Superstitions have been a part of human culture since ancient times. They provide an intriguing glimpse into the beliefs and values of a society. One such rich and diverse culture that boasts a plethora of superstitions is Kerala, a state in India, particularly famous for its language Malayalam. In this blog post, we will delve into the interesting world of Malayalam superstitions and unravel the unique beliefs that color the lives of its people.
Superstitions In Malayalam
Superstitions in Malayalam are referred to as “അന്ധവിശ്വാസങ്ങൾ” (andhaviswasangal). Superstitions have been a part of Malayalam culture for generations, and many people still follow them today. These beliefs are often deeply ingrained in the cultural and religious fabric of the region and have been passed down through oral traditions for centuries. While some superstitions may seem irrational or baseless, they still hold significant sway over the lives and minds of many Malayalam people.
What sets these beliefs, “വിശ്വാസങ്ങൾ” (viswasangal), apart is their profound connection to nature, spirituality, and age-old traditions. One notable aspect is the reverence for serpents, with numerous households housing miniature snake shrines to mollify these enigmatic creatures. The fervent celebration of snake festivals like “Nagapanchami” adds to the intrigue.
Equally unique is the omnipresence of astrology, shaping pivotal life choices like marriage compatibility and auspicious event dates. These superstitions harmoniously intertwine with Kerala’s vibrant festivals, dance forms, and rituals, forming an alluring cultural mosaic that continues to captivate both locals and visitors alike.
Common Malayalam Superstitions
Astrology And Horoscopes
In the vibrant state of Kerala, astrology or “ജ്യോതിഷം” (jyothisham) isn’t just a belief – it’s a way of life. From weddings to housewarmings and even naming ceremonies, Keralites turn to astrologers to uncover auspicious dates. Their horoscopes? Yep, it’s more than just stars; they guide life’s crucial choices.
The sun and moon momentarily bow to tradition in Kerala. During eclipses, households lock their doors, kitchen fires remain dormant, and dinner tables untouched. Why? To shield against ominous forces. Temples echo with prayers, and rituals stand as guardians against malevolent shadows.
Black Magic And Evil Eye
In Kerala, shadows of black magic and the evil eye dance at the periphery of life. To fend off these unseen forces, people wield talismans and amulets, crafting a protective shield. For the vulnerable, especially children and livestock, the age-old ritual of ‘nazar utarna’ emerges as a beacon of hope, ensuring a life untainted by malevolent glares.
Many people in Kerala believe in snake deities since snakes are revered in that region’s culture. To avoid being bitten by snakes and being cursed by them, they pray to and make offerings to snakes, especially during the Nag Panchami festival.
Ayurvedic practices are well-known in Kerala, and several superstitions are connected to Ayurveda. For instance, some might avoid getting certain therapies during certain astrological seasons because they think they might be harmful.
It is considered unfortunate to step on a threshold or cross one with the left foot when entering a residence. Many people make sure to step into and out of their homes with their right foot first.
Bird And Animal Omens
It is common to interpret animal and bird behavior as omens. As an illustration, the unexpected presence of crows or the owl’s nighttime hooting can be interpreted as signals of impending good or bad events.
It’s said that breaking a mirror will bring you bad luck for seven years. In addition, some people hide mirrors in the home when in mourning to prevent the spirit of the departed from becoming imprisoned in the mirror.
Mangalyam Or Thali
In Kerala, married women wear a sacred necklace called a mangalyam, also referred to as a thali. It is thought to safeguard the husband’s life. Losing or removing the mangalyam is regarded as unlucky.
Malayalam Words Related To Superstitions
Superstitions are deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of Malayalam society and have given rise to a unique vocabulary of words and phrases. Here are some words related to Malayalam superstitions:
|Fortune-telling||ഭാവി പറയുക||Bhaavi parayuka|
|Superstitious practices||അന്ധവിശ്വാസപരമായ ആചാരങ്ങൾ||Andhaviswasaparamaaya aachaarangal|
|Inhuman evil practices||മനുഷ്യത്വരഹിതമായ ദുരാചാരങ്ങൾ||Manushyathvarahithamaaya duraachaarangal|
|Magic remedies||മാന്ത്രിക പ്രതിവിധികൾ||Maanthrika prathividhikal|
The Challenges Of Superstitions In Kerala
Superstitions in Kerala are like stubborn shadows, persistently hindering progress and development across various spheres of life. Despite Kerala’s commendable strides in education and healthcare, these deep-rooted beliefs refuse to fade away, serving as formidable barriers to social and economic growth. These superstitions often center around black magic, witchcraft, and the supernatural, spawning harmful practices like exorcisms and ritualistic sacrifices.
Tragically, these beliefs sometimes unleash devastating consequences in Keralan society, including instances of mob violence and the unjust persecution of innocent individuals accused of practicing witchcraft. Escaping the clutches of these age-old superstitions necessitates a united front through education, awareness campaigns, and legal reforms. Recent news underscores the pressing need to combat these superstitions in Kerala, with reports of violence stemming from such beliefs continuing to make disturbing headlines. For this reason, there’s a plea in considering to pass the Black Magic Bill to avoid such practices as human sacrifices. It’s a reminder of the urgency to address this critical issue and usher in a brighter, more rational future for the state.
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