“There’s two [superstitions] that my parents told me they look for when they’re house shopping. The front and the back doors of a house can’t align or else money will come in through the front door and just leave out the back (she loudly laughs as she finishes her sentence). When I asked my dad about this, he was like, ‘I don’t know why,’ and I asked my mom and she said, ‘whatever comes in through the front door will leave out the back door,’ and I was just like, ‘ok, mom.’ Also, the stairs can’t lead directly out the door because it’ll fall out the door, like your possessions, or your fortune, or your good luck. I think my parents believe in this because, when we were younger and were going house shopping, if the stairs were even remotely near the front door, my mom refused to look at the rest of the house. I guess these just superstitions or old wives’ tales that get passed down from your parents.”
Background Information and Context:
This is a superstition that was relevant to the informant’s parents while shopping for real estate. She believes that the superstition most likely came from Vietnam, from which her parents immigrated.
Growing up in a Vietnamese family, I, too, was exposed to many strange and illogical superstitions, usually from my grandmother. I am all too familiar with asking for an explanation of why something is good or bad luck and getting a reply that doesn’t clarify much, as my informant recalled in the above example. I also found it interesting how she was so quick to dismiss these superstitions, while I know from previous conversations that she is usually eager to accept certain other luck-related traditions like cleaning the house for the new year. I think a large part of accepting a tradition is feeling a personal connection to it and a positive association.