I overheard a conversation a few days ago between two new mothers. They were asking each other whether they kept their baby’s umbilical cords. Hmm, okay, I thought to myself, they are sentimental. I’ve never had a baby so I don’t know if keeping umbilical cords is the norm (even though I’ve never seen mine, so I assume my mom didn’t)… Then one women proceeded to ask the other if she is planning to make an umbilical cord stamp. Wait, what?!!
Something I should mention here is that stamps are very popular here in Taiwan. At banks, for example, instead of using signatures for everything, they use stamps. Signatures are used as well, but it’s still mandatory to have a stamp.
Anyway, back to the story. So the woman replied that she was considering it, but apparently according to some superstition or fortune teller or whatever (Taiwan people also believe very much in blood types and/or horoscopes, and they believe in fortune telling… most people’s names are from fortune telling), the stamp can only be touched by the person whose umbilical cord it contains… Or else it’s bad luck. So she thought it was too much of a hassle so didn’t end up making one.
After hearing this, I had to search it up on the net, and indeed: umbilical cord stamps are real! Another popular souvenir is a Chinese calligraphy brush made from the first tufts of baby hair.