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Monday, April 25, 2016

Old Wive's Tales, Taboos, Superstitions....

When we were kids, Mom used to remind us to eat up every grain of rice that was left on our plates or we would end up with husbands with pock-marked faces. Hubby and both my brothers-in-law have smooth complexions so I guess Mom was right!

In a multi-racial country like Malaysia, I grew up with many old wive's tales, taboos and superstitions from our diverse cultures. While some are just downright silly, made up to frighten silly kids into obedience, some are not to be scoffed at, I've learnt.

Here's a list to share

* Uncultured pearls, worn as a necklace will cure hyperthyroidism
* Condensed milk treats scalds, relieves the searing pain and prevents blisters from forming (I swear by this home remedy- works every time!)
* Wearing a black ring made of thread on the ring finger cures sty. (Trust me, this works too)
* Cutting the ends of a cucumber and rubbing them will draw out the bitterness.
* Fruits on a tree will turn bad when touched by a pregnant woman.
* Singing while cooking will land you an old man for a husband
* To predict the sex of a baby: Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the pregnant lady. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion the baby will be female. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will be male.
* Dressing a baby with his/her shirt back to front will sooth an inconsolable crying baby and ensure that he/she will sleep peacefully through the night.
* Wiping a dog's tears on your eyes will enable you to see ghosts/spirits.
* The third consecutive cry of a crow is a harbinger of death.
* It's bad luck to have three people in a photograph. The person in the middle will be the first to die.
* The presence of a praying mantis in the house after dark is a harbinger of evil. It is sent by the person casting a spell on you.
* Clipping your nails at night brings bad luck.
* Stabbing a pair of chopsticks into a bowl of rice is bad luck.


* Owls and tortoises/turtles bring back luck (according to the Indians). The Chinese, however, believe that tortoises/turtles bring good luck.
* A suicide victim dressed in red will return to avenge his/her death.
* If a dead person's eyes are left open, he/she did not go willingly.
* Opening an umbrella inside the house will invite snakes into the house.
* Trees will sprout in your stomach if seeds are swallowed
* A pinching crab will only release its grip at the sound of thunder
* Eating crabs during pregnancy will cause your child to walk sideways.
* Consuming soy sauce will darken the scar when one has a wound.
* Consuming excessive fried foods will cause canker sores
* Hanging out clothes after dark brings bad luck.
* Getting crapped on by a bird is good luck.(How is that lucky?)
* Males consuming stale hard-boiled eggs will end up with swollen testicles. LOL, I've never met one who took the challenge.
* Eating live ants will give you perfect eyesight
* Placing a piece of wet paper on your forehead can cure hiccups
* Swallowing a live, newborn mouse cures Asthma
* Chicken saliva can be used to treat scorpion stings

Do you have any to share?
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. My parents told me about the dirty plate/pockmarked face tale, too!

  2. My Italian grandmother always told me that if a female sits on cold cement it will cause hemorrhaging. That always freaked me out a little, but I am happy to report it never happened.

    She also swore that a mouse running clockwise around your kitchen table meant that death was coming. My family tells me that one did happen.

  3. Hi Veronica,
    I love your blog! I had only heard of a few of the tales. My Puerto Rican friend told me never to leave my handbag on the floor as the money will run out of your life! I look forward to visiting your blog again!
    Liz Bessel

  4. LOL, I used to be so afraid of these kinds of things, but realize now how ridiculous that could be! But, I did do the ring on the string trick years ago!!!

  5. Who swallowed a live, newborn mouse?! People can be so weird! I cracked up with the crab eating pregnant one! Hilarious!


  6. My coworkers tried the thread and ring thing to predict the gender of my baby when I was pregnant. It was accurate actually.

    I have two share:
    If you right itches, you have money coming your way

    If your left eye twitches, it's good luck, good news-good fortune will come your way.

  7. Wow, you'd be hard pressed to get on with life having to be so careful of all those things!

  8. thanks...
    those made me laugh...

  9. The hardboiled eggs one made me lol! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  10. I had never heard some of these! Some are super interesting, some are downright hillarious! #KCACOLS

  11. This is very interesting. In Peru, the people are very superstitious. I tried not follow that but sometimes I can't stop myself. I have broken a mirror accidentally a few days ago and now I'm thinking that I will have 7 years of bad luck! I'm so scared. I know ti sound silly but I'm so worried, lol. Thanks, so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. It is always nice to have you, :-) x

  12. Ooh interesting I've never heard of some of these before. My mum always said you should never buy your own purse or you will never be rich :o #kcacols