Superstitions in India While Having a Meal
By: Shyamli Thakur
Old habits die hard and so do the long-standing bizarre meal superstitions in India.
Although literacy rate is gaining huge momentum in the country, natives blindly believe in the crazy old wives’ tales.
In fact, you’d be surprised to know that Indians mindlessly follow these superstitions while carrying out most of their routine tasks — even when they’re having meals.
These myths are so deeply ingrained in people’s lives that they gain indefinable satisfaction in abiding them.
Here, I’ve master-crafted a list of 10 widespread Indian meal superstitions:
1. Careful with the salt
Try not to spill salt on the table or floor while sprinkling it on your food. In many regions of India spilling salt is taken as a bad omen that can pave way for evil forces and unfortunate incidents.
To avoid getting additional scolding from your mother, try not to dust or sweep it with a broom.
Simply pour some water over the salt and let it get absorbed. This is believed to show regard to salt, a key ingredient in the Indian dishes!
2. Crying over spilled milk in India
Speculated to be the most prevalent legend, spilling milk is considered a bad omen even by the most modernized natives.
While overflowing of milk during a house warming ceremony is a good omen, spilling of milk otherwise hints loss of wealth and prosperity.
It is considered to be even more inauspicious if you break the cup containing milk. Therefore, try to hold the cup firmly and avoid giving green signal to misfortunes into your life.
3. Offering to God at Meals in India
Did you know that Indians nurture a long-surviving belief of proffering the first bite of every dish to their deity? This to pay reverence and express gratitude to God for providing food!
It is believed that food eaten after making an offering is devoid of bad energies that could otherwise attract malefic spirits.
In fact, the natives also believe that devoting a share to the deities makes eating a pious, selfless act that can bring good fortunes into the house.
4. Two yolks are better than one
If you are served two-yolked egg on your plate, consider yourself lucky! As per the Indian belief, receiving two yolks from an egg forecasts major life-changing events.
The widespread notion states that there is a high probability of you having babies in the near future.
Babies? Yes, there is a great prospect of having adorable twins to make your life fun. Or not!
Another myth attached to eating such an egg is that you will soon be hearing wedding bells.
5. Choking while devouring meals
Did you ever eat like a pig after starving yourself for hours? If yes, you probably might have ended up choking on food in a bid to grab large bites quickly.
However, an unusual notion in India states, if you choke while eating it means someone is thinking about you. But the myth does not reveal if those are positive thoughts or the negative ones.
6. No playing while eating
Have you ever been hit by your mother because you were busy playing with food instead of eating them?
The natives are firm believers that Annapurna, the deity responsible for providing food, will get mad if you disregard dishes that are served to you.
The old-wives’ tale states that if Annapurna gets angry you’ll have to face some dire consequences, even experience starvation in the near future!
This myth is the reminder that we should all respect food because there are millions who die of starvation.
7. Not an easy life for lefties
Another Indian superstition while having meals is using the left hand for eating. This is because natives are prejudiced against left-handed individuals and consider them ill-fated.
There are several scientific studies proving that using left hand as a dominant one is due to gene modification influencing right or left parts in the body.
However, people in some parts believe the minority to be impure, unclean, and even possessed by a devil.
8. Painful bite
Have you experienced biting your tongue while relishing your favorite dish cooked by your mother? It is intensely tormenting for quite some time when you can’t feel your tongue or savor the food.
This agonizing action is linked to a long-standing superstition in India which is as painful as the bite.
The legend holds the notion that if this happens to you, someone is cursing you behind your back. While the origin is unknown, it is widely believed.
9. Stay seated During Meals in India
Even if you are in a great hurry refrain from leaving the table until and unless everyone is done eating.
Getting up when someone is still eating is not just extremely rude but also an inauspicious action in Indian communities.
It is believed to be one of the bad omens that hint death.
1o. Don’t let the bubbles disappear
Another weird superstition that is closely linked to the cultural milieu is the bubbles over coffee, the most popular modern-day beverage!
As soon as you are served a cup of strong, aromatic coffee, spoon out the bubbles formed over the beverage and eat it, even if it’s piping hot!
Why, you may wonder?
The answer: if you consume the bubbles before they burst and vanish in the coffee, then you will receive some good financial news. Who knows you might end up winning a million dollar lottery!
Even though these Indian superstitions while having meals are baseless, they are deeply engrossed in the society and acted upon religiously by the natives. However, it’s entirely up to you if you’d want to follow them or scoff at them to tempt your fate.
After all, that’s the whole beauty of myths!
By: Shyamli Thakur