Watch Out —the Broom's Coming: Superstitions in Brazilian Culture.

Aug 15, 2013 11:50:06 AM / by Mango Languages

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During my freshman year of college, I was placed in what seemed to be an international dorm. My hall neighbors came from countries all over the world, including Bangladesh, Taiwan, Singapore, and Brazil. Though many of my neighbors became some of my closest friends, we weren’t always on the same page at the beginning of the year because our difference in backgrounds led to some simple miscommunications.

One example of this was when I walked into my friend Lucas’ dorm room while he was sweeping. I sat down on his bed and he swept my feet and started laughing at me. It was clear that I had no idea what was going on, so he explained: In Brazilian culture, there is a superstition that when you sweep someone’s feet, they will have bad luck and not get married.

My friend’s intentions aside, I wondered if Brazil had any other cool superstitions like this one. A great part of working at Mango is that I didn’t have to wonder for long. I simply walked over to the desk of my coworker, Josi, who is also from Brazil. She told me that the Brazilian culture does have other interesting superstitions. Here are some that she explained:

1. To avoid bad luck, you must enter or leave any place with your right foot first.

2. If you leave your purse on the floor, you will lose money.

3. If your left hand is itchy, it means you will receive extra money.

4. If your ear suddenly gets hot, it means someone is speaking ill of you.

5. To find something you have lost, promise Saint Longinus that you will hop three times for him once you find it.

6. If you have unwanted or boring guests in your home, place a broom upside-down behind the front door to make them leave (I’m noticing a fascination with brooms in Brazil).

by Robbie Linden

Have you encountered an interesting superstition from another culture? Tell us about it!

Topics: Language Learning and Culture

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