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A detailed work on superstitious beliefs done as project on behavioral science.

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  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We would like to express a special thanks of gratitude to our teacher Mrs. Dipanjana Banerjee on behalf of our BS group 5 who gave us the golden opportunity to do this wonderful project on the topic “Superstitious belief”, which also helped us in doing a lot of Research and we came to know about so many new things and we are really thankful to you.
  3. 3. A superstition is an irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion. Being too superstitious is opposite of being materialistic and realistic. It is the belief that certain events bring good or bad luck which cannot be explained by reason or science. In short, superstition means blind belief. Superstition is a worldwide phenomenon. People in every country believe in one or the other superstition. WHAT IS IT?
  4. 4. HISTORY AND ORIGIN Origin of Superstition is one of those fourteen minute filler shows that is fun to listen too, but a real pain to find information about. Neither Dunning, Terrace or Buxton make any mention of it. However, the recordings are dated 1935, and the stagy acting and older music style support that date. The word superstition is first used in English in the 15th century, modeled after an earlier French superstition. The earliest known use as an English noun occurs as Friar daw’s reply (ca. 1420), where the four general sinners are enumerated as Cediciouns, superstitions, be gluttonous, & be proud. While the formation of the Latin word is clear, from the verb super- stare, "to stand over, stand upon; survive", its original intended sense is less clear. It can be interpreted as "standing over a thing in amazement or awe", but other possibilities have been suggested, e.g. the sense of excess, i.e. over scrupulousness or over-ceremoniousness in the performing of religious rites, or else the survival of old, irrational religious habits.
  5. 5. Two Types Of Superstitions • Good Luck Superstitions • Bad Luck Superstitions
  6. 6. List of Good Luck Superstitions • If you sneeze it means someone is missing you. • If your right hand itches, you will earn money. • If you find a four-leaf clover, you will have good luck. • If you see a horseshoe which was lost, you will have good luck. • If you dream about a white cat, you will have good luck. • If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you. • You can hang up garlic in your house for good luck. • If you put a mirror just across the door, before you will have good luck. • If you put the sugar into the cup first, the tea, you will have good luck. • If you step on your shadow, it brings you luck. • If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake in one blow, you will get whatever you want.
  7. 7. List of Bad Luck Superstitions • If you break a mirror, it will bring you seven years of bad luck. • If you walk under a ladder, you will have bad luck. • If a dog howls at night, death is near. • If you eat from the pot, it will rain at your wedding ceremony. • It is bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight. • If a bat flies into your house it is bad luck. • Many people believe Friday 13th is an unlucky day. • If a black cat crosses your path you will have bad luck. • It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house.
  8. 8. Classification of superstitions in India
  9. 9. GENERAL SUPERSTITIONS: Food superstitions: Boiled egg: When finished eating a boiled egg, push the spoon through the bottom of the empty shell to let the devil out. Bread: In Yorkshire, housewives used to believe the bread would not rise if there was a dead body in the vicinity, and to cut off both ends of the loaf would make the devil fly over the house! Table superstitions: Table knife: If you drop a table knife expect a male visitor, if you drop a fork a female visitor. Plate: Crossed cutlery on your plate and expect a quarrel.
  10. 10. Animal superstitions: •Bears: One ancient British superstition holds that if a child rides on a bear’s back it will be protected from whooping-cough. •Ravens: In some parts of the UK meeting two, three ravens together is considered really bad. One very English superstition concerns the tame ravens at the tower of London. It is believed if they leave then the crown of England will be lost. •Bats: It is said to be bad luck if you see bats flying and hear their cries. In the middle ages it was believed that witches are closely associated with bats. •Sparrow: if a sparrow enters a house it is an omen of death to one of the people living there. In some areas it is believed that to avoid bad luck, any sparrow caught must be immediately killed otherwise the person who caught it will be die. •Wedding superstitions: Bride and groom must not meet on the day of the wedding except at the altar. The bride should never wear her complete wedding clothes before the day. For good luck bride should wear “something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new.” The husband should carry his new wife over the threshold of their home.
  11. 11. TOP SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IN INDIA •If a black cat crosses your path, it's a bad omen: The origin of this superstition has come from the Egyptians who believed that black cats were evil creatures and they bring bad luck. In India, black color is generally associated with the Lord Shani. It is said that if a black cat crosses your path, then you should let somebody else pass before you do. •Hanging lemon and 7 green chilies: It is believed in India that 'Alakshmi', the goddess of misfortune can bring bad luck to the shop owners or business. Since, she likes sour, pungent and hot things, shop owners in India hang lemon and 7 green chilies at their door so that the goddess eat her favorite food, satisfy her hunger and leave without entering the shop.
  12. 12. •Menstruating women are considered impure and unclean: In India, menstruating women are considered impure and unclean. This, of course, gives rise to many superstitious beliefs. Women who are menstruating are not allowed to enter the kitchen. They are also supposed to stay away from temples, mosques and all religious spots in the house itself. A woman on her period is not allowed to perform regular household duties like cooking food. Crows are referred as our ancestors: Crow is the vahana of shani who represents the karmas of past. We are indebted to our ancestors who have given us birth. So offering food to crow is regards as pacifying the hunger of ancestors where ever and whichever form they are reborn. It is believed that crows are being related to our ancestors since the ‘treta yuga’.
