Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Legend of the Pineapple

In the Philippines, almost all things are explained by stories of myths and legends in the oral tradition for hundreds of years, until the introduction of science and logic destroyed the fantasy.

Even the pineapple, the only edible bromeliad, has its own legend. Called pinya in Tagalog and in most Philippine dialects, its oral history tells us that a young girl named Pina was fond of looking for her misplaced belongings using her mouth and not her eyes.

Her mother, sick and tired of Pina's constant oral search of her missing things, carelessly told her daughter how she wished Pina would grow eyes all over her head so that she would use her eyes more in looking for misplaced items and shut her mouth while making her search.

Unknowingly, the mother put a curse on Pina, who was in the garden noisily looking for her lost garden tools. A few days later, after futilely searching for her daughter who never responded to her mother's calls, the mother saw this strange plant growing in her garden. It had the shape of a head with eyes all over it.

Only then that the mother realized the power of her tongue, what an irreversible curse she had put on her daughter, Pina, who became the first pinya.

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