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Turkish Folk Wisdom

Posted by david on 8 November 2023
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A Whimsical Guide to Turkish Folk Wisdom

The Gaze of Fortune:
In the heart of Turkish bazaars, amidst the hustle and bustle, you’ll find the ‘Nazar’ amulet. This iconic symbol, resembling an eye, is believed to ward off the malevolent energy that comes from envious glances or overzealous praise. Locals and visitors alike adorn themselves with this charm, hoping to deflect any ill-fortune.

Whispers on the Wind:
If you find your ears ringing while wandering the streets of Istanbul, take heed. This could be an omen that someone, somewhere, is speaking of you. A buzz in the left ear suggests criticism, while the right promises compliments.

The Fortune of Itch:
An itch in the palm of your hand might be more than a mere physical irritation. It’s said that an itch on the right heralds incoming wealth, while the left predicts financial loss. So next time you feel a tingle, consider your economic prospects.

The Knife’s Edge:
In the Turkish kitchen, where culinary delights are crafted, there’s a strict taboo against passing a knife directly to another person. Such an exchange is thought to lead to arguments or strife. Instead, place the knife down to ensure harmony remains.

Wooden Wishes:
Knocking on wood is a common practice to avert bad luck, but in Turkey, they add a twist. While rapping on wood, one must also tug their earlobe thrice and utter a phrase to keep the evil eye at bay. It’s a ritual that combines sound, touch, and speech for triple protection.

The Traveler’s Tide:
Before embarking on a journey, don’t be surprised if a Turkish friend spills water behind you. This act is a poetic wish for your travels to be as smooth and flowing as the water’s path.

A Step Towards Equality:
At Turkish weddings, watch for a playful tussle of feet. It’s believed that if the bride steps on the groom’s foot during the ceremony, she’ll gain the upper hand in marriage. A light-hearted tradition that speaks to the balance of power in relationships.

Reflections of Fate:
Nighttime reflections are avoided in Turkish folklore. Staring into a mirror after dark, or breaking one, is thought to bring seven years of misfortune or even foretell a death in the household. If a mirror does shatter, burying the pieces is the prescribed remedy.

Indoor Rain:
Opening an umbrella indoors is a faux pas in many cultures, but in Turkey, it’s believed to bring a downpour of bad luck. Best to keep it closed until you’re facing the actual rain.

Nocturnal Nails:
Trimming nails after sunset is a definite no-no. Such an act is thought to invite poverty, misfortune, or unwelcome spectral visitors. It’s a superstition that might make you schedule your grooming rituals with the sun.

Check also this article for more information about the “Evil Eye

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