Folk Beliefs

Do not step on paper because you are spiting the God of Knowledge

My informant’s grandmother is from Madras, India. She always told my informant to never step on paper because it was seen as spiting the God of Knowledge. This idea was ingrained in the informants mind growing up, that she says it is always in the back of her mind. This affected my informant so much that now she just does not step on paper to this day. She says that she is always conscious of it. It doesn’t take over her life, but she just always steps around paper if it is on the ground. My informant also says she has other folk beliefs or things that her grandmother has told her that she still lives by today. It is something that she had been told so early in her life that now she takes all of these things with her, even as she entered adulthood. I thought this folk belief was interesting because it is something that I never thought of before. I do not consciously go out of my way to step on paper, but I would never think of it as a bad thing. Now that I have heard this, I am more conscious of whether or not I do this.

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