graphic by Kyla Worrell and Mya Worrell

Every culture has their own superstitions when it comes to the supernatural world. Here is a collection of superstitions from our staff! 

  • Whistling at night attracts bad spirits in Khmer culture.
  • In Lao culture, singing/screaming at night attracts bad spirits.
  • Children can see something adults cannot.
  • Having chopsticks stuck upright in a bowl of rice is considered to be a death omen in Japanese and Chinese culture.
  • In Laos, ghosts are considered to be everywhere, especially rivers, mountains, rice fields and a forest of trees. 
  • It’s bad luck to trim your finger or toenails after the sun goes down. 
  • You need to take a shower after you come home from someone’s wake. You should also avoid bringing back any food or drinks home from the wake. 
  • The number 4 is associated with death and is a symbol of bad luck. In Taiwan, a lot of hospitals do not have the 4th floor and the elevator will have a button for the 5th floor instead. Some hospitals do not have a 9th floor because the number 9 signifies a long time and patients do not want that. 
  • On the first day of the lunar new year, you should not wash your hair or you will wash all the good luck away.

Amanda is a fourth year Anthropology (B.A.) major and an Asian American Studies minor. She enjoys reading, photography, and food.

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