ELI STUDENT VOICES
Volume 3, Issue 1 Spring, 1999
In my country there are a lot of superstitions; I will tell you about some
* It's considered bad luck to cross under the stairs.
* Like here in the USA, in my country the number 13 is abad lucky
number, but we have 13" floors on our buildings.
If you are walking or driving your car and a b lack cat crosses in
front of you, that is bad luck.
+ It's considered bad luck to break a mirror and if you do it you
have 7 years of bad luck.
+ On the other hand, it is considered good luck if you kill a frog
with your car.
Mall Oh- Uginn--Bolivia
One of the most famous superstitions in my country is that one that
you will have bad luck if you pass under the stairs.
Another is when you see a black cat you will have bad luck.
And another is when youbreak a mirror you will have seven years of
One curious superstition is when somebody died in a room and there is
a clock there, you must stop the clock.
Probably a universal superstition is to open an umbrella into a room. I
know a lot of people that avoid to do this.
Another superstition is ifablack cat crosses in front ofyou. The
meanings of this superstition is different in the US and England. I
think that in the US the meaning is bad luck, but in England it means
good luck (the reverse).
In Argentina, in the country if you found a horseshoe, you have to
bring it to your home, and nail it to the main door with the tips looking
at the ceiling. This means good luck and prosperity for the family.
* One of the most famous superstitions in my country is when you
open an umbrella inside a house. If you do that, you are going to
have bad luck.
+ Another superstition in my country is when a black cat crosses in
front of you, that is bad luck.
+ When you wake up with the left leg you are going to have abad
Brazil is a very big country in which each region has different
superstitions. For example, in Amazonas area, many birds are often
considered to be a warning about something. If abird called "ticotico"
sings a certain kind of song, it means that someone is coming to visit.
If another bird crosses over someone while singing it means that
someone nearby willbe sick or die. Some people tryto avoid the
doves singing on the roof. They believe that this song brings a course
of sickness on significant others.
Some people try to stop the involuntary trembling in the left side eye
because it is considered to bring sadness. The same in the opposite eye
is considered to bring happiness and, of course, people don't try to stop
In my country, some people still believe in superstitions. For example:
1. If someone would like to start something (work, new job, etc.), he
willbe optimistic if it's raining a little bit before he starts.
2. If a pigeon stands up outside someone's window, that means a
happy event will happen.
3. But if someone sees a blackbird, he will have a pessimistic
SUPERSTITIONS OF GOOD LUCK
Some of the more common superstitions of good luck are to eat 12
grapes according to 12 rings ofabell, or to dress in yellow cloth, as the
new year is coming. To do that means to get good luck for the next
year. Also, another superstition is to make a wish as the first star of
the night appears.
SUPERSTITIONS OF BAD LUCK
Walk under ladders is considered to get bad luck for that day. Also, if
a person breaks a minor, that person will get bad luck for 7 years.
Another superstition is to sit at the corner of a table; that means that
person willbe married.
In Israel we believe that if a person kills a spider it will give him bad
luck. If we see black cat, it willbring us bad luck. If a personbreaks
a mirror it will give him bad 7 years. If your shoes are upside down
you need to return them because it will bringbad luck.
Jf you are going to a new place like your new apartment, a new car, or
you get married, you need to walk inside with the right leg. When you
see a falling star you can ask for a wish and it will come true. We
believe the blue color is the lucky color. We believe 5 fingers (hand)
is for luck. And if you do something bad to take this out you need to
knock 3 times on wood.
Our superstitions say a lot about who we are, how we feel and think
about our world. Superstition is also a good example of a type of
belief that we can choose. Those who choose to believe find their
world delivering what they expect and those who don't are not affected.
I am going to talk about some superstitions in my country. Ecuador
has too much superstition, but one of the funniest and strangest that I
have heard is in the New Year time. For example, womenbelieve that
they ue yellow underwear exactly at midnight, they will have a really
good year. Other people at midnight usually take their traveling bags
and they run around their neighborhood. They do this because they
want to travel in the New Year. But the most common is when people
are burning all of the bad things that they have lived in the last year
and it does not happen in the new year again.
