Author Topic: Other people's superstitions  (Read 5491 times)

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cabbageweevil

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2013, 02:37:26 AM »
A bit of a "tangent"; but I find it interesting that in America, the saying and the action seem, universally, to be "knock on wood";  in the UK, where we have the same superstition, it's always "touch wood".  And in the UK, it's supposed to be lucky to encounter a black cat.

Thipu1

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2013, 10:48:25 AM »
A bit of a "tangent"; but I find it interesting that in America, the saying and the action seem, universally, to be "knock on wood";  in the UK, where we have the same superstition, it's always "touch wood".  And in the UK, it's supposed to be lucky to encounter a black cat.

And in my experience, the wood must be knocked on three times. 

The person who told me about reversing the black cat jinx by looking at something red was of Southern Italian origin.  that might have something to do with it. 

SiotehCat

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2013, 12:10:50 PM »
I also thought it was lucky to pass a black cat. If he lets me pet him, that's extra lucky. I also always thought the number 13 was lucky. I was born on the 13th, so that's probably where I got that from.

Some if my coworkers believe that sweeping over someone's feet is bad luck. I can't remember what happens if you sweep someone's feet, but there have been huge fights about it. I work in a very cramped area that requires a lot of sweeping, so this was a problem for a little while.

Judah

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2013, 01:46:30 PM »
I also thought it was lucky to pass a black cat. If he lets me pet him, that's extra lucky. I also always thought the number 13 was lucky. I was born on the 13th, so that's probably where I got that from.

Some if my coworkers believe that sweeping over someone's feet is bad luck. I can't remember what happens if you sweep someone's feet, but there have been huge fights about it. I work in a very cramped area that requires a lot of sweeping, so this was a problem for a little while.

My mother, a very superstitious lady, used to tell us that if you sweep over someone's feet that person will marry a widow/widower. I've never been sure if that's supposed to be a good or bad thing.

As to the OP, I wouldn't go out of my way to cater to someone else's superstition, but I wouldn't go out of my way to push their superstitious buttons either.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 02:13:19 PM by Judah »
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KenveeB

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2013, 02:02:19 PM »
I also thought it was lucky to pass a black cat. If he lets me pet him, that's extra lucky. I also always thought the number 13 was lucky. I was born on the 13th, so that's probably where I got that from.

I was born on Friday the 13th, so I always tell people that exempts me from superstitions. :)

Want the extended cool version? My dad asked my mom out on their first date on Friday the 13th, and the doctor who delivered me was also born on Friday the 13th. So it's a lucky day in my family!

mechtilde

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2013, 02:06:34 PM »
Superstitions have the potential for causing real upset for those who believe in them, so I do try to accomodate them.

For example. my SIL is very superstitious about green. I'd avoid wearing green at their house and wouldn't give her a green gift, but otherwise carry on with green as usual.
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Girlie

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2013, 02:31:23 PM »
I generally don't actually believe in superstitions, but I am still a participant. Part of it's just engraved in who I am, I guess.

I do knock on wood.
I don't wash clothes on New Year's Day (or else you'll wash someone out of your life in the next year), and my family prepares all of the "good luck" foods for New Year's - black eyed peas, greens of some sort, etc.  The first person walking in through the door is supposed to be a (preferably dark haired) handsome male.
I also try to make it a point to get wet in the first May rain (good health for the rest of the year). 
If I find an inch worm on my clothing, I leave him (unless he would otherwise be in danger), because to find one on you means he's measuring you for a new coat.
I love black cats and think they're beautiful, so I call them good omens.

Am I willing participant? Absolutely. I think they're fun.
Do I really believe them? Eh, it's hard to say. Some more than others. I don't REALLY think an inch worm means I'll get a new coat, but it's nice to say it. And for getting wet in the May rain - bet your bottom dollar, if it comes at three in the morning, my behind is staying cozy in bed where I'll be warm.

That being said, I think I'm pretty accepting of other people's superstitions, even when I don't understand them. I won't always honor something if it's a request that will make my routine or life much more difficult, but for the most part, they don't. I won't throw salt over my shoulder, for example, if I'm in a restaurant with another table seated behind me. I might do it if there was no one behind me. My family has never practiced the whole thing about spilling then throwing salt, so someone would have to pointedly ask me to do it.

