Don’t Reenter Home If You Forget Something

Informant Data:

The informant is a Romanian American who was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1935. At age 37, my informant left Ceausescu’s Romania and arrived in the United States in 1972. She is a skin care specialist who currently resides in Los Angeles, California. She speaks slowly but very impassionedly.


Contextual Data:

My informant and I left the house to go for a walk at the beach and my informant realized that she had forgotten her sunglasses. I told her that we could go back in the house to get the sunglasses but she said it was fine because going back in the house is bad luck. I asked her to clarify what she meant by that and I recorded her response.

When I asked her why she believed in this superstition, she simply told me that she was told this superstition at a young age and has always believed it and always lived by it, just as her own mother did.



(Audio recording transcribed)

“It’s important before you leave the house to make sure you have everything you need because you don’t want to turn around. Because if you come back and set foot over the threshold back in the house, that means you’ll then have a bad day for the rest of the day.”



I’m not exactly sure what aspect of society led to this folk belief being originated. Perhaps this folk belief simply represents how society values those who are not forgetful as well as those who are always making progress and not taking steps back from progress (which I guess is what you can say those who don’t heed this superstition are symbolically doing).