Fabiola Baez-- Colombia
If I need to write about superstition, I can see that in each country you
find these beliefs. Also, I think that we have the same superstition, like
the number 13, black cats, don't pass under a stairs, break a mirror, be
careful with the broom when someone is sweeping that they don't pass
over your feet. All of these superstitions are just beliefs that come
from generation to generation. In addition, each one could happen or
not, and when some of them happen to you, then you say it is true or
not. While it is just a belief, everybody and every country has
superstitions and some are universal, but you find people that believe
and others who do not.
In my county there's a lot of superstition, like for the New Year the
people wear read underwear to have a successful year of love, or they
eat 12 grapes andbefore you eat one you have to make a wish. An old
tradition is to "challar" a new house or business with many mixed
ashes, and this gives the house or the enterprise good luck and scares
the bad spirits. One old tradition and superstition is to bur messages
that people write to you and if youbum it it means that this message is
going to come true.
I think that superstition is a belief and a religious conviction. It maybe
cultural or personal. I grew up hearing about superstitions from my
parents, relatives, and other neighbors. Here are some well-known
1. It is a superstition not to leave a shoe upside down. It's said that
to leave a shoe upside down is to leave the door open for death.
2. To leave abroom b behind the door when you want aboringvisitor
to leave the house.
3. Not to sweep the dirt out the front door of your home because it is
said that you will sweep the luck away, too.
Ludhiana Bertonce lo--Brazil
Particularly I don't believe in superstition. However, in Brazil there
are many traditional superstitions.
A black cat crossing your pathbrings bad luck. Likewise, some people
avoid walking under a ladder be cause it can bring bad luck. There are
people who are afraid of breaking a minor. They think it brings seven
years of bad luck.
When the people are looking for good luck, they make a wish on a
falling star or cross their fingers. When the people say something bad,
they try to knock on some peace of wood to send out the bad luck and
bring good luck.
In Brazil, there's a singular superstition. I guess it only has in Brazil.
If you want your guests to go out ofyour home, you need to put a
broombehind the entrance door. Believe it or not, some people say
that it is true. Anyway, these superstitions are in people's minds. That
is what I believe.
An Eclipse in my City
Last year, I had the opportunity to live and enjoy a beautiful natural
phenomenon, a complete solar eclipse. I remember very well that day
because all the city was waiting for it excited.
The phenomenon happened on January 29 and only could be seen in
Maracaibo, my city. This was the last time that a total eclipse willbe
seen in this century. Probably in the next forty of fiftyyears, we can
see something similar, for important scientists from different countries
visited the city. Everybody was ready at home to live that wonderful
That day I got up early like every day in my life because I had to go to
work, and there ally my colleagues were hurrying up trying to finish
quickly. They did not want to be busy in the afternoon.
At 12pm, I decided to go home. When I was driving my car, I felt the
different atmosphere and a special energy involved everything and
everyone. I thought that the other people also could fe el the strange
energy, although they were not so hurried that they did not pay
attention to what was happening in that moment.
After that, I arrived home, and my family was met talking a lot about
the importance of the event. They were in the family room watching
the news on TV.
At 2:55pm, everybody ran to the garden for the eclipse would happen
at 3pm. My father ran looking for the video camera, my mother ran
also, but looking for me, my brothers and my sisters. After a while, all
the sky got dark, the temperature went down and a freshbreeze filled
the atmosphere. We saw the stars and two planets clearly, one of them
was Venus. I could see an energy, a special energy like mist, around
my body and the environment.
Finally the sun appeared, and that was beautiful, because the birds
were singing and flying like every morning. It was a sunset and a
sunrise in the middle of the day. Probably in the next years, I will see
a similar phenomenon, but this will always be in my memory. Perhaps
because it was the first time or for a special occasion with my family.