A friend of mine asked me about my shoe size, as her newly bought shoes weren’t working for her. I told her I’ll take them since they’re the perfect fit, “I’ll take them off you, but what can I give you in return?”
That’s when she said, “Well, in Pakistan we have a saying never gift used shoes, even if they’re worn once, it ruins your relationship.”
So I asked “Well, I must give you something, I wouldn’t want to ruin our friendship?”
That’s when we got into conversation about different superstitions.
My mother always reminded me never to gift your partner a tie as it would bring your relationship to an end.
“But how about if you want to help with his wardrobe?”
“Well, tell him to lose the tie!” she’d say.
I recently received pearls as a birthday gift and was quite excited to wear them for a dinner. As I wore them with my black dress, a family member asked where I got them from, if they were gifted or bought. Let’s just say sadly the pearls sit at the bottom of my jewelry box. When you are gifted pearls you will always have tears.
An interesting thing I learned when I studied in Toronto, Canada was something from my Greek friends. You never walk out the door you came in. I found myself one day walking in from the back door because I heard the clan having a BBQ at the back, but when it was time to leave and it got dark I was on my way out from the front when I was stopped.
“Which way did you come in?” I was asked in concern.
“From the back this afternoon.”
I got a look of surprise and was told to please walk out the same way in, as it is bad luck.
That wasn’t all. I remember nights where I’d see my friend’s mother running out to grab the hanging laundry before sunset. I watched in excitement, wondering the linen was still damp.
“It’s a superstition; the bad spirits may touch our belongings if they stay hanging out after dark.”
During my time living in Austria, it was said that when you cling your glass with someone to cheer, you should at all times make eye contact or receive seven years of bad luck.
Seven years! That’s a long time. Who made these rules? How did superstitions begin?
What about all the other things: breaking a mirror, spilling the salt, walking under a ladder or watch a black cat pass your path? Do I have bad luck? Because I assure you I’ve done all the above and I’m perfectly happy.
(Please send your superstitions to Nadia Idriss Mayen, Executive Producer of Web TV at Al Arabiya English, at: email@example.com)