Whistling in the dark and other superstitious beliefs that have people in Nigeria quaking in their boots
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Cape Town – Superstitions are often passed down from generation to generation and can often cause near paralysing fear of something which is considered ’normal’ to other people.
Merriam-Webster defines superstition as
1a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation
b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary
One example of a superstition which my mother passed down to me was that we needed to put a thick covering (like a blanket) over the windows of our home during a thunderstorm. To this day I do this.
It got me thinking about superstitions in other countries, and I stumbled on a few in Nigeria.
Here are seven superstitions which are widely held in Nigeria:
Eating in the dark – It is believed that if you eat in the dark, you could be giving room to the dead to eat with you and this could lead to your death or grave ailments, writes Pulse Nigeria.
Whistling at night means you are inviting evil spirits – A majority of Nigerians believe that when you whistle at night, you are inviting evil spirits. That’s why till this day, many people avoid whistling at night.
Sleeping face up – According to Pulse Nigeria, many Nigerians believe that if you sleep face up it is the best position for spirits to have access to your body and soul.
Placing knives or cutlasses at the doorpost – It is also believed that when they place knives or cutlasses (short sword with slightly curved blade) at a doorpost, it drives away evil spirits and witches.
Putting eyelashes in your parents’ shoes – Another superstitious belief in Nigeria is that If you put your eyelashes in your parent’s shoes, they will forget the offence you committed.
Disposing of fingernail clippings – When you cut your fingernails, make sure it’s disposed of thoroughly or your destiny is at stake, according to the website Hello World Magazine.com.
Lending of money – Another Nigerian superstitious belief is that if you lend someone money too early in the morning, it is bad luck.
African News Agency (ANA)