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Sugarcane Juice: A Refreshing Treat with a Side of Superstition

Note: Sugarcane Juice (Eng) - Nước mía (Vie)


While sugarcane juice is a popular summertime beverage known for its hydrating properties, there are certain individuals who should refrain from consuming it.


Cultural Significance and Health Benefits of Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane juice has long been a staple refreshment in Vietnam, especially during the sweltering summer months. Its rich nutrient content, including calcium, vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, makes it an ideal choice for combating fatigue, replenishing energy, and regulating blood sugar levels.



Superstitious Beliefs Surrounding Sugarcane Juice Consumption

Despite its health benefits, sugarcane juice is not universally recommended, particularly for those involved in the entertainment and event management industries.

A longstanding unwritten rule among these professionals, especially in southern Vietnam, is to avoid consuming sugarcane juice prior to events. It is believed that doing so can lead to mishaps or disruptions during the event, with the severity varying depending on the amount of sugarcane juice consumed.


Origins of the Sugarcane Juice Superstition

Various legends and rumors have emerged to explain this peculiar rule, though none have been definitively proven. The practice is believed to have originated from earlier generations of artists and performers, who adhered to it as a form of respect and adherence to tradition.

One popular legend attributes the superstition to the patron deities of performing arts. According to the tale, these deities were two young princes who were so passionate about theater that they neglected their own well-being, leading to their untimely deaths. With a shared fondness for sugarcane and sweets, it is believed that the aroma of sugarcane juice distracts them, preventing them from properly overseeing events.

An alternative narrative suggests that sugarcane stalks represent the walking sticks of the performing arts deities. Consuming sugarcane or its juice is therefore seen as an act of disrespect, akin to taking away their support.


Regional Variations and Continued Observance

Interestingly, this superstition is primarily observed in southern Vietnam, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, a hub for music events. The reasons for this regional specificity remain unclear.

Veteran actress Hong Van has even acknowledged this unique practice on the Vietnamese TV show "Ky Uc Vui Ve," noting that it is primarily known and followed by southern artists.

Despite the widespread availability and popularity of sugarcane juice in the region, especially due to the hot climate and abundant sugarcane cultivation in the Mekong Delta, these superstitions surrounding sugarcane juice consumption persist and continue to be discussed and observed.


(Hong Van shares a spiritual story about sugarcane juice for artists)


Interestingly, these practices are primarily observed in southern Vietnam, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, a hub for music events. The reasons behind this regional specificity remain unclear. While some speculate that it's due to the abundance of sugarcane cultivation in the Mekong Delta, others attribute it to the deep-rooted cultural significance of these traditions within the southern performing arts community.


Despite the superstitions, sugarcane juice remains a staple in southern Vietnam, a refreshing escape from the sweltering heat. The drink's popularity and cultural significance have intertwined, giving rise to these unique beliefs and practices that add a touch of mystique to the performing arts and event industry in the region.


Conclusion

The sugarcane juice superstition, deeply ingrained in the folklore of the entertainment and event management industries in southern Vietnam, serves as a reminder of the cultural significance and traditional beliefs that shape certain practices and behaviors. While the origins of this superstition remain shrouded in mystery, its continued observance highlights the power of tradition and the enduring influence of cultural beliefs in shaping everyday life.

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