BIZARRE MYTHS WE HEARD DURING OUR CHILDHOOD

7 min


BIZARRE MYTHS WE HEARD DURING OUR CHILDHOOD
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Myths and superstitions have found an integral places in all the societies. Not kidding, but even the most educated people fall prey to the superstitions.

While some of the practices that are regarded as superstitious by the modern culture are actually backed by some logical or scientific thought passed by our ancestors, most of the myths have no logical explanation.

Illogical myths and superstitions are backed by the fear of God or supernatural powers. Going further, even when our elders know that a particular belief is a myth, they pass it on to the younger generation for purposes like developing mannerism and ethics in them.

Some myths was also passed on to the children only for the purpose of creating some fun and surprise them. We all have heard various myths in our childhood, and as we grew up we still believe some of them and disregard some.

#1 Placing tooth in the rat hole gives strong teeth to the children

childhood myths

Remember the time when your first milk tooth came off. It was a frightening moment for you while the fun moment for the family. You were told to place the broken teeth in the rat’s hole.

The rat residing there would remove it’s own teeth and would implant your tooth into its mouth, and give you its own tooth, and thus you’ll get strong set of teeth like that of a rat if you’ll do it every time you lose a milk teeth.

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I never understood why a rat would do this social service and exchange its teeth with a human. Nevertheless, I thanked God that this is just a myth, it’s very lousy to imagine a rat’s tooth in my mouth.

#2 Drinking tea makes you dark

Myths - Drinking tea makes you dark

Dark complexion and the Great Indian Bias! Even though due to the climate of India, wheatish to dark complexion is most common to Indian population, yet Indians that handful of fair skinned population cannot get away with the obsession of fair skin.

So when a fair complexioned kid wanted to have tea, people would vehemently object to it telling him/her that tea would darken the complexion and he/she should consume milk instead as it lightens the skin colour.

Seriously, we never knew tea can have any effect on melanin, I always thought it’s the sun. The whole idea was to encourage children and adolescents to drink milk and avoid tea, so that they don’t develop an addiction for tea. Sounds good for health benefits, a racist myth though.

#3 It takes seven years to digest a chewing gum.

Childhood Myths - It takes seven years to digest a chewing gum

A scary myth! If accidentally you ever swallowed a chewing gum, then you were told that it takes seven years to get digested. Until then it stays in your stomach.

Similar myths have also been predominant in our childhood regarding noodles that are made of refined flour (maida) and is regarded as unhealthy.

So it was always told to us that noodles would get stuck in our stomach and would give us a chronic stomach ache. Of course, eating too much of noodles is not good for health, but scaring little children with such nasty food myths is worse.

#4 Colliding of heads leads to growth of horns.

Myths Colliding of heads leads to growth of horns

Unbelievable! But I admit I was gullible enough to believe this myth as a child. As kids we used to intentionally or accidentally collide heads with our friends or siblings, but due to the fear of horns we used to collide it again to counter the effect of collision and prevent the horns from emerging.

So according to this myths, colliding heads against each other odd number of times would definitely give you horns like monsters, while doing it even number of times would counter the effect.

By the time I came to know that this is a myth I used my wisdom, not to make other kids aware, but to scare them by colliding my head against theirs and not doing it again, leaving them crying and begging to me to do it again because they didn’t want horns on their heads. Okay I’m guilty!

#5 Your height won’t increase if a person goes past above you when you are laid back

Myth Your height won't increase if a person goes past above you when you are laid back

Sleeping with siblings was a nightmare, especially when you slept with terror that they would wake up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty or wanting to ease themselves in the loo, and go past above your body, leaving you forever with that short height you had at that age.

The fear of lifelong dwarfism would freak any soul. Fortunately, it’s not true. Such myths were concocted by our adults only because going past above someone is not a sign of good culture and mannerism, so to discipline us they used this myth to invoke fear in our minds.

When we won’t do this to someone else, it won’t be done to us, hence our heights would increase naturally.

#6 Black cat crossing the path is inauspicious.

