The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Different cultures display myriad of superstitions, beliefs

A mirror smashes to the ground and breaks, a black cat crosses someone’s path and they walk under a ladder, an umbrella is opened indoors.

These events have all been considered omens of misfortune in the United States, while finding a penny on the ground and carrying a horseshoe or a rabbit’s foot are signs of good luck.

There are similar superstitions and beliefs that come from other regions.

Michelle Merza, who is a Filipina, said one of their superstitions is when a family sits down to eat together and one person at the table gets up and leaves before another is finished, it brings bad luck.

To counter this, the person leaving the table must first turn their plate around in a full circle.

“People are raised into it (superstition), I guess,” Merza said.

In Egyptian culture, Meena Eskander, 18, said that they believe in the “evil eye.”

If someone gives a compliment to another person, they may really be jealous of the person and wish bad luck on them.

To repel the evil eye, people carry a certain stone. Eskander said he’s even heard of people who insult each other to avoid giving the evil eye.

These students also said there is a belief that stepping into a room with the right foot first is good luck.

“Superstition is not in our vocabulary,” Steve Rosales, president of the Native American Club, said.

He said that “superstition” is more of a western European term. American Indians believe in what others consider an animistic religion, but Rosales said that the American Indians don’t call it that.

He said American Indians believe that everything has a spirit: people, animals and even plants and stones. Many of their customs are not what they would consider superstitions, but beliefs.

“If a person doesn’t share someone else’s beliefs, then they’ll refer to their beliefs as superstition,” Blair Gibson, faculty adviser for the Native American Club, said.

Many totems and spirit animal guides come from the American Indians, he said.

Many of the beliefs and rituals were practiced at their recent powwow.

For example, it is bad to drop one of the eagle feathers they wear while in the circle they dance in.

“The eagle itself is a holy animal to most American Indians,” Gibson said.”So there is a whole elaborate ritual having to do with the picking up and retrieving of an eagle feather.”

Carlos Encalada, member of the Native American Club, said he cut off his hair in honor of his grandmother’s death.

“It doesn’t seem like anybody is superstitious now,” Eric Villa, 18, said. “I don’t believe in it because there’s no relation between superstition and what will happen.”

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