Amava

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2013, 02:40:21 PM »
Oh, I just thought of one!
My in-laws seem to be a bit scared of giving someone knives, or scissors, or anything that cuts, as a present. They believe it will "cut ties" with this person. But they have a way to fend off this bad fate: the person who is given the cutting item, must "pay" them (symbolically, with a cent or so), so that it is a sale and not a gift. So for example when they gave me a new pair of hair scissors (ok you might think this is a weird gift but it was on my wish list), I gave them a eurocent and all was well.

This is a tradition more than anything but I do think they sort of believe giving "cutting" gifts is bad luck for the relationship. The last time they asked me for ideas for presents for my husband (under the christmas tree or so, I think) I pointed out there was a mezzaluna on his wish list that I hadn't bought yet and they hemmed and hawed and then finally came out with "but we've already given him a lot of things that cut, lately. We'd really rather not". So I think it's deeper than just the tradition of "you can fend it off by paying a cent" thing, but a real worry. Not sure.

Girlie

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2013, 03:11:00 PM »
Oh, I just thought of one!
My in-laws seem to be a bit scared of giving someone knives, or scissors, or anything that cuts, as a present. They believe it will "cut ties" with this person. But they have a way to fend off this bad fate: the person who is given the cutting item, must "pay" them (symbolically, with a cent or so), so that it is a sale and not a gift. So for example when they gave me a new pair of hair scissors (ok you might think this is a weird gift but it was on my wish list), I gave them a eurocent and all was well.

This is a tradition more than anything but I do think they sort of believe giving "cutting" gifts is bad luck for the relationship. The last time they asked me for ideas for presents for my husband (under the christmas tree or so, I think) I pointed out there was a mezzaluna on his wish list that I hadn't bought yet and they hemmed and hawed and then finally came out with "but we've already given him a lot of things that cut, lately. We'd really rather not". So I think it's deeper than just the tradition of "you can fend it off by paying a cent" thing, but a real worry. Not sure.

lol! That's another one of mine!

When my husband and I moved out of the house we were sharing with a roommate, we "sold" him a very nice knife set that I had bought for a penny. I would have given them to him, except it's bad luck.

Thipu1

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2013, 03:13:47 PM »
Speaking of 'cutting' superstitions, my ILS firmly believed that two people should not share a pear.  To them, to split a pear meant to split the pair.  If pears were going to be eaten, there had to be  a third person around to take a little piece. 

One Fish, Two Fish

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2013, 03:15:57 PM »
Crossing poles with someone means you should  say bread and butter.  If not, you'll fight with that person later.   I drive my family crazy with it.  They'll do it, and then they'll debate with me over the logic of it.  :D
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:10:18 PM by One Fish, Two Fish »
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Thipu1

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2013, 03:26:49 PM »
'Bread and butter' made me think of this.

  When two people said the same thing at the same time, one would say, 'bread and butter'.  The other would then say, 'What goes up a chimney?' the speaker of 'bread and butter' would answer, 'smoke'. Both parties would then say, 'May your wish and my wish never be broke'.

I know this sounds nuts but both children and adults went through the ritual when I was a child.     

bansidhe

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2013, 04:29:42 PM »
I was born on Friday the 13th, so I always tell people that exempts me from superstitions. :)

I was due on Friday the 13th but was born on Saturday the 14th. Apparently I was superstitious before I was born.
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Cami

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2013, 08:10:50 PM »
Hi

I have an aqaintance who doesn't like a fork and knife to cross, as the superstition is that you'll have a fight with a friend. She'll reach over the table and uncross our fork/knife when we're out to dinner. She's close enough that the rest of us just go along with it. LOL we've caught her a few times crossing her fork and knife on the plate and corrected the action.

So I would accomadate it where possible, but won't go over board with going out of my way. What's the expression "your priority does not mean its mine"??

Onlyme
There is no way she'd be touching my utensils or my plate after the first time.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Other people's superstitions
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2013, 06:43:01 AM »
Weird things which superstition has one say, in certain circumstances; in England, some people make a point of having the first thing they say on the first day of a month -- right when they get up -- be "rabbits", or "white rabbits". Doing this, is supposed to ensure that the month will be a lucky one for you.

More rabbit-related stuff: seafarers are of course famously superstitious -- pretty much throughout the British Isles, many (especially those on smaller craft) refrain from mentioning rabbits at any time when they're at sea: it's supposedly very unlucky. And as for actually having any rabbits on your vessel -- no way, it just doesn't happen. I wonder whether rabbits feature in superstition in America; or whether it's a purely British thing.