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by Jamaica Kincaid

Girl Tradition and Customs Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Phrase between semi-colons)

Quote #1

soak salt fish overnight before you cook it (7)

Salt fish is fish that has been salted and dried to preserve it without refrigeration. It's so full of salt that you have to soak it in order to eat it. Do you think this tradition will continue to be passed on to Girl's great-great-great-grandchildren who will have all the refrigeration they could ever want?

Quote #2

is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school? […] don't sing benna in Sunday school (8-11)

Mom may like some traditions, but she sure doesn't approve of them all. Benna is one that she definitely doesn't want Girl to follow—especially in Sunday school. Why? What's different about this folk tradition?

Quote #3

this is how you grow okra—far from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants (20)

Some of the customs Mom passes down don't seem to make much sense—this is how you sweep a corner, for example—but plenty are just are practical. Who wants to get bitten by fire ants, after all? (Not us. Been there, never want to do that again. Pro tip: don't step on a fire ant pile.)

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