Superstition/Popular Belief – India

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age: 40
Occupation: Preschool Teacher
Residence: Redmond, WA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 2007
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Sourashtra, Tamil

Driving Forward First

My informant told me about this one superstition that was very interesting. She said that whenever she would start the car she would drive forward first and then drive backwards. For example when she would back out of the garage she would drive forward just a little, and then start backing up. She has done this for many years, as long as I can remember. At first I thought it was very interesting and tedious but after interviewing her I understood why she did it.

She said that this superstition has been in her family for a while, her uncles and her dad always did this when she was young. As she started driving a car, she started doing this too because of superstition. The whole thing lies in doing everything forward first. My mom said in Hindu religion everything should be done first forward and then should be done backwards. This superstition would be a prime example.

I have seen a lot of my friend’s parents doing the same thing while I was in their cars when I was young. Unfortunately I do not hold to this superstition so therefore I don’t follow the drive forward first rule. I think that this rule is merely a superstition and cannot be let go because they have done it for a long time.

Especially in cars there are a lot of superstitions among the Indian community. Another example of this would be when my informant would touch the picture of a Hindu god she has every time she starts driving. This has to do with getting her blessings from the god before she drives so she does not get into a major accident. I sometimes do this ritual in a way because I believe in god and the power of god. This always makes me feel a little relieved and safe on the road.