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Interesting to read Emma's note from Tajikstan because when I mentioned Tea Money to my (Welsh) husband the other day he said "Yes, and tea leaves floating in your tea means a visitor to the door." Could it be that when Tea came to Britain first from Asia the customs came with it?
||Back in the days when i was a small girl tea came loose in quarter pound packets and not in little bags. Sometimes a rolled tea-leaf would float to the surface in the cup and bob about like a small twig.The person whose cup is was would take a tea-spoon and fish out the tea-leaf.Place it on the top of a chenched fist and hit it smartly with the other fist, also rolled. Chanting "Monday - pause- "Tuesday" -pause and so on until the tea-leaf fell off. The floating leaf meant a letter was on its way and the rest of the ritual was to announce on which day it would arrive.The underlying message was that the promised letter meant goods news or money and never merely the gas bill.|
||Chris Capon talked about "She also refuses to drink the last few sips of tea insisting she's finished|
when there is still some left in the bottom of the cup." and many others spoke of family customs relating to tea
Well, my mother-out-law (yes, the mother of my unmarried partner) coined a word for the unpleasant sensation of drinking the last dregs of a cuppa only to find that the strainer hasn't done its job.
The day this happened, she drank down the dregs and immediately made a pinched face and said "nimnimnimnim" So for ever after, the dregs in the bottom of a cuppa are nim-nims.
Anyone else have local or family words associated with a nice cup of tea (or even an unpleasant one - don't get me started on UHT milk...)
I'm writing in response to your mail from emily cole about bubbles in tea ('spooky welsh tea money'). i am a brit living in tajikistan and even here in central asia, there are a number of similar traditions about tea. for example, if there are bubbles in the middle of your tea, it means that you will get money, but you have to pinch the bubbles out with your fingers and throw them over your shoulder. however, if the bubbles are around the edge of your tea cup, it means debt, which is obviously not a good thing.
other than black tea - which is drunk without milk and in a small handle-less cup called a 'pial', green tea is also popular here, and if there are sticks from the tea (i don't think that's the technical term for them, but do you know what i mean?) floating in the cup, it means you'll have guests.
tea drinking is a big thing in central asia and there's a ritual that when you have a guest round, you should pour the tea into the guest's pial three times before serving it. there are various reasons for this, none of which make a huge amount of sense to me. and in tajikistan, the amount of tea you pour into the pial is an indicator of how much respect you have for the other person.
I hope this is interesting! Emma.
|Nicey replies: Emma,
That is wonderful stuff indeed, and shows that these superstitions are much more wide spread than we first thought, probably an indicator of their antiquity. Hoorah for you and Central Asia. Big Woos on being our first correspondent from Tajikistan.
||My mother always said two spoons in the saucer meant a wedding. I haven't tested this as I prefer to use a mug, when even one spoon left in the mug often means a poke in the eye.|