Monday, August 25, 2014
May Your Earlobes Reach Your Ankles!
When it is someone's birthday in Hungary, you will notice that people walk up to them frequently throughout the day to tug (gently! unless they are friends, in which case, mercilessly) on their earlobe while saying their good wishes. This is generally in practice, within and outside the family. The wish goes:
"Isten éltessen sokáig, füled érjen bokáig!"
"May God give you long life, and may your earlobes reach your ankles."
No one is entirely sure, but it is assumed that long earlobes mean long life. They are essentially wishing for you to reach old age in a Buddha-like state of enlightenment and hipster aural fashion. Since your ears actually grow as you grow older (including the stretching of earlobes), the wish actually makes sense in a strange way.
So, next time I find out it's your birthday and I immediately reach for your earlobe, you will now know that I am not trying to steal your earring. Cheers!