To not see the soul

Nationality: Ethiopian/Italian

Primary Language: English

Age: 21

Occupation: Student

Residence: Los Angeles

Date: 2/20/2024

Text: “In Ethiopian culture, people are generally wary of foreigners and the lower class, believing many of them invoking the power of buda or demons to curse others. As such it is rude for these people to sustain eye contact, and they generally take effort to sustain eye contact with them as an attempt to curse them. They also believe these demon-invoking people to be capable of changing into hyenas and thus also avoid making eye contact with wild hyenas”

Context: This was told to him at a young age by his family and is a cultural aspect with spiritual components. He clarifies though that it is not something he participates in and personally believes in. Especially with the fact that he was mainly raised in the United States and it is not a social norm that is practiced.

 Analysis: This was an example of how heavily they believe in signs of misfortune and curses, even on a smaller scale not involving magic. I was able to draw parallels between the “tabooistic” belief of the evil eye, that by holding eye contact they can be inflicted with misfortune. Both stem from glaring and believe that one who is jealous, or in this case lower in stationary, they can evoke a curse to lessen your fortune.