I sometimes teach an English lesson on the first conditional where I ask about superstitions. For example, a student must correctly express something like, if a black cat crosses my path, I WILL have bad luck. This always comes up with some interesting responses about superstitions and myths.
Moroccan society is not particularly superstitious, as superstitious beliefs are not compatible with Islam. Usually the first response I get is “we don’t have any superstitions,” but after a bit of prying, I can get students to come up with these three responses…although most Moroccans will claim that they are 100% true!
- If a pregnant woman craves a food and does not get it, she will begin to scratch her skin. This will result in the baby having a birthmark either where she scratched, or in the shape of that food (I have heard both). I do not believe that this is backed by science, but it is a pretty good excuse for pregnant women to get exactly what they want. You would not want to find that your child had a little fig-shaped birthmark on his arm just because your husband wouldn’t go out and buy some figs.
- If you eat dinner late, you will have nightmares. Everyone who has told me this claims to have confirmed it with personal experience. But I wonder, could we be more likely to have bad dreams if we are absolutely convinced that we will?
- If you go outside with wet hair, you will get sick. I have never seen a woman in Morocco go out with wet hair in the morning. I’ll admit, I have also gotten into this habit; I really feel like something is not right if I my hair is damp when I leave for work. Who knows? Maybe it is true after all.
Do you believe any of these? What are some superstitions from your country?