Monday, June 18, 2012

Superstitions

I don't consider wishing on a shooting star, superstitious.  It's just a wish upon a star.  That's all.  I did that all the time as a child and still continue to do so as an adult.  Whether my wish came true or not, I believed it would and I do it all the time whenever I gaze upon a shooting start.  It's a habit.

One night I was driving with my sister-in-law Sarah, and a "not-so-black" cat crossed the road.  To my surprise, she immediately pulled over to the side of the road.
I asked, "Why did you pull over?"
She answered, "Oh, I just want to wait it out a minute or two because that cat crossed the road".
I pointed out, "But the cat is not even black Sarah."
To which she replied, "I know, I just want to make certain no ill happenstance will occur if we keep on driving."  I just couldn't help but burst out laughing at this.

To Sarah, even though the requirement for this superstition that a cat has to be black to bring the bad omen to one, it didn't matter.  It can be a yellow, white and gray cat and she'd still pull over just to make sure nothing happens. 

An incident took place at my mother's funeral.  My stomach turns when I think about it but it took place nonetheless.  I entered my brother's house and saw my sister in deep conversation with a few older ladies.  Took my seat and what I heard blew me away.   My sister looked at me and informed me quietly:  "We have to go back to the Mortuary and take off mom's zipper from her dress and all the hairpins on her hair".  

Mind you, we spend sometimes at the funeral home fixing my mom's hair so she can look beautiful for her viewing.  I had to use hairpins to roll her little curly buns up on top of her head and put on her beautiful temple white dress.  She was ready to go!

It was a blow that had me reeling in anger first.  What the Bloody Hell!!!!   My mother will be rolling and screeching in her grave if we go back and rip that zipper off her dress and also took the hairpins out of her already beautiful hair!  (Of coure she's not in her grave yet but she's in her casket!  She'll roll and screech in there!)

I couldn't believe that these people are still clinging to superstitions that age back well over hundreds of thousands of years ago!   Are they kidding me?  Are you serious?  I looked at my sister in rage and couldn't believe she was even considering doing this.  It was too late, she looked like she had already made up her mind.  Then one of the ladies spoke to me.  This is Moala, Sarah's mom.

"Sela, please, you have to go and do this.  If you don't, there will be a bad omen that will befall your family.  It has happened before.  People had to go and dig out the grave to remove any kind of metal from the corpse to set things right.  You don't want to mess with this." She was almost practically pounding on her chest.  

I was speechless.  What do I have to say to that?  Never mind that this is the 21st century and we no longer believe in those tales.  Never mind that in this age and dispensation we have been enlightened by the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ and the devil be damned.  The lady believes we'll be cursed!  My sisters-in-law believes it and I was the only one hesitant to do it. 

Then she went on, "You have to go immediately and do this.  I don't want anything to happen to my grandchildren.  Promise me you'll do this!" 

Well if she puts it that way, what choice do I have.  I don't want my nieces and nephews to get sick and all fingers will be pointing at me, accusing me that it was my fault because I failed to go and cut the damn zipper from my mom's dress and remove every hairpin out of her hair.  In my mind I couldn't imagine going back to the Mortuary, cutting the zipper off and messing up my mom's hair.

Sadly, I had no other choice but to agree to it.  I'm such a pushover like that.  But ended up refusing to go and do it myself.  I told my sister, "You go and cut out mom's zipper and take the hairpins out.  I'm not going."  So, my sister and cousin Toli did the job.  Took a scissors, thread and a needle.  I called while they were doing it and she said that everything went easy and well.  Mom's hair remained the same even with the hairpins out. 

God forbid that they forget one hairpin in her casket.  I had to make sure, so I asked my sister, "Did you make sure you collected every one of those damn hairpins?"  
"Yes, I did.  I got all of it!"  

There are so many people who still clings to old omens and superstitions.  I hear all of it when I was growing up in Tonga:

Don't whistle at night, you're inviting the demons
Don't sweep your floor at night, it's not good.  Same reason as above
Don't open your umbrella inside the house, you'll go bald
Don't sleep with your head towards the door, you'll be welcoming the devil inside your home
If you dream of a wedding, there'll be a funeral in the family
If you dream of a funeral, it's vice-versa.
If you can't stop your eyelids from blinking, there'll be a funeral.
If a picture frame falls and crack, it's bad omen.  Funeral again.  
ETC ETC ETC.

What happened to my mom, is the first I've ever heard of such superstition.  



5 comments:

  1. Thanks for adding to my list of superstitions! Is your sister-in-law and her family also from Tonga? - Danica

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    1. Yes Danica. They are and our Tongan people are the winners in being superstitious. LOL

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  2. It's amazing how ingrained superstitions can become. I'm sorry you had to be upset at your mother's funeral.

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  3. Superstitions are powerful things. It all comes from the same thing. We want to feel that we can control things by our actions or inactions, instead of recognizing that God is in complete control.

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  4. I have never heard of that metal superstition. And good for you for sticking your ground and making the others go do it. But like you said- if people were that worried about it easier just to do it.

    And that is pretty funny about the cat.

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