Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grapes and Blue Bums

This week has been a bit of an education. I've learned some things about my host country that would never have occurred to me in a million years.

The Japanese don't eat the skin of grapes.

Or the skin of peaches. They just don't like the texture. Interesting.

Lastly....don't judge me.

My class are swimming a lot of late and I have to help them change because they are tiny and have the spatial awareness of roller skate wearing giraffes.

Think I am kidding?

The kids have to lay their clothes on the ground before picking them up... Anyway. One of my kids had this blue spot on their butt. I immediately starting thinking about checking out the parents but then I realised other kids in the class had them too. Instead of wondering about the child rearing practises of my community I asked a colleague about it. Turns out it is a genetic thing called a 'Mongolian spot'. It's common amongst East Asians, Polynesians and Native Americans.

According to wikipedia -
"The blue colour is caused by melanocytes, melanin-containing cells, that are deep under the skin. Usually, as multiple spots or one large patch, it covers one or more of the lumbosacral area (lower back), the buttocks, flanks, and shoulders. It results from the entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during their migration from the neural crest to the epidermis during embryonic development."

It usually goes away after 3-5 years or before puberty.

It has been the cause of many unfounded accusations of parental abuse. Having seen the colour and the resemblance to bruises I can't say I am surprised.

Now I am educated.

*Mongolian spot affected child photo provided by Wikipedia. Not anyone I know.


Mrs. DeRaps said...

Wow. I've never heard of this Mongolian Spot phenomenon! I can see how you'd assume abuse...And, I would not eat very many grapes if I had to peel them!

Haddock said...

I thought fruit skin was supposed to be good for health.