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Superstitions will live on

2018-07-04 19:22     女人     来自:环球时报GlobalTimes
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"You should not wear a green hat in China," a Chinese friend told me one day. Wearing a green hat implies that your spouse or significant other is cheating on you. What an absurd superstition I thought.

I have unknowingly gifted a clock and even white flowers to some of my Chinese friends, but they did not die. Instead, they have given birth to cute babies.

This makes me compare China with my own country, India. The two most populous nations have over 5,000 years of history, and both are home to countless superstitions. Superstition is a belief in something not justified by reason or evidence. Some consider India a mysterious and superstitious country.

India has many age-old superstitions and a plethora of gods and goddesses. For example, hanging a lemon and seven green chilies is considered auspicious before the start of any new venture because the goddess of misfortune likes sour, pungent and hot things. If her hunger is satisfied, she will not harm you.

Also, if a black cat passes your path, it's a bad omen. When this happens, you must let someone else pass before you so that the bad luck is transferred.

Putting a little black dot on the forehead of a child is very common in India to ward off the evil eye.

At weddings and special occasions, Indians would also gift money like the Chinese, but it won't be 100, 500 or 1,000. It has to be 101, 501 or 1,001. We add one rupee coin to the entire sum to make it an odd number and hence indivisible. An indivisible number is considered good for the newly married couple because it means they can't be divided.

Also, married women fast an entire day for the long life of their husbands.

A common superstition across the world is the unlucky number 13, but it's the number four in China. Eight is not auspicious in India. But it's the luckiest number in China.

Times are changing. More people are questioning superstitions. But the older generation still refuses to question their rationality and continues to live in blind faith. Therefore, be it in China or India, superstitions will continue to be passed down from generation to generation whether we like it or not.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.