In My Culture, We Believe...
Start writing a post

Growing up, I'm sure we have all been told some old wives tales or superstitions from our cultures. Whether we were told to teach us a lesson, scare us, or just to pass down a common cultural belief, here are a few. I'll go first:

I am of Haitian descent and my mother used to tell me that playing with your shadow causes nightmares and that following deceased people in your dreams into light, or just generally allowing them to blindly lead you somewhere, will cause you to die soon as well.

To this day I still do not play with my shadow.


"I have a lot. African-American households teach that if your foot gets swept by a broom, then you'll go to jail, but if it gets mopped, you won't get married. If you waste salt and don't clean it up, a witch will come and sit on you while you are asleep. If your palm itches, you're about to get money.

This one is famous: On New Years, if the first man that walks in a household has no money in his pockets, that house will be poor the whole year. And if your ear is twitching, that means someone is talking about you. One more: if a little kid doesn't like a pregnant female, that means the gender of the baby is the same as the kid's."


"My Cuban grandmother used to say that sleeping with wet hair causes you to get sick. She also only bathed us [me and my siblings] in this perfume called Royal Violetas because it's for Angel's protection."


"I'm Mexican and my mother's variation of the wet hair superstition was that falling asleep with my hair wet will cause grey hair."


"I'm Spanish. My mom told me the humidity would cause my brain to rot, smh; the scare tactics..."


"African. If you're in the house by yourself and you hear someone call your name, don't respond- if you do, you'll die.

I tried it... nothing happened."


"In Cuba, the older folk say if you're in a rocking chair and you get off and it's still rocking, the oldest person in the house dies. Also, I was told if one of those big flies fly around, visitors are coming.

My grandmother did that Royal Violetas perfume ritual as well."


"I'm Jamaican and have always been told that dreaming of fish means someone around me is pregnant."


"I'm Jamaican as well and the variation of the 'hearing your name called out' supersition I was taught was if you hear someone calling your name in the pitch dark while you are on the street, don't answer and don't stop. It is the Devil trying to steal your soul."


"If this counts, in theater culture we're always told to never say MacBeth while in the theater because the play is cursed. If we need to refer to it, we'll just say 'The Scottish Play.' There was a way to reverse it- I think it was to turn backwards three times while chanting something- but I'm not sure because I'd never let it get that far." ***

***Apparently the correct way to reverse the curse is to turn three times, spit over your left shoulder and recite an appropriate line from a different play.

To top everything off, my mother has also taught me that looking a zombie or apparition in the eyes will cause paralysis, don't follow a mermaid or any sexually and visually appealing entity into a body of water because she'll swim you down deep and drown you, and to not leave empty pots on your stove and have guests over or else tragedy shall strike. (In case you're wondering, the tragedy she specified was it gives your guests permission to kill you.)

Needless to say, many of the superstitions listed above are not restricted to just the specified culture; many of them exist in other cultures whether it be verbatim, or in some variation.

I'm sure the root of most of them was our families just want us to have good manners, good hygiene, and impeccable mind-your-business abilities.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection


Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments