There is a difference between following tradition and blind faith. However, in India, the line of difference between the two is blurry, which is the reason why we come across so many superstitious beliefs in our day to day lives. Superstitions have been either passed on by our ancestors or made in the process of passing on. Whatever be the reason, most of us blindly follow these superstitions because we do not want to take chances with ourselves. The following list contains 10 superstitions that India still believes in.
1. Black Cat Theory
Everybody in India is aware about this superstition. We have been listening to “Don’t let a black cat cross your path” since we were kids. There have been thousands of memes on internet about how the crossing of a black cat can stop more vehicles than the traffic signal in India! There is no one story as to how and why this superstition came into practice, but it is still believed by a huge number of people that if a black cat crosses your path while you are on your way, it will bring bad luck in your journey. There is a great solution to this though! You just need to take three steps backwards and you are good to go.
2. Cutting Nails At Night
Growing up in India, we have all heard our mother scream “DON’T CUT YOUR NAILS THIS LATE AT NIGHT!” one time or another. Don’t blame her for this superstitious belief, she is just doing the same thing what her mother did. It is believed that cutting nails at night invites dead demons into your house as they can smell the flesh in your fingers. Another belief is that cutting nails late in the evening makes the surrounding unclean and prevents the footsteps of Goddess Laxmi from coming our way.
3. Manglik Logic
In India, daughter’s marriage is considered to be a huge burden. However, the burden is huger if the daughter is manglik! It is believed that a manglik can get married only to a manglik, because only in this way both their doshas will get cancelled and they can live happily every after. This superstition is one among the worst practices in India and has also resulted in the fall of women’s status. Women are looked down upon for being a manglik as if it was their fault to have been born in an “inauspicious time”!
4. The Milk Theory
Indian Hindi TV Soaps have taught us that the spilling of milk while it is boiling on the stove is a sign of danger. As and when the milk spills in these serials, either the hero of the show meets with an accident or the heroine gets kidnapped. This superstition may have a strong hold on screen, but in real life, it is just another ridiculous belief. In many cultures, however, the spilling of milk is also seen as a good omen. So you see, ‘one story’s hero is another story’s villain’.
5. Menstrual Taboos
Menstruation is a process which every women goes through. It is as natural as any other bodily function and doesn’t affect the individuals mental capability or the surrounding in any way. However, in India menstruation is a topic which needs to be hushed and women menstruating need to be kept captive within the four walls of their room. There are so many superstitions associated with menstruation that it is not even funny! Women are seen as impure and unclean when they are menstruating and are barred from entering any religious place. Some cultures go as far as preventing women from touching anything in the home and especially preventing them from cooking because food cooked by them is equal to poison. A menstrual taboo which is still followed in villages prevents girls and women from looking at men because there is a chance it might get them pregnant.
6. Washing Hair Theory
Did you know what there are just 5 days in a week when you can wash your hair? This superstition is not known to many but it does exist. Tuesdays and Saturdays are inauspicious for washing your hair. If you do not abide by this practice and go ahead cleaning your hair, then your brother might face danger in his life! So, if not for yourself, at least for the love you have for your brother, avoid washing your hair on these days.
As if Tuesdays and Saturdays were not useless enough, here we have another superstition which has the power to make any day useless. Fasting is done for many reasons, but the end game is to impress the Gods! (THE OLD AND THE NEW) Women fast for their husband’s long life, girls fast for getting a good husband so that they can again fast for his long life and so on. The chain of fasting just never ends!
8. Broken Glass
“Don’t look into the glass if its broken, it brings bad luck” they say. The reason why Indian parents immediately throw away broken mirrors or repair broken windows is because of this superstition. Supposedly, the breaking of glass is a bad omen and results in quarrels and fights among family members. Like every other superstition, there is no logic behind this practice either, but it is followed by most of the Indians because nobody wants more reasons for their family to fight.
9. One Rupee More
Even numbers are evil, odd numbers are auspicious! This superstition is a very common practice in India. We all must have observed that whenever someone gives money to the other on auspicious occasions, they give an odd sum of money. You either get 11 rupees, 101 rupees or 1001 rupees. This is because the extra one rupee is treated as shagun ka sika (lucky coin). This practice is still so prevalent in India that nowadays envelopes are sold with a one rupee coin stuck to them. If one rupee could alter one’s fate then even sums of money wouldn’t even exist!
Apart from having inauspicious days, Indians have inauspicious time also. Everyday, there is a certain duration of time which is known as the raahukaal and is considered inauspicious. Orthodox Hindus are firm believers of this practice and do not start anything auspicious during this time. Once again, we know not if there is any scientific reason to this but nonetheless it is followed by many. These superstitions cause more harm and do no good. As these practices have been in the Indian society for a long time, it is not possible to get rid of them in a day. The best way to deal with superstitions is by educating Indians and making them understand that having faith is good but having blind faith is stupidity!