India is a land of religions. Just like India’s languages, the religion changes after a few kilometres. As we know that “With Great Power comes Great Responsibilities”, in the same manner, With large number of religions come large number and kind of superstitions. Although many superstitions are in no way, related to any religion, but they directly or indirectly are influenced by these factors. Being an Indian, superstitions are the things that we grew up with, and these superstitions have over powered our mind in such a manner that we unconsciously get carried away by that superstition, as our mind takes that superstition as a daily deed, without giving it any different behaviour. This happens because of us facing these superstitions regularly, as a part of our daily chore, and thus they don’t affect us, but for the people who observe us do feel a change in our behaviour when we are being influenced by these superstitions. A few of these behaviourial activities performed by us unintentionally, that render us a title of being a “Typical Indian” are mentioned here.
15. Let us bribe GOD
Bribing GOD is as common as taking a bath as both of these things happen almost everyday. Bribing God in India is more of a culture than that of a superstition. Not only in Hindu religion, but in other religions also, bribing God is a medium of getting your wishes fulfilled. It can be heard very commonly from the lips of a student praying to God that “Please pass us in the examinations and we will dedicate sweets worth a particular amount to you!” I don’t understand if this is a give and take offer or a simple pray? And whenever I observe a pray, I always feel it to be a give and take offer, as people offering their belongings to religious places and asking for some personal benefited output in return. Sometimes fasting for a day or two is also a way of bribing God, and I just don’t understand as to why God will enjoy seeing you starve?
14. The Day Phobia
The literal meaning of “phobia” is extreme fear of something, and the Indian superstitions have rendered a phobia among people regarding a few days of the week. Sounds weird but is true. Indian parents inhabit this habit in their children right from the birth by creating a fear in them that if they cut their nails or hair, or wash their hair, or wash their clothes on some days of week, particularly Tuesday and Thursday, something bad will happen to them, which they used to call as “Paap” which literally means that God will do something bad with them as they tried to do something bad to God by cutting their nails on those particular days.
13. The Number 13
That is a pretty common superstition living in the hearts and minds of numerous people around India. The fear of number 13 is the biggest fear in their life. They don’t perform any big task, or begin a new business on 13th of any month, especially when that 13th is a Friday. This superstition is so persistent that the city of Chandigarh doesn’t even have a Sector 13.
12. Live in a fear for a better Future
If you are a regular visitor to any sort of religious place in India, you would come across this dialogue by the priest that your future deeds and the next incarnations depend upon the deeds you do in this life. If you remain really well, peaceful and calm, and don’t involve yourself in any sort of cruelty, it would lead to you obtaining a better life after you die! But I wonder, why live your life in a fear of the future, when you don’t even know what is going to happen with you in the next instant. It is also said that “Live in your present, the future will make way for itself”. So you got to agree on this quote and have a little faith in you.
11. Having sea food with milk products will give you Vitiligo
I guess you are a vegan, as being a non-vegan is also a sin in many parts of this subcontinent. But if you are fond of meat and sea food, you might have seen this dialogue striking you very often that Don’t eat fish with milk or any other milk product, and when you asked the reason, you would get a reply that it would give you Vitiligo, which is a disease that causes white patches on your skin, whereas vitiligo happens due to absence of a certain kind of pigments from the body’s system. In no manner can this combination cause vitiligo.
10. Are you going out?
If you are going out and someone sneezes in front of you, that is said to be a bad omen, and the work you are going to perform won’t just happen. Similar is when you are going somewhere, and someone else calls you from your back. But if we think practically and logically, then how could anyone calling us or sneezing in front of us can prevent us from completing the job we are assigned to perform?
9. Nazar Utaarna
When you are going to perform some big work, like entering into a new house, or if you are praising the looks of a newly born child, you would notice his/her mother, taking a little eye liner out of their eye and putting it up on the neck or at the back of ear of that kid. This is called Nazar Utaarna, which is usually done to prevent anyone from putting a negative vibe over the small kid. The process is simple, which is done by putting a black coloured dot (bindi) on the kid or by tying a black coloured thread on the kid’s hand or leg. Another process of preventing people from putting a negative vibe over a newly bought property is by tying a combination of chilli and lemon into a thread and hanging it in front of that property.
8. Sleeping with a scissor or a knife under your pillow avoids bad dreams
Are you also prone to getting bad dreams, that leads you waking up in the middle of the night? Well, there is a simple soloution to this mind bobbling problem. Just keep a knife or a pair of scissors under your pillow before you go to sleep, and this would prevent all the negative thoughts coming to your mind get a positive effect. This is what India thinks, and the thought that Indians grew up with!
7. Invite quarrels and fights with a broken glass/mirror!
If your mirror has broken down, or the cutlery made of glass has broken down, dispose it off as soon as possible. Don’t keep it or any part of it in your house as it would give an invitation to fights and quarrels with the people. Now, these people can be your family members, your neighbors or even the person that is walking down the street. I think the actual reason, this superstition was created is so that the broken pieces of glass don’t hurt anyone. So, in order to create a fear among people, a dangerous sounding superstition was created.
6. Don’t shake your legs
When I was a child, my mother used to tell me not to shake my legs when I was sitting idle. When I asked her the reason, she simply said that it brings bad luck in the family. I didn’t understand the concept as the reason our body unintentionally shakes our legs is in order to maintain body heat by regulating the temperature. How can it be related to the invitation of some sort of bad luck?
5. A Black Cat crossing your way!
This superstition is so prominent in the minds of people that they just can’t live with the fact that it is just a superstition. I have seen people changing their whole route just because a black cat crossed their way, and if by mistake, they walk the path crossed by the cat, the fear in their mind is so prominent that something bad surely happens with them, although the cat is not the reason of it.
4. Sweeping the floor in evening!
Sweeping the floor in the evening hours is said to be a taboo in Indian culture. They say it also brings bad luck in home, which is quite a peculiar way of making someone fearful of something, as a person gets what he thinks. If he thinks he is going to get something bad, he performs accordingly, and ends up in achieving that bad thing. The probable reason for our ancestors preventing us to sweep the floor at night time is if some valuable product gets swept away in the darkness of the night.
3. Teen Tigaada Kaam Bigaada
The meaning of this quote is “Three is Unlucky”. Just like The Number 13, 3 is also rendered to be unlucky in various sorts, like going to do some work in a group of 3 would surely give a negative output. That is why, it is said that 3 Tigaada, Kaam Bigaada.
2. Coconut Cracking
Before entering into the newly bought car, or before entering in your new house, before any such auspicious and joyful step, a coconut would be stroke on the ground with high force, so that it breaks into pieces. This is meant as a way of inaugurating a newly bought thing and praying for its longevity.
1. The One Rupee Story
You might have seen at weddings, that a wedding gift in thr form of cash is handed over to the bride’s/groom’s parents in a decorative envelope, having a 1 rupee coin taped in the front. This 1 rupee coin speaks more than it shows. In the envelope, one can simply insert a currency note of desired amount and the adjoining 1 rupee would render it to be a Shagun or a wedding gift for the happiness of the family. That 1 rupee is what differentiates a simple note from Shagun.
In the end, I would like to tell everyone what I think these superstitions actually mean. They are nothing but a small portion of our mind, that force us to take the job we are doing in some other way. These superstitions just divert our mind from the path described by us, which leads to distortion of the task or the in completion of the task, which is devised by our mind as a consequence of that superstition.