(I’m reheating leftovers while I write this entry.)
The other day I broke a mug while stacking dishes and the first thought that entered my mind was, ‘Dang it. Oh well, something bad must have been avoided then.’ I guess you can call that a superstition. And it got me thinking about all the other unfounded beliefs my family followed. I wouldn’t call us a particularly superstitious family but we certainly do have a few that we follow.
If you break a glassware(or porcelain) it means you’ve avoided potential bad fortune. Technically put, the ‘bad fortune’ has been dispersed through the act.
⒉ Nail Clipping
You should not clip your nails on a Tuesday or Saturday, as doing so will bring bad luck.
Spinning things will make you poorer. Like spinning keys, cloth or just about anything with your finger.
⒋ Crossing Over Someone
If you cross over a person lying down or their legs, they will grow less tall. (I wonder if that’s why I’m not as tall as I’d like to be! 😛 )
⒌ The Short Man
This one’s a bit spooky. They say that if you catch a glimpse of a very short man in your house it means that someone you know is going to die in the next 10 days. (I think regardless of whether a person’s going to die or not, seeing a short stranger in your house is a valid reason to be frightened!)
This one can be found in many cultures across the world. While Westerners associate the number ’13’ and ‘666’ with bad luck, the Chinese believe in a similar concept, namely the digits ‘4’, ‘5’ and ‘7’. The logic behind this is in its pronunciation. Four(pronounced as ‘Sì’) in Chinese is similar sounding to the word ‘死’ (Sǐ), which means ‘to die’. Similarly, five is associated to ‘无’（meaning ‘nothing’ or in this case, ‘to have nothing’) and seven to ‘气'(meaning ‘to be angry’). It can get even more elaborate when you couple certain numbers together! But I don’t want to bore you, so I’ll only say this much. Also, because we live in China, this superstition has caught on in my family.
⒎ Evil Eye
I think this one belongs to a separate category but it has some similarities to superstitions. You can choose to believe in it or not but I feel this one in particular has some substance to it. The belief in ‘Evil Eye’ can be found in various different cultures. The ‘Dictionary’ app explains it perfectly,
Evil Eye – a look or thought capable of inflicting injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed.
Usually this is by looking at something another person has and being jealous(be it consciously or unconsciously) of them. The ‘something’ can be anything, from food to cars to having a better life, just about anything that would cause someone else to be jealous about.
For example, my late grand-uncle(is that even a word?) once ate a boiled egg in front of a person he knew(this person probably really loved eggs) and soon after, my grand-uncle had a massive stomach-ache. This has happened several times to my uncle, too. Somebody else also narrated an incident where a woman looked upon a family’s thriving coop of chicken and the very next day one of their hens fell ill. And by the end of the week, every single one of the hens had died.
Ofcourse, the practicalist would reason that my grand-uncle and uncle must not have washed their hands properly and hence contracted a stomach-ache, and that some virus must have latched onto the unlucky hen which then spread to all the others and that the owners should have quarantined the sick hen. All basic science and logic. Right? Well, I say maybe the carrier of making all this happen is science but, the cause that started the whole chain of events is probably ‘evil eye’. Just don’t come running to me when you are starving, penniless and on the brink of death because of ‘science‘. ←_←
⒏ Mouthing Bad Things
This last one might sound familiar to people who’ve watched or read ‘The Secret’. Basically, you should avoid uttering any negative or ‘bad’ things, in fear of the aforementioned becoming a reality.
The thing with superstitions is that most of them sound downright ridiculous and there are usually no concrete evidence to back it up. You can either consider this a load of bull, or you could take what I call the ‘safer route’. The choice is yours.
On a final note, I’d like to ask you what you think on the subject of superstitions. Do you have any? And if so, what are they?
P.S. This was originally intended to be a ‘Dear Fabian’ entry but the talking about all the superstitions ended up being longer than I thought. So I turned it into an article/post. And btw, don’t assume that I go out of my way to smash glassware just to be ‘less unlucky’. I’m not that cuckoo, you know. Also, that mug was one of my favourites.
“A day can make all the difference between winning or losing.”