In a country as diverse as India, there are so many religions and as we know, every religion has popular myths and beliefs. It’s not that religion creates superstitions, but religion itself is a major factor influencing them. Every Indian child grew up listening to the most bizarre beliefs that everyone was supposed to follow. And even though we know that there are no scientific, logical reasons to explain them and that we could do a lot better without any of them, there’s no stopping from believing them.
We’ve heard so many superstitions so we decided to compile a list of the most baffling ones we have grown up listening to!
1) If a black cat crosses your path, it’s bad luck!
Not a white one, but a black one. Racist much? How can you possibly relate an animal crossing your path to bad luck? This is one absurd superstition every Indian has heard in their lives, and people still tend to believe it!
2) “Bribing God” will bring you success in your endeavours.
Before exams or important occasions, people bribe god. “Please pass us in the examinations and we will dedicate sweets worth a particular amount to you!” Was a simple prayer that difficult? Why would anyone bribe the almighty?
3) Having fish/sea food with a milk product could give you Vitiligo.
The good old belief that we have heard at ALL times. If only people knew that Vitiligo occurs due to absence of certain pigments from your body and not due to consuming of milk products and sea food combinations. If only!
4) The Number 13
We’ve been hearing this one for years! The number 13 is considered to be so unlucky that the city of Chandigarh doesn’t have a sector 13. Friday the 13th’s are also considered to be bad and unlucky days.
5) Cutting nails after sunset
There was no electricity in the olden days, hence people refrained from cutting nails after sunset because of the darkness. Ever since, people have come up with stories about how you can get attacked by evil spirits and terrors of the night if you cut your nails after sunset. We wonder why cutting nails would make ghosts want to attack us.
6) Menstruating women are considered impure and unclean.
In India, a woman on her period is not allowed to visit temples, mosques and is considered unclean. We don’t understand.
So, a rapist, a molester, a murderer and a criminal can visit a holy place but a menstruating woman cannot. And this is just another belief created to subordinate the position of women in society, as if there weren’t enough already.
7) Twitching Of The Eye Is Inauspicious!
Twitching of the eye is lucky or unlucky, depending on which culture we’re referring to. Apparently, these twitches are nature’s way of warning a person about some impending problem or indicative of some good news on the way.
8) Sweeping the house after sunset brings you poverty.
This is another popular belief in India. If you sweep your house after sunset, Goddess Lakshmi will walk out of the house and hence, invite poverty. Say whaaaat?
9) Hairfall/ Fallen strands in the house brings fight to the family.
Once again, a widely known myth that Indians believe in. They believe that if there’s hair fallen in your house, it will create fights in the family. How this myth came about is still a mystery.
10) Pregnant Women are forbidden from going out during Eclipse
Indian myths state that the sun is swallowed by a big bad demon and that pregnant women should avoid going out at such times so that their children are not born with any deformities. However, the reason behind this superstition can be scientific. For example, one should avoid going out during an eclipse in order to keep away from the harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer.
You can’t change mentalities and you can’t make people understand that all of these are just stories and not true. Life would be so much easier without having to worry if a black cat crosses your path, or if you swept the house or cut your nails after sunset. Or if you were born on the 13th, or if you were menstruating or pregnant and went out on an eclipse day. These beliefs are here and they’re here to stay.