Friday, February 13, 2004

Superstitions

Hey guys, today is Friday the 13th. Some people prefer to remain indoors today. Actually it seems that that is even a term to describe the people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th – it’s called Paraskevidekatriaphobia. If you are a fan of horror movies, you will recall that there was a movie with the same title which made the fictional character Jason, a cult figure.
Superstitions exist in all societies and in all countries. In India a bus I was once traveling in suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere. It turned out that a black cat had run across the road and the bus driver was waiting for another vehicle to pass the spot first and take the bad luck before he would continue further. I found it quite funny but obviously it’s not a laughing matter for many. Looking around, I found that many people have some superstition or the other. Many buildings in Malaysia and for that matter in western countries too, don't have a 13th floor. This website had a very detailed explanation about the origins of this superstition. In Malaysia, you will also notice the absence of the 4th floor and also avoid the number 4 in their car registration number. It’s due to fact that for Cantonese-speaking Chinese people, the numbers 4, 14 and 24 sound like the words for “death”, “must die” and “easy to die”, respectively. Just noticed a car with the registration number 4444 while my wife and I were going for lunch today and both of us commented – “driver must be Melayu” and yes he was. You might find the results of ” this study quite interesting. Many Christians also avoid the number 666, the so-called “number of the beast”. You might have noticed that people pay loads of money to buy so–called lucky vehicle registration numbers, especially those with the number 8. According to a source, the mathematical symbol for infinity is like the number 8 sideways and is considered as the symbol for eternal life by the Chinese here.
Do you have any superstition? Do you think that there is any truth in all these superstitions? Would love to hear your views.

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