Lihi

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For the town in Nepal see Lihi, Nepal

In the Philippines, lihí is a condition in which a pregnant woman craves strongly for something, usually food such as sour, unripe mango with bagoong. While it is a cultural concept universal to Filipinos, it is also understood that expectant mothers of any race may experience lihí. It is still debatable as to whether lihí can be classified as either a biological or psychological condition.

Superstitions[edit]

Lihí also broadly encompasses a folk belief that the whatever a woman had craved for during pregnancy will imprint characteristics on the child. When a child resembles a manatee, for example, it is said that the mother enjoyed looking at that particular animal during the gestational period.

In other regions, lihí refers to the belief that any sensory stimuli imbibed by a pregnant woman influences the development of her child. Among some ethnic groups in the northern Philippines, it is taboo to mention anything about animals such as rats or pigs near a pregnant woman for fear that her child may acquire the features of the mentioned animals.

Bible[edit]

A possible religious interpretation for the belief claims that Jacob took advantage of lihí in Genesis 30:36-43. He bred spotted and speckled cattle, sheep, and goats by taking switches from trees, partially stripping them of their bark so they looked spotted and marked, and placing them into the animals' watering troughs. Female livestock that looked upon the sticks eventually gave birth to "ringstraked, speckled, and spotted" offspring, which Jacob then received as part of an agreement with his father-in-law and uncle, Laban.

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