Friday 13th: Asian Countries’ strange habits
Everywhere in the world is Friday 13th symbol of bad luck? This day is usually a bad luck symbol only in United States and United Kindgom but each country has its own bad luck symbol or habit.
If fate brings you to China, the country of Feng Shui, the number to avoid is not 13 but is 4 (be careful if you see it written in an address, do not let him/her pronounce the 肆). Pronounced in Mandarin, sounds like the word “death” (死) and that’s not exactly a good omen.
Do you want to eat something? The noodles are a symbol of longevity so never cut it also if they are too long for your fork: you have to eat them entire or you will shorten your life.
And if you prefer rice, it is also eaten with chopsticks but remember not to leave it in the middle of the plate fixed on rice because in China rice is an offer left to the dead … with chopsticks stuck in half. This happens generally in most part of Southern Asia countries, especially in the countries where they burn incense sticks in temples, an offering that is made by fixing them in piles of sand: here the chopsticks standing in the rice is bad luck.
Japan has many historical and cultural ties with China, and also share bad luck signals (such as not pronounce the number 4 and prevent leave chopsticks stuck into the rice) but , of course , has its own superstitions .
In Japan you should never give someone your meal to taste passing the food from your chopsticks to their ones: this gesture remind a ceremony in which bone remains from a cremation are introduced in an urn.
And do not write the name of a person with red ink: this is the color used to record the names of the deceased on tombstones.
In Thailand you should avoid to say nice things about a baby or a child as this is considered an invitation for evil spirits to take the baby.
If you want to be friendly and make a gift to family or friends, do not give them handkerchiefs because your relationship will end in tears.
In countries where Buddhism has a strong presence, such as Thailand and most of which are in Asia, a feet pointing towards a figure of Buddha, a monk or almost anything is extremely rude.
This is not bad luck but it does not hurt to show a little respect for local customs, right?