Global superstitions

By Alena Khabibullina
Special to The Dialog

It’s funny how superstitious people can be! A poor black cat crossing one’s path seems to be a common superstition for everyone no matter their religion or nationality. We dream up lucky numbers, colours, and days of the week. We wear amulets.

People want to be fluky and successful but the feel of fear never leaves them. Through these self-restraints and limits they believe they can control the reality of the little world they live in.

He could be a great award-winning hockey player, huge, handsome, and extremely popular but never shave his beard before the game.

She could be a beautiful, successful woman but the ring left on the night table is a sign of bad luck for the upcoming day.

Why do we believe in superstitions? Is it a cultural or personal prejudice? We decided to find out asking students of George Brown College about their superstitions before exams.

Elliot Tubis, 24, from Canada never consumes milk two days before an exam as he strongly believes that cows have low IQ that can negatively influence on his work. “Actually I don’t have many superstitions except, let’s say, one being very popular in Canada – never walk under the ladder! I think it is more cultural thing, as my father from Russia doesn’t believe in it. He has another superstition – never come back home if you forgot something. It was a funny story when he forgot his work papers on the table at home. My mother had to drive to meet him on his way to the office to pass the documents”.

Andrey Gomes, 25, of Indian origin believes that to have your shoes lay upside down causes bad luck. “I don’t want to talk about it, but what I can say is that if you see the shoe flipped upside down it’s a must to turn it over. This is something that I have had the habit of doing since I was small.” It was a superstition that he grew up with because it was known to bring bad luck if an upside down shoe was ignored.

Xianyi, 23, is from China and doesn’t have any prejudices but she told us a story of her friend bringing her favorite plush toy rabbit to every single exam. “It could be ok, if that rabbit wouldn’t be so big. Sometimes it seemed that it is almost her height”.

Gemma Cruz, 28, is from the Philippines and eats peanuts before the exams while her friend Amy Tchang, 21, who is British, consumes bananas as the girls believe in mystery effect of these products on their brain’s working capacity.

But nothing could compare with superstitions of Somchanok Aimwijan, 29, from Thailand who told us that it was common in her high school to see students running circles around the stadium if they got a good grade.

There could be only one conclusion: so many people, so many superstitions!

Students! Don’t be superstitious! The successful exam formula is simple: hard work, good sleep and listen to Stevie Wonder’s song Superstition. Turn it on right now!


Global superstitions