Do you believe in superstitions? I don’t really, but that doesn’t mean I don’t follow after some of the rules long setup by the elder generation. For example, I don’t wash my hair on the full moon days (especially days like the full moon days of Kasone, Thadingyut, and Tazaungmone), because it’ll cause bad luck. Not that I care about these beliefs, but I avoid these days because I would never get to have a peaceful day if I did so.
Also, after I clip my nails, I have to throw them away from outside the house. When I was younger, I was at my uncle’s house and my aunt caught me throwing my nails in the waste bin. She told me this story about a thief who went into a barn to steal some rice. He broke his fingernail and it went into a pile of grains. So he tried to find it in the pile and was caught later by the owner. The owner asked him why he didn’t ran away and the thief told him that he was looking for the fingernail as he didn’t want the owner to go into poverty because of it. So, the owner forgive him and set him free. So fingernails and toenails in the house bring poverty to the family. I didn’t believe any of this crap, but just to be on the safe side, I always throw them out of the windows. Sometimes, they land right back in the yard, but so far we aren’t in poverty.
Growing up with my uncle and aunts isn’t easy. I was taught many things, including table manners like don’t sing while you are eating ‘cuz only beggars sing while they are eating, and if you want a second helping, always leave a small portion of rice in your plate before you put in more rice, etc. Sometimes these things just stuck with me. One time, I saw my student singing while eating and I told him not to do that. He asked me why and I had to bit my tongue to not blurt out that only beggars sing while they are eating.
Another superstition I remember is ‘don’t play hide and seek after sunset because the devil will take the hiders.’ I never really believed that at all.
These are a couple of superstitions I got off from http://www.myanmartravelinformation.com.
Don’t go underneath a staircase. You will loose your will power.
Don’t go under a pole or rope, where women used to hang-dry their longyis. You will loose your will power.
(I hate that one. My father don’t even like it when I hang my jeans or dresses on the long pole. That’s why I only do that when he’s not around :P)
Don’t leave a shoe or a slipper up-side-down. It’ll cause bad luck.
Don’t keep a broken glass or a mirror in homes. Replace the window panes asap if broken.
Don’t wash your hair within a week after a funeral in the neighborhood.
Don’t hit the pot with a ladle after you stir the curry. It’s like hitting your parents’ head.
Don’t hit 2 lids of pots and pans against each other. A tiger may bite you. (Hard to find any tigers in Yangon except at the zoo lolz)
Don’t feed someone with the palm upward. The food might cause you disorder.
Don’t clip your nails at night. Ghosts don’t like that.
Don’t take kids to dark places. Ghosts may posses them.
Carrying some hairs of an elephant tail will avoid evil.
FYI: ‘will power’ is difficult for me to explain in English but ‘will power’ is mostly associated with men, not women. Women are degraded compared to men in terms of will powers. I will not go into details about this issue.