What is it that prevailed even during the time of our forefathers and still manages to exist?
What is it that has no racial, communal, religious or national boundaries?
What is it that cannot be seen but is still believed to be there?
“If a black cat runs across someone’s path, it is believed; the person will either meet with an accident or fail in his mission.”
What is it, a superstition?
Yup you got that right, I’m talking about superstitions!
Superstitions cut across all boundaries; racial, communal, religious and national. People all over the world, regardless of their cast, community, religion and region, have superstitions. Just like angels and demons, they cannot be seen but was prevalent even during the time of our forefathers and, to date, are still believed to be there. They have originated due to the presence of human fear; their urge for security and welfare and their want for more.
In the west, one of the most famous and well-known superstitions is the ill-luck which number thirteen, 13, is supposed to bring. Also, in the west, passing from under the ladder is considered unlucky (I remember my aunt yelling at me over it).
The most impractical superstitions are prevalent in South Asia.
i) The black cat myth (already mentioned above).
ii) Hooting of the owl is supposed to bring disaster in the neighbourhood, or to the particular house he is sitting on.
iii) Cawing of the crow indicates the arrival of the guests.
iv) A dog wailing outside; foreshadows death.
v) Sight of an empty vessel while going out of the house is supposed to bring failure.
vi) If one sneezes, when someone else is getting ready to go out to accomplish a task and the person going out heard the sneeze, he is likely to fail.
vii) People don’t like to be called back from behind and questioned while they are setting out for some work.
viii) Women’s braids are hung at the back of vehicles in order to ward off the evil eye.
ix) A newly built house has to ward off the evil. This is done by hanging on the facade of the house an ugly, fearsome face, usually painted black.
No matter how silly or creepy they may sound, people still believe in them. Some of the superstitions are, however, supposed to bring about good luck. Like;
i) Finding of a horse shoe and carrying it along, is considered to bring good luck with it.
ii) If you find a daisy with odd number of petals on it, it is said to bring good luck for the founder.
iii) A dream with a white cat in it brings about good luck for the dreamer.
A strange fact about superstitions is that even when most of them do not come true; people persistently cling to them and continue to believe on them.
Unlike good superstitions, bad superstitions fill men with unwanted anxiety and unnecessary fear, primarily affecting their performance and eventually leading to nervous strain. However you may choose to say NO to all of that and better be practical.
(Because the cat says so)