Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Incredible India: The land of superstitions!

by Arpit Gupta
India is a country where superstitions are all around. These are prevailing in the so-called “well-educated Indian society” also. Some have their base in religion and religion-related books, some have the base in the old scientific facts and many of them exist with no conceivable reason as such.

However still, Indian culture is very closely associated with these superstitious beliefs which have a great impact on a typical Indian’s livelihood. Here are the most common superstitious beliefs practised in India among almost all the sections of society:

1) The most common belief with no logical proof is that noone should cross a road which a black cat has crossed before. That’s because the person who first crosses the road would get his luck spoiled and would loose everything he/she has.

2) Another one is about the solar eclipses, which says that no one should venture out during the solar eclipse because those contain deadly rays which show the anger of God. Especially pregnant women are kept indoors to avoid any kind of deformity which may arise in the child about to take birth. In fact, some families avoid cooking or eating anything during the eclipse.

3) One of the most disappointing belief is that women during their menstruation cycle are considered impure and unclean. They are not allowed to enter in the kitchen. This might be called as a good thing to be as during menstruation, women loose lot of blood and become weak so they must be kept away from such manual works. But this step seems something done to subordinate the position of women in the society and probably supports the dominance of males.

4) A common belief seen every day in Indian households is the cutting of nails and hair only on particular days of the week. People say that it’s a sin to cut nails and hair on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Moreover, it is also said that nails should not be cut after sunset .

5) In India, “neg” (present) is given on every pleasant occasion. It is believed that the amount of money presented should always end in 1. It is considered auspicious to add 1 rupee in the amount if the money being given as a present. That is why envelopes in India already come with one rupee coin on them.

6) If someone has visited India once, he or she would have noticed the string of lemon and chillies on the doors of the shops, homes, and offices. These are believed to save from the evil eye and bring good luck. It is believed that the Goddess of poverty likes sour and spicy things so these lemon and chillies satisfy her and she doesn’t harm the person who hangs the lemon and chillies (usually 7 in number).

7) Peepal trees are believed to be the abode of ghosts and spirits. Everyone avoids going there at night. Something disastrous is believed to happen if someone goes near peepal tree during night and people say that the person going near the tree is likely to be killed by the ghosts residing in it.

8) A person born under the influence of Mars is called “Manglik”. People avoid marrying such persons as they are believed to cause marital discord and divorce, sometimes even death. However, it is said that if two such persons marry then the effect of the “mangal dosh” gets cancelled and they can live happily.

9) Snakes are believed to drink milk. On the occasion of a festival called Nagpanchami, snakes are captured and forcefully fed milk as it is considered auspicious. Due to this, a large number of snakes die annually in India.

These are some of the common beliefs which are seen in India and can probably be accounted as the reason behind society’s backwardness. People with great degrees of study are somewhere lagging behind due to this reason. This needs to be changed through a gradual process to clear the way of overall growth and development. If you remember some of the superstitions in India, you are most welcome to add up your comments.

Arpit is a undergraduate student pursuing Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Roorkee. His twitter handle is: @Arpit2476667

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