Corey writes:

India is a superstitious country. The U.S. is not. Since moving here we've been exposed to lots (and lots) of superstitious advice, most of it health-related. While we appreciate the sentiment behind the advice, sometimes it can be hard to swallow.

We got one of our first tastes of Indian superstition when there was a solar eclipse. Here's some other examples of superstitions that have been voiced by our friends:

  • Don't cut your nails or hair on the day of the week that you were born.
  • If you are a woman and your first child is a boy, you can't cut your nails or hair on a Friday. For the rest of your life.
  • If you're the eldest son, you can't go to any burial grounds while your parents are alive.

As the woman of the house, I think Gina gets the brunt of the health-related advice. I just get to sit in the corner and snicker. Some of the advice we've gotten includes:

  • Don't eat curd (yogurt) after dark, or you'll get a cold.
  • Don't wear wet hair up, or you'll get a cold.
  • Two spoonfuls of curd (yogurt) a day will cure diabetes.
  • Doing yoga every day will cure diabetes.

You get the picture.

Finicky, unfamiliar machines like computers can also have their own set of superstitions. I've worked with them long enough to know they can be frustrating and confusing even to someone who knows them. One time when I was trying to troubleshoot a tough computer problem, the person said "I've got it! I know how to fix it!" and proceeded to vigorously dust the system by slapping it with a rag. The problem remained.

Another interesting superstition is the puja. Just about everything new seems to be liable to a good puja-ing including motorcycles, houses, and computers. We've gotten one new computer in the office since I've been here. I unboxed it, set it up, all black and shiny and new. The next day I came in and there was yellow and red paste smeared on the computer, the monitor, and the keyboard. However, that particular computer hasn't had any problems yet. (Knock on wood)