Background: Informant is a 19 year old student. Their parents both grew up in Venezuela. Their mom’s side is Spanish and Italian and their dad’s is Spanish and Israeli. Informant is from Texas and Miami and now resides in Los Angeles. They identify as Latin American and Jewish.
Informant: So, ever since I was little, at the dinner table my dad has this superstition. And his whole family has this superstition that you cant pass salt directly. You have to place the salt shaker down on the table and the other person has to pick it up. If not, it’s bad luck. It’s like, a curse. Like if you pass the salt directly it’s a curse. I don’t know why, I don’t know what it’s about but my dad has always been like that. If he’s like, pass the salt and I try to hand it to him he’s like “no put it down on the table,” like he won’t accept it. At all. And when I go to my aunt’s house for a high holiday or something it’s the same thing. It’s like, in his family, so now we all do it obviously. And also if someone spills the salt, you get the salt and throw it over their shoulder because that’s also bad luck.
Reflection: This story is a great example of superstitions in people’s culture. The informants dad enforces this superstition and it’s completely backed up by his family as they all believe in it together. I thought it was interesting how the informant described how this superstition was highly specific to their family, but this is actually a very common superstition that many have. It shows how people’s folklore becomes very personal to them even when it’s so universal.