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Parenting Around The World: Jewelry and Babies

Parents’ approach toward jewelry and babies can differ quite dramatically around the globe. I found this out when I shared my own baby girl’s ear piercing story. See getting ears pierced in many cultures, including mine, is quite accepted, and even expected. The same thing may be frowned upon by other cultures, especially in Western Europe. So on one hand many Europe-based friends shared with me their European husbands’ horror at the thought of their little babies’ ears getting pierced. On the other hand most Latin cultures share the no-big deal attitude to getting baby’s ears pierced.

In many Southeast cultures, you’ll see babies, even male ones, with bracelets around their wrist. Some are made of jade, for good luck or traditional reasons. Some are made of beads, in red or black. There is a superstition behind the second set of bracelets. It is supposed to catch the eye of strangers or family members who take notice of the baby. Any bad vibes or bad spirits that they may be carrying would then be deflected by the bracelet and baby will not get sick.

Sometimes jewelry on a baby is meant to announce a family’s status. Gold bracelets or necklaces are meant to show that the family can afford such a luxury and is therefore wealthy (whether they really are or not). Most of the time though, jewelry is just a tradition to convey affection (necklaces are heirlooms passed down from generation to generation), good luck, or worn for superstitious reasons.

Whatever the reasoning towards babies being adorned with jewelry or not, it matters very little, if you think about it. What matters is that parents love and cherish their children, and raise them to be caring and kind individuals, among many other things 🙂

More on Parenting Around The World series: Italy’s Peanut Butter.


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