Folk Beliefs
general

Superstition

“My mom always told me, if you sweep at night… then you’re sweeping money out the door”

Joe is a friend of mine who works in my dad’s office. He is 20-years-old and was born and continues to live in Los Angeles. His mom, who was raised in the Tongan Islands, raised him with many superstitions, which he still follows today. Joe’s grandfather is French and his grandmother is Tongan. I went to visit the office, which is when Joe told me about this Tongan superstition. No sweeping, vacuuming or any other sort of cleaning where dirt is removed from the household should be done at night because it is bad luck. Joe follows this rule when taking care of his own apartment here in the city but was also raised with this notion.

When Joe told me this superstition, it was the first time I had heard of anything like that. Because we were in the office, many other employees heard Joe and I talking about this superstition and a few other people had heard of something similar, except the saying said “if you sweep at night you will sweep away all your luck.”  Though the language is slightly altered, it’s the same idea. Joe believes that this is true and so he never cleans at night, which is another reason he shared it with me because I recently moved into a new apartment and he wanted to pass along this superstition to me so that I don’t sweep money or luck out the door.

This superstition was passed down from generation to generation in Joe’s family so it has a lot of value to him. The superstition also tells a lot about how he was raised and about his Tongan heritage. Besides sharing the superstition with me, he also inspired me to research the saying. I found that it is a superstition in many parts of the world. http://www.thai-blogs.com/index.php?blog=5&cat=85 and http://www.belizeans.com/tales.htm.

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