Saturday, July 15, 2006

Uterus Colds

In Russia there are several weird health beliefs, the primary one being a terrible fear of drafts. I futilely try to explain that viruses and bacteria cause illness, but no, students even on warm days are rather frightened of open windows.

Another involves sitting on cold rocks. This is supposed to give women something they refer to as a "Uterus Cold." The similar condition in man affects the prostate.

When I doubt the veracity of this -- and I've had trained medical professionals assure me it happens -- and ask why this does not occur in other countries, they claim either that it does, but is not recognized as such, or that other countries simply aren't cold enough.

Russians also believe that spices of any sort (other than salt) are very bad for the health. (I suppose that's just Communist era propoganda, to explain why spices were unavailable.)

Then there's the belief that cold drinks are bad for the throat. Especially for children. Many is the time I have had to teach to students wishing to travel abroad the phrase "I would like the juice to be room temperature, please." (I suppose in areas where there are a lot of Russian tourists, the intelligent restauranteur would be wise to keep a few warm drinks lying around.)

More palatably, warm beer is considered to be good for sore throats, and vodka with salt and pepper in it is considered a sure-fire flu remedy. Maybe, maybe not, but it at least makes it more enjoyable to be ill.

1 comment:

AloyiciousSalicious said...

Yes same beliefs in Baku---walk past an open window with wet hair and you die---strange thing is a uterus cold, terrible sneezing and coughing. They think our opinions are just as outlandish