I spent the early part of my teenage years in the east. Whenever i go to the village back then, there were some things that were a no-no for the children there. I had to learn these things fast as ignorance was no excuse. Children used to take these things really seriously and some adults too.
These were beliefs that had been imbibed, knowingly or unknowingly into the hearts of the people and the young generation were growing with these beliefs.
Superstition is basically having a belief that an activity will have a negative or positive effect on one’s life
I remember some of them.
1. Noone should cross over the outstretched legs of a child sitting on the floor else the child wouldn’t grow taller than he/she already was. If you mistakenly crossed over, you had to cross back to neutralize the ‘shortening’ jazz *like seriously?*
2. No pounding (in the mortar) or sweeping at night else you would be calling on the spirits
3. Putting a finger in the inside of your cheeks and removing it forcibly to produce a ‘pop’ sound was prohibited at night as it called on snakes *how on earth!*
4. Beating a child with a broom was going to make the child short
5. Hitting your left foot against a stone signified something bad about to happen
6. Having a black cat pass the front of your house spelt doom
7. Having an owl cry close to your house at night signified someone was about to die
8. Having the inside of your palm scratch you meant someone was going to dash you money
9. Having your eyelids quiver meant you would see someone you hadn’t seen in a long time
10. Sneezing 3 times consecutively meant someone was calling your name somewhere. (even if na catarrh dey worry you!)
These are the ones i can remember for now.
Looking back now, i take it that some of these things were tricks the older people used to keep the younger ones in check. I don’t know what they had in mind for number 1 above but number 2 was probably to make us pound the stuff for food early enough before night so that cooking will be faster. Also sweeping where we were supposed to sweep before nightfall (Which were regular chores we had to do back then). Number 3 was probably to stop us from making that irritating popping sounds in the evening when the elders were resting from the day’s work. Number 4 was probably to prevent us from ruining another’s skin with the welts that brooms can leave.
This is because i don’t want to actually believe that the adults believed these things themselves!
As for the rest of them, i have no idea where those came from!
Looking back now, i can only laugh at some of the things i actually believed could happen.
Share with us some of the superstitions you also know about – those you have out grown and those you still kind of believe in.