Superstitions are held by people from every walk of life; rich, poor, smart, not so smart. Many different people have superstitions. My Dad will not open an umbrella inside or walk under a ladder. I once had a British boyfriend who swore I better not step on grates in the sidewalk (I never found out why). My Mom forbids me to go out in the cold without being bundled up for fear I will fall ill. The list of illogical superstitions could go on.
Since I have been living in South Africa, I have heard a few new ones and I thought I should share a couple.
A good isiXhosa friend of mine recently told me the following while I looked at a picture book of her children:
Friend: “It is a shame my children don’t look like me”
Me: “What are you talking about? I think they look a bit like you.”
Friend: “No Sissie, it is my fault. You musn’t make the same mistake I did or your children wont look like you either.”
Friend: “It is my fault because when I was making the baby, I was enjoying myself so much, when he shot into me I closed my eyes. You musn’t shut your eyes when he shoots, or the children will look like him.”
Another African wives tale, as told to me by another isiXhosa friend:
“You shouldn’t have sex when you are pregnant, the sperm stays in you until you have the baby and then you will be pregnant immediately again.”
… and one more from one of my lovely African friends:
Me: “God, I have gained a lot of weight”
Friend: “Do you cook a lot sissie?”
Me: “Yeah, why?”
Friend: “Because if you smell too much food, you will gain a lot of weight.”