An-mei's mother is considered a "ghost" by her family because she has "disrespected" the family and ancestors. For a while, she is not allowed to be in An-mei's life, and once she returns, an accident in the kitchen results in An-mei's scar. The scar records the memory of her pain and becomes associated with her mother; however, An-mei does not blame her mother. She knows the family kicked her mother out of the house and that her mother loves her. An-mei "worshipped her mother" and felt connected to her "Inside [her] bones."
An-mei also talks about how her mother cut off a piece of her flesh to put in a soup to hopefully cure her own mother "in the ancient tradition." An-mei's childhood experiences in "Scar," especially the way family members relate to one another is tightly connected to cultural traditions.
Later, in a chapter focusing on An-mei's daughter, Rose, we hear about An-mei's religious faith and how it affects her daughter. An-mei has become a devout Christian, but her belief in "God's will" is challenged when her son, Bing, drowns while the family is on a trip to the beach. Rose is beside herself with grief and regret, thinking she is to blame. Her mother tells her, "An ancestor of ours once stole water from a sacred well. Now the water is trying to steal back." While An-mei could be trying to comfort Rose, her statement also reveals the lasting effects of the cultural traditions instilled in her childhood.
Both An-mei's and Rose's chapters in the first two sections of The Joy Luck Club show the way Chinese traditions impact An-mei's perspective and worldview as well as work their way into her daughter's assessment of faith and fate.