10 Syrian Superstitions
As most of you know, the family you grow up with is the first environment you experience. They are the first people you meet and the first you interact with, our first teachers to life, to habits and to what is considered the right way according to their own standards.
I remember when I was a kid how my mother used to tell me not do this or that, and when I ask her why, her response usually that this is what her mother used to tell her. And even though her response is not really convincing or satisfying, I do as she says in case she was right!
Then when I started to know more friends and acquaintances within my environment, I realized that their mothers used to say the same things of do & don’t, some as finding the evil eye charms in every house around Syria to protect it from envy.
There is a very long list to share but i will start with ten for now:
- Step with the right foot when entering a new home: if you are visiting a new place and in order to bring blessing to that place, you should enter with your right foot first.
- Don’t whistle at night: it was believed that whistling at night time attract bad spirit or the jinn.
- Don’t open an umbrella inside the house: Opening an umbrella inside the house will bring death to that place.
- Don’t open and close scissors on emptiness: if someone is opening and closing the scissor’s blades on empty space and not to cut something, this will cause fights and unwanted arguments inside that place.
- Don’t cut your nails after sunset: because this will attract the jinn to the house.
- The crows caw: it was believed that if a crows is cawing loud and close to a person, that person will hear or know of someone’s death.
- Say “Assalamu Alaikum” when entering an empty house: it was believed that even if the house it empty of humans, it is possible that there are angels protecting the house, and we should say a salutation to them.
- Say “distour” when pouring hot water into a sink: in case there’s a jinn inside the pipes of the sink, we say the word distour before pouring any hot liquid to notify the jinn to move away and avoid burning and upsetting it.
- Don’t leave your footwear flipped upside down: as it is disrespectful to God when we leave the footwear bottom facing the sky where is heaven and God.
- Knocking on wood: to keep the good luck and prevent envy.
As far as I know, these superstitions were always there circulating from one generation to another, there is no written history that explains how these superstitions begun, who started it and why!
I was always curious to know the story behind them and how they turned into beliefs to some, but since it is a word of mouth, it will be hard to track it and get to the bottom of it, we can only take it as it is, as our ancestors did before us.
And even though when I grew up I knew that it was only superstitions and has no powers, I find it hard to let go of some of them since it was planted in my actions during my growing up years to become part of my habits, so you find me for example always flipping back my footwear for the bottom to face the ground.