting cultural difference….

It turns out she is having her periods, which makes me say, “So what?” The girls are told that if they do excerises like running during their periods, the periods will either last longer (at least 15 days!!!), they will stop having their periods (as if they are some of the professional sportswomen ;-) ) or it will do harm if ever they get pregnant. I am flabbergasted and cannot stop but laughing. Don’t worry, these two 2 ladies know me very well and by now know I can be quite straightforward at times…. Of course I feel I have to tell them about my own experiences in this matter. Swimming, running, skiing, rollerblading, I do it all and two of the above mentioned results never applied to me (the pregnancy thing I cannot prove :-0). The only answer I get is that I am probably special! Hahahaha, I wish! No way I can convince them of the opposite. It’s been told from grandmother to mother to daughter and they will probably tell their own daughters the same thing…

Then, a few days later we want to go swimming. 2 Of the 3 girls are not coming because, again…., they are having their periods and you can’t swim then. That would be really inconvenient. I leave it as it is at that moment and await a proper time to talk about that. This morning it seemed to be the right time. I explained that there are ‘tampons’, a sort of cork you can use to stop or actually block the bleeding (Hey… one needs to use simple examples here to make these things clear..). I won’t get into detail, but the girls could hardly believe what I was saying and that it really worked. Next step will be to actually show them the thing. I can assure you it will cause lots of laughter, giggles and red faces. They indeed do not sell them here in Yulin, so how should they know about it? If they knew about it, I guess their grandmothers and mothers wouldn’t allow them to use them as the girls will probably tell their daughters not to. My guess is that the daughters or granddaughters one day will laugh at their mothers or grandmothers and do as we already did so many years ago…..

…..Do it our way…..

It was a fun way to discover another cultural difference!