Informant: So in Indian folklore, there’s this like… superstition that if someone is leaving, like for like an event or just leaving your house or something, and, like, one of you sneezes… then you need to like, stop and immediately do prayer… and then like, get milk from the fridge and pour it on the ground before they can leave again, because if they leave, it’s almost as if like… something bad is going to happen to them, like a bad luck curse or something.
Interviewer: That is… interesting to say the least. Why the milk?
Informant: I’m not really sure why the milk… but like, other people believe that if you say someone’s name when they’re about to leave it is bad luck. My family was more about the sneezing though.
During one of my club meetings, I brought up the Collection Project, and amongst the responses I got, the informant told me some interesting indian folklore.
I find superstitions to be very interesting, especially when the subject is treated differently in separate cultures. For example, in Mexico (and in Japan too, I think) if you sneeze out of the blue it’s thought to be because someone is talking about you elsewhere. It’s interesting to see the same action have a negative connotation to it. However, I don’t particularly understand the milk, apart from perhaps it being a product of cows (revered in India) and having the power to ward off bad omens.