A few years ago I was backpacking around Asia met some friends in northern Vietnam. We were 6 or 7 people so we just rented out a dorm room in a hostel. There were 2 beds left, which were later filled by 2 Koreans.
That night we were all hanging out and the Koreans were quietly minding their own business. It was pretty hot, as Vietnam usually is, so we had the ceiling fans going strong.
Just before turning out the lights, I bent down to the lower bunk and asked if it was ok to turn them off and leave the fan on. I get a mostly blank stare as he murmured a word or two. It didn't sound likely anything close to a "no" do I smiled and said goodnight!
Fast forward to breakfast the next morning, and we're talking about our sleep and someone asks if we heard what they said before turning off the lights. Turns out it was "fan death." Most of us hadn't heard of it before.
Poor guys probably didn't sleep all night.
2) Never leave a bedroom window open in SE Asia, unless you love mosquito bites
A bit weird. How do you guys in the west repellent bugs during summer?
In China, we use window mesh + mosquito coil + vape mat, work like magic most of the time.
In the places that do have a lot, mosquito nets on the windows might be installed, or you plug a mosquito repellent.
The younger generation don't believe in fan death anymore. Still, many of the older Koreans that believe in fan death are very well educated. However, talking to my parents, they were not educated to think critically, and even today that is not a value that is stressed in Korea. Essentially the majority of older Koreans were raised in a society which had dictatorships, coup d'etat, assassinations, censorship, and government controlled media. Koreans had great economic success, but less freedoms, similar to the situation in China today. Questioning the status quo is detrimental, and keeping your mouth shut is a virtue still taught in Korea today. Knowledge such as fan death is just accepted as fact, and it stayed engrained until recently.
Follow up: while critical thinking isn't encouraged or taught, does knowledge of the widespread usage of fans and the lack of associated deaths elsewhere ever come into conflict with their worldview?
I don't think this superstition is specific to Eastern Europe because I've heard some Germans state similar things about leaving windows open and getting sick.
I believe its quite common in southern Europe to believe that swimming after eating will lead to stomach cramps and drowning.
I'm surprised to hear the eastern European thing about breezes etc.
It was quite common in western Europe and America to open windows even in winter for sleeping children, I believe the practice is still common in scandinavian countries.
Taking a bath and showering too...
* Air draft causes a stiff neck
* Freezing meat twice and eating it will make you sick
* Cold in general will make you sick ("catch a cold")
* If you hold your poo to long, you can never poo (well) anymore (from the grandparents, pretty sure they believed it, actually it may be true to a certain degree but they used to go when one need to go asap.)
I'm sure I'll come up with more.
Uh, every frozen meal I have ever seen has come with the printed warning not to freeze it again after it has melted?
Freezing does not kill microbes, and additionally formation of ice during the freezing breaks the internal structure of foodstuff making it better medium for bacterial growth. So repeated freezing-unfreezing, especially if the product is taken into room temperature and back allows unwelcome microbes to proliferate. Like with all food poisoning hazards, it will not make you sick with 100% certainty, but increases the risk enough that it is not recommended.
This is near word-by-word translation of the guidelines of Finnish medical society  and food safety authority .
It is difficult to call "do not freeze stuff again" an unfounded superstition equal to fan death if it is the common recommendation by national authorities.
Not really. They multiply during the thawing and lie "inactive" during freezing. So repeated freeze-thawing cycles = several generations more bacteria than you started with.
Bernhard Redl, an associate professor in the molecular biology department at the University of Innsbruck in Austria:
"It is clear that freezing does not kill most of the bacteria," said Redl, "but puts them in a dormant state." (...)
That's not unreasonable. There are different ways to give the safety advice:
1) Don't do it. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-store-food-and-...
2) It's fine so long as the meat defrosted in the fridge, and your fridge is keeping the correct temperature. Don't re-freeze meat kept out of the refridgerator for longer than 2 hours. https://food.unl.edu/it-safe-refreeze-raw-meat-and-poultry-h...
Sometimes the simpler message is safer.
It won't necessarily make you sick, but it will have much more bacteria after been thawed (the same bacteria it had frozen, but now reproducing again during the time the meat is in normal temperature before getting frozen a second time)
And guess what the "cause" was? Now I understand it better, I always wondered WTF he meant when he said someone left a fan on in the baby's room.
Vid - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW2OZfcowp0
"Stiff neck" 'teekert mentions and "ear pain" would be mentioned as dangers of draft too. It's so pervasive in the local culture that I even have to occasionally remind people from my generation that common cold is a virus, not a side effect of exposure to elements.
When you're contaminated (and you don't know because you don't feel it yet) you shouldn't stress your immune system with additional stuff like the temperature differences between different body parts. Why do you want less of blood circulation in the contaminated areas?
What is called "extreme hot" for North or East Europe is a pretty normal temperature for human species anyway.
What is called "pretty normal temperature for human species" is barely bearable for me, and has been so since I was a kid. It completely destroys my productivity.
I recall reading here that the "productive" temperatures fall into the range I consider comfortable, so I must not be too much of an outlier.