Myths and Legends of the Human Body

While there are plenty of crazy things that happen in Jakarta, sometimes the craziest things are what people believe.  My Indonesian and Korean students believe some pretty wild things… and none of them are scientific.   The ones that I am writing about here all have to do with the human body, but I have learned that there is an emphasis on the supernatural here in Indonesia that is very different than what I believe, and that have the tendency stray towards black magic and the occult.  That, however, is a different post for a different time.

Some “facts” about growing:

1.  If you play basketball, you will grow taller. 

I think this one has to do with jumping with your arms stretched towards the ceiling.  When asking my Indonesian students why this is true,  I was told to look at professional Basketball players as evidence of this fact.  (Hmmmm… logic….)

2.  If you swim, you will grow taller.
I think this is about reaching.  When you reach, you stretch your muscles out… and maybe your bones too?  Yeah, I don’t understand, either.

3.  If you lift weights, you will not be able to grow taller.
I have heard from the coaches at my school that some students even have parental permission to not lift weights during after school sport or during gym class, since it would prohibit them from growing taller.  The “logic” behind this is that, when you lift weights, your muscles grow.  Because your muscles are now larger and firmer, your bones are unable to grow, because the muscles are hold you back!

4.  If you play futsal (aka small court, fast soccer) you will have really large legs.
More circumstantial evidence was given for this “fact.”

Some “facts” about…. girl stuff.

5.  You can only use tampons if you are married.
I am not going to explain this one to you.

6. There are even more myths about tampons…
…but none that I am willing to talk about on the internet.  However, when talking to my Grade 8 girls about tampons, I always hear a lot of “My friend said the one time…” and “I heard that….” Upon occasion, I even hear some, “My mother said that….”

7.  If you drink Coca-Cola during your period, it will speed the whole menstruation process up.
Obviously, science has nothing to do with this claim.