Another racist myth! Why no inauspiciousness is linked to the white cats? But this myth has found its place from the ancient times. In ancient western world, it was believed that the witches or other evil spirits transformed themselves into a body of creatures, basically black cats. So if someone found them on their way it was better to postpone the task for which they were going, because it can bring bad luck or the task wouldn’t be accomplished the way it should be. Moreover, in olden times when people used to travel in carriages drawn by horses, they used to pass through jungles. When any big cat or wild animal such as jaguar, leopard crossed their way, the horses used to freak out in fear and jump and behave hysterically. So it was advised to people that they should stop their carriages while they spot big cats to placate the horses before setting off again. This myth has absolutely no base in modern times and has turned obsolete, but many people still regard black cat as a bad omen. We feel sorry for the lovely little bad cats though.

#7 Shaking legs drives away wealth and prosperity

Superstition Shaking legs drives away wealth and prosperity

Not only as children, even as adults most of us have this inevitable urge to shake our legs when we are sitting. According to psychology, it is considered to be a sign of nervousness and should be avoided as it is detrimental to the personality. But according to mythology shaking legs drives away our wealth. And as kids we were always short of money we got from our parents. I seriously thought about saving some money and getting rich and with great determination I tried and was successful of getting rid of this wealth- draining habit. Where’s my cashback and profit? I am more broke than ever. Can anyone explain this belief to me?

#8 If you consume seeds of fruits, an actual tree would grow inside your tummy.

Childhood Myths - Shaking legs drives away wealth and prosperity

If the myths mentioned above were not scary enough to freak you out when you were a child, here comes the father of all the horror myths. Generally, all seeds are not meant to be swallowed, but this was the sole reason why I avoided eating watermelon in my childhood, as the fear of having the mouthful of tiny seeds in my stomach transform into a tree made me go sick.

#9 Keeping knife or scissors under the pillow ward off the bad dreams.

Keeping knife or scissors under the pillow ward off the bad dreams.

Waking up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, getting hysterical and then unable to sleep again due to the fear of bad dreams is definitely the last thing anybody wants to face. Having bad dreams frequently can also cause loss of sleep and health issues.

To avoid this, it is advised to sleep with a sharp object like knife or a pair of scissors under the pillow. The purpose behind this belief is that the sharp object acts like a weapon and gives you the assurance that you have the ability to fight the challenge that comes in form of bad dreams.

Often a knife is kept under the babies’ pillow to keep away the bad dreams and to provide them a blissful sleep. Even as adults many people still practise this belief, though we can’t ascertain the efficiency of this belief.

#10 Cracking knuckles causes arthritis

Superstition Cracking knuckles causes arthritis

 Cracking of finger joints (knuckles) gives a relaxing feeling and produces a sound which is indeed very satisfying for our ears. There are some daily rituals which we perform unknowingly when we are tired, for example, stretching our body, and cracking our knuckles. Though our elders strictly tell us to refrain from this habit, as it may cause arthritis in later life. Though scientifically, this belief has not been proven with credible evidence. However, habitually cracking of knuckles can lead to lowered grip strength and weakened joints.

#11 Having hiccups means someone is missing you.

Having hiccups means someone is missing you.

Whenever we have hiccups, we try to put a halt on it by continuously drinking water. But we were always told that hiccups occur when someone is missing us or thinking about us. Whenever I call anyone on the phone, they always tell me that they were thinking about me only. Strange, because before calling them I was not having hiccups. Can anyone explain this theory?

#12 Shoes placed upside down bring bad luck

Myths Shoes placed upside down bring bad luck.

Often in a hurry our shoes get placed upside down and we fail to notice it. My grandmother always told me not to place my shoes upside down as it brings bad luck, illness, or quarrels in the household. This myth can be explained to be practised so as to teach discipline and good manners and the importance of placing our stuffs orderly and meticulously.

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Raj Deepali Pandey
Raj Deepali Pandey is an advocate by profession who has a penchant for writing. A tea- lover and a talkative girl, who only seems mature from her stories, is still a child from within.