Good Luck Superstitions | Dartmouth Folklore Archive

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Superstition 1:

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Item: “If a glass breaks, that means evil is leaving your house and good luck is on its way.”

General Information:

  • Customary Folklore, Sign Superstition
  • English
  • Pakistan

Informant Data:

  • Sheherzad is from Lahore, Pakistan. She spent the first 18 years of her life there before coming to Dartmouth College. She identifies as Punjabi.

Contextual Data:

  • This is a sign superstition that is common in Pakistan. This superstition is followed whenever glass breaks in someone’s home.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

  • “A glass breaking in your house means good luck is coming your way. Obviously you can’t just break your glass it doesn’t work. If you break glass intentionally then it doesn’t work that way but if you accidentally break some glass that means evil is leaving your house and good luck is going to come.”

Informant’s Comments:

  • When glass breaks, this signifies the leaving of evil spirits from the household.

Collector’s Comments:

  • Given that breaking glass is usually a negative event, this is superstition is the opposite of what I expected. It would seem that glass breaking would symbolize bad luck, but her explanation is an interesting take on this event, and was corroborated by another informant.

Collector’s Name: Edric Wung

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Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary Superstition, Good Luck, Pakistani superstition

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Superstition 2:

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Item: If you want good luck, give money to the poor.”

General Information:

  • Customary Superstition, Magic Superstition
  • English
  • Pakistani

Informant Data:

  • Saleha Irfan is from Lahore, Pakistan. She is Punjabi and has spent her entire life in Pakistan.

Contextual Data:

  • Saleha believes superstitions are prevalent in Pakistan. Saleha considered herself a believer of superstitions growing up but does not currently subscribe to those superstitions. This superstition is like charm and it is followed at any time when an individual may want good luck in Pakistan.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

  • “For good luck there is this concept of basically you give donations and it increases your blessings because the more you give the more it multiplies.”

Informant’s Comments:

  • By giving money to the poor, you increase your blessings. Essentially, if you do good things for others, good things will happen to you. The more you give, the more your blessings multiply.

Collector’s Comments:

  • When you accumulate good karma, good things are more likely to happen to you. Philanthropy like this is common in all cultures and reflect the good-will of the donor.

Collector’s Name: Edric Wung

Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary Superstition, Good luck, Pakistani superstition

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Superstition 3:

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Item: “If a bird poops on your head, you will have good luck.”

General Information:

  • Customary Superstition, Sign Superstition
  • English
  • Pakistan

Informant Data:

  • Heder Hayat is from Lahore, Pakistan. He has lived there all his life and identifies as Punjabi. He attends school at Dartmouth College and is an undergraduate student.

Contextual Data:

  • Heder does not believe in the superstition but he explained this superstition is often said throughout Lahore. It is used after a good poops on someone’s head, and it is very uncommon. Culturally, it is prevalent in Pakistani and in Indian culture which is very interesting.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

  • “There’s also a thing back home that if a crow or any bird takes a dump and it hits the top of your head, that means good luck. I didn’t believe in it but that is something that is said around and talked about. I remember once I got hit in the head by crow poop and i didn’t know if i should be happy or not.”

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Informant’s Comments:

  • One time a raven pooped on Heder’s head, and his mom told him that it was good luck. Ever since this moment, he has believed in this superstition, but now Heder does not believe in the superstition. He explained this superstition is often said throughout Lahore. When the raven pooped on his head he didn’t know how to feel. Although it seemed like the event was unlucky, he remembered his mother’s words. Now, he doesn’t subscribe to it.

Collector’s Comments:

  • This is very similar to the superstition my mom told me while I was growing up. Like Heder, a bird pooped on my head and my mom told me to buy a lottery ticket because good luck would come my way. This may be because the probability of a bird pooping on someone is so small that it must be a sign of good luck.

Collector’s Name: Edric Wung

Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary Superstition, Good luck, Pakistani superstition

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Superstition 4:

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Item: “If your right palm is itchy, you are about to become rich.”

General Information:

  • Customary Superstition, Sign Superstition
  • English
  • Pakistani

Informant Data:

  • Sheherzad is from Lahore, Pakistan. She spent the first 18 years of her life there before coming to Dartmouth College. She identifies as Punjabi.

Contextual Data:

  • Sheherzad believes that superstitions play a big role in Pakistan regardless of social class–even the educated, upper class is very superstitious. She also considers herself superstitious even though she understands they are illogical. This superstition can take place at any time one’s palm itches.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

Transcript of Associated File:

  • “If your right palm or both of your palms are itchy that means you are going to have good luck in the sense you will be come very rich.”

Informant’s Comments:

  • Sheherzad is unclear on why this superstition is true, but she believes it nonetheless. She doesn’t see any harm in believing in it.

Collector’s Comments:

  • Again we see that the right side is usually preferred to the left side. Hindu culture seems to have penetrated many Pakistani superstitions, and is reasonable given India’s close proximity to India.

Collector’s Name: Edric Wung

Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary Superstition, Good Luck, Pakistani Culture

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