“Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth” – Voltaire. Superstitions – some are cultural, some universal. Every society has its share and Nepal is no different. Some superstitions are so deeply rooted in our culture that they feel like a part of our life. A chance encounter with a cat got me thinking about some ridiculous superstitions we believe in:
Our famously infamous Nepali Superstitions
A cat crossing your path is considered a major bad luck
This one is my personal favorite. I mean, really? It is a cat, innocently walking about! How is it supposed to bring you bad luck? If we see a cat crossing our path, we tend to stand and wait until it finishes crossing the road, then we wait for someone else to go first, in the hope of transferring the bad luck to the other person. If there is no one else around to go before us, we either throw a shoe or something handy before moving forward.
The poor cat must sit there thinking, “What is wrong with this human, why is he staring at me like that and is letting me go first? Am I that cute?” Here, in the UK, where many households have cats as a pet, we are bound to encounter one or two everywhere we go. That’s why I carry a few extra pairs of shoes just in case. Well, I don’t know what the logic behind this is but I just love how randomly we come up with things.
Touching someone’s neck!
Well, this is a big no-no for me, not because of any superstitions but because I am a very ticklish person and my neck is my major weak spot. But that aside, it is strongly believed that if you touch someone’s neck, that person is very likely to get goiter. But you don’t have to worry yet. There is a solution for that. If the same person you touched blows on your hand, you are sorted. Sorry but no goiter for you! I have someone in my household who still is a strong believer. Yes Banu, I am looking at you. I don’t think it is because of the fear of getting goiter or whatever but I think it is because she has done that all her life.
Itchiness in the right palm of your hand means luck and a significant amount of money coming your way. Oh, how I wish this was true! Please tell me this is true. Well, I’ve had moments when I had a very itchy palm but it mostly meant I needed to clean it. I would not doubt this at all, this is not something someone wants to doubt, trust me! But I’ve lost faith after few itchy moments vanishing straight after I cleaned my hands.
The next one has to be the classic one. If you are telling me you haven’t believed in this even once in your entire lifetime, I am calling you a liar. The one where if the smoke of the fire blows towards you, you wet the bed at night. The most embarrassing one of all. A number of times I’ve prayed for the smoke not to blow my way is unaccountable. If you ever went camping with your friends or even family and sat around a campfire, the biggest fear would be the smoke blowing towards you. That would mean you wet the bed! This was particularly hard for those who had to share a bed with their sibling and normally were the innocent ones. You just sit there and pray. Again, BANU!
No Shopping Monday
One should not buy clothes on Monday. I mean, try telling that to my Asos delivery driver. I am sure he would love getting a rest day from bringing my clothes to me every day of the week. And oh also, my bank account. My bank account would just love me for following this particular superstition. I think whoever came up with this was very fed up with their wife (yes, I am being gender-specific here) constantly shopping. So to give it a rest, he linked it to the bad omen. Having said that I find it very hard to convince Sam, my husband, who has experienced a pure co-incidence of accidentally burning a pair of trousers he bought on a Monday. I mean it could be true or maybe it could be him trying to stop me from completely slaying our bank account, but who knows!
Chilly without chill!
I am pretty sure you’ve come across this one too. The one where if you pass a chilly directly to someone’s hand you are bound to be their enemy. How? How on earth is this possible? Please explain it to me. I was thinking about any logic behind this, but I’ve failed massively. Here is a scenario. Here’s my dad, there I am and there is a chilly he desperately wants with his dinner. If I put this “chilly” directly in his hand, we are done for. That’s it. He hates me now. Could this be the reason why he is not buying me a new iPhone 7? Maybe!