One of the most intriguing parts of being in an interracial/intercultural marriage has been learning about my spouse’s cultural superstitions and customs. In the African-American community, we uphold many of the superstitions and customs that are prevalent in America. Such as?
Superstitions And Customs I Grew Up With
1.) Don’t intentionally break a window or mirror as it is back luck. And doing so will cause you 7 years of bad luck.
2.) Don’t sweep the bottom of the broom with your feet/don’t let the broom touch your feet as you sweep. This is also bad luck. To make sure you don’t have bad luck if this does happen you must lightly spit on the broom bristles. Yes, you read that right!
3.) If the palm of your hand is itching, it doesn’t mean your skin is merely itching, it means that money is heading your way. Happy dance! This isn’t a bad superstition. If only, money did come your way every time your palms itched, huh?
4.) Don’t point your finger at a burial site as this is also bad luck. If you do, unfortunately do so, then immediately bite your finger as this will end any bad luck coming your way.
5.) Don’t place your purse on the ground unless you want your money to leave you.
Funny enough, these are all things I had to tell my husband about because he had never heard of any of these before. And likewise he had to teach me about some of his cultural superstitions and customs. Like what? Here are 5 interesting Indian superstitions and customs that I decided to unravel a bit more.
5 Interesting Indian Superstitions And Customs Explained
1.) Gifting money or a check for an Indian event/festivity/wedding/occasion has to be in odd numbers and never even numbers? Why? It is basically a blessing. Let the money not stop with what the person gift’s but let it increase. ‘0’ signifies the end while ‘1’ signifies the beginning. If you are giving a cash or a check gift, make sure you follow the tradition of adding $1 to the sum. This practice is considered wishing the receiver good luck, prosperity, and happiness. Some also believe that ending a sum in zero is too stable, driving neither decline nor growth. So, by adding $1 to their gift amount they are showing a positive trend which is meant to wish the receiver growth. This is often time practiced at weddings. By gifting the couple x amount plus $1, you are wishing them growth and prosperity in their marriage. The addition of $1 is also seen as a good omen, the beginning of a new cycle. It, also makes the sum an odd number which is indivisible (to a whole number), which is considered a blessing for the married couple.
2.) Don’t wrap gifts in white or black wrapping paper as these colors denote sorrow and lack; they are unlucky colors. Instead always use colorful wrapping paper like red, green, orange, yellow etc.
3.) Don’t place books on the floor as it means that knowledge will leave you. And never place your foot on a book or walk on a book because the feet are the dirtiest part of the body.
4.) Don’t use your left hand for eating as it is unsanitary. What? Why? Well, in Indian/South Asian culture the left hand is considered unclean and is customarily used for going to the bathroom.
5.) Don’t wear shoes upon entering the house. Why? Well across Asia the act of being barefoot inside the home is done for health benefits. Being barefoot allows your pressure points to be stimulated. When confined in shoes all day, your feet do not have the chance to breathe, stretch and feel.
Moreover, Hindu people believe that gods reside in their house. Hindu people have some sort of prayer room within their house. This implies that they regard their houses as the temples. Hence, entering houses in shoes is not an acceptable norm. So, if one is to step inside the house in their shoes, it is a sign of disrespect to the god. And, it is this fear of angering the god that forbids Hindu people from entering houses in shoes. Furthermore, shoes are generally made out of leather which is regarded as an impure substance by the Hindu religion.
Bonus: Never open a gift you have received in front of the person that has given it to you. Wait until they are no longer present.
What superstitions and customs have you learned since being friends with, dating, or being married to someone of another culture? Share them below! useful?
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