Weird Customs and Superstitions in Balkan

Intro

Every country, continent, territory and race has its own cultural differences and weird things that make them unique. Balkan is no stranger to this stuff, and this stuff makes us what we are. Due to cultural transformation and influence from western cultural standards, customs have changed into what we have now. Modern lifestyle almost made our tradition hit the shadow, but grandparents that lived in the world of no technology, made us remember our precious heritage. It probable seems ludicrous to people when they hear about some stuff for the first time, but to us, it makes perfect logic. Most of our cultural and historical tradition and even religious customs are forms of ancient ones that were most present while Balkan was populated with barbarian Slav, Illyrian, Hellenic and German tribes. Now they stand as updated versions of those weird old ways. These are some customs and superstitions among the Serbs. See how many you can find the same or similar with yours.

 

Hiccups are caused by people talking about you.

The legend says: If you start having hiccups, you must guess who is missing you, and if you succeed in this task, you’ll stop the unfortunate occurrence. To some, this kind of logic is not very impressive, but have in mind that this superstition is causing people to think about their friends and that way, tighten the bondage between them. To me, it’s very heartwarming thing to do, when you are suffering an ordinary hiccup.

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Leaving a bag or purse on the floor will cause you to lose money.

This originally came from a thought that a person must respect his possessions and valuables. This custom is also encouraging a person to be respectful towards other people’s things like they are their own. This thing is basically letting you know you shouldn’t steal from others and you should always keep your things close to you. Leaving your bag on the floor might get it dirty, so it is better to hold it in your lap or on the next seat if available.

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Sitting at a corner-seat at of a table means you’ll remain single forever.

I remember when my babushka told me this the first time and made me widen my eyes in horror. Nobody wants to be single forever, right? It also means you won’t get married, have children or any family. If you have a crowded table full of friends and the only spot left is at the corner, you don’t seat there. Friend’s will cramp together to make enough space for you to take a seat. Seating at the corner is also considered rude and disrespectful, like you don’t want to hang out with them, like you are something special and they are not. Treat you friends with honor, because, you don’t know when you will need them.

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Whistling during the night time will make bad things happen.

There is saying among Balkan folk: “Who whistles, doesn’t think of ill.” Although the whistling is generally considered a good thing, you might want to avoid that at night. If you do it during the day, it means you are happy and you think about nice things, but at night, it calls for Demons and evil spirits that lurk in the shadows. Also if you do it in closed doors it is believed that this kind of thing it attracting mice and rodents. Whistling at someone in disrespectful way, you’ll get your teeth handed to you, but if it’s done to draw someone’s attention, it is all right.

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Jumping over someone’s head will make him stay small.

Just by the title I can imagine your wonderstruck look asking yourself “What the fuck?! Who in the Hell, is doing this, and why?” It is a proven fact that a person will stop growing if you jump over his head. How do you recover from that hideous curse? Well, he needs to jump over your head, again, but from the other direction. It is 100% true, a guy that watched the whole thing told me. I saw children play yesterday, and one got so mad, he jumped over his friend while he was doing his shoe. Poor kid begged the other to take it back or it will unleash the “draft” against him.

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The Draft. *he said ominously and clutched his teeth.

Better known as “Promaja”, the draft is single most ruthless annihilator of Balkan Slav folk. It is a vicious enemy without a face. It will break you bones, make you catch a cold, shrivel your kidneys and make you infertile. I know, it’s bad to stand in drafts way. Now, even if it sounds ridiculous, we are most serious about it. You just laugh, but I’ll have the last laugh, when you get sick. Any draft could be lethal, so Slav people are avoiding it in wide circle. You would often hear from Slav babushka not to wear short skirts, not to seat next to the window or stand in the open door, because there is a draft passing by. Even in cars, air condition is avoided as its artificial thing, so we roll down the window, but never all of them, just one. Maybe the draft will not cause all of the things I listed, but it will make your head hurt after a while spent on the sharp wind. To frighten their kids, parents often added many other effects that can happen to them if they don’t listen. That’s why, draft is so dangerous.

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