  13. 13. •Indians throw coins in holy rivers: Throwing coins in fountains and other water bodies for good luck is now done all over the world. Break a Few Coconuts: At the start of a new journey (i.e. a new business partnership, the purchase of a car, moving into a new house, the start of marriage, etc.), it is considered auspicious in India to crack a coconut against the ground (or another surface) so that it breaks into several pieces. In Hinduism (India's largest religion), this is a common ritual, praying for the longevity and prosperity of a project.
  14. 14. SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF OUTSIDE INDIA •ITALY:--Italians think lucky if they hear a cat sneezing. It’s bad if a bird enters through a window. •UK:--In UK people believed to be lucky if they meet a black cat. Unlucky are those who break a mirror, see a crow. •IRELAND:--Any Irish knows that a werewolf is afraid of water. The Irish place metals on high levels. Blacksmithers are respected, since they are considered to dispose of bad spirits and diseases. •CHINA:--In China, the number four is considered incredibly unlucky because it sounds very close to the word for "death.“ •SOUTH KOREA:--Going to sleep with a fan on in an enclosed space can straight up kill you. This unfounded belief is so prevalent that electric fans are often sold with timers, to prevent accidental death.
  15. 15. A small look on the numbers showing existence of superstition Reasons Percentage Part of Religion 13 Part of Culture and Tradition 39 Practiced by adults 20 Practiced by others 2 Don’t know 4 Don’t believe in superstitions 22
  16. 16. Superstitions are usually attributed to a lack of education. But, in India educated people have also been observed following beliefs that may be considered superstitious. The literacy rate of India, according to the 2011 census is at 74%. The beliefs and practices vary from region to region, with many regions having their own specific beliefs. The practices may range from harmless lemon-and-chilly totems for warding off evil eye to serious concerns like witch-burning. Some of these beliefs and practices are centuries old and are considered part of the tradition and religion, as a result introduction of new prohibitory laws often face opposition. About 61% of Indian employees are superstitious: Study Reveals The survey, conducted by Team Lease Services, the country’s composite staffing company, found that management in India are generally adaptive to various superstitious beliefs of employees and do not restrict them from practicing them at work. Besides, a majority of the senior management at companies themselves believe that superstitious practices are more prevalent at the top of the order.
  17. 17. In June 2013, National Commission for Women (NCW) reported that according to National Crime Records Bureau statistics, 768 women had been murdered for allegedly practicing witchcraft since 2008. Between 2001 and 2006, an estimated 300 people were killed in the state of Assam. Between 2005 and 2010, about 35 witchcraft related murders reportedly took place in Odisa’s Sundergarh District.
  18. 18. OUR SURVEY ON SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS We conducted a survey on 20 students from our university on superstitions We also conducted interview with 2 faculties and 3 students. On the basis of which we made the report and statistical analysis.
  19. 19. So Let’s see what faculties say and think about superstition……..
  20. 20. •Space for video
  21. 21. So Let’s see what students say and think about superstition……..
  22. 22. •Space for video
  24. 24. Questions asked during the survey Do you believe in superstitions? If yes , why and what is the most influential superstition in your life? Do you believe superstitions have anything to do with reality?
  25. 25. Do you believe in superstition? NO NEUTRAL YES Reasons why people believe in superstition PSHYCHOLOGICAL INSECURITY LACK OF CONTROL Total no. of subject involved =5 (2 faculties and 3 students) CHARTS AND GRAPHS BASED ON A SMALL CLASSROOM SURVEY
  26. 26. <No. of students who attended the survey=20> University Survey Findings
  27. 27. 4 4 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 NO NEUTRAL YES
  28. 28. REPORT BASED ON SURVEY: • 40 percent said that they don’t believe in superstition. • 40 percent said they are neutral ie they selectively believed in superstition. • 20 percent said yes they belive in superstition • The main reason found for believing in superstition is pshychological. • Another major reason is false cause bias.
  29. 29. • Fallen Brazilian business mogul offers gold to the Queen of the Sea[source :INDEPENDENT, 3rd March 2016] Mr. Batista, who admits to being highly superstitious, was told by a Brazilian-African religious leader he needed to appease the water-bound deity, Yemanja, for his ungrateful' actions. • Mob beats couple for 'killing neighbors using black magic' in Jharkhand, sets house on fire[source: ZEE NEWS, December 17, 2016 ] A mob beat to death an elderly couple accused of witchcraft in eastern India, police said Saturday, the second such killing in the region in two weeks. • Karnataka shocker: This couple partially buried its own child – know why[source: ZEE NEWS, March 12, 2016] In an incident of superstition which can be called an example of inhumanity, a couple in Karnataka's Bidar district partially buried its 9-month-old child in a mount of dirt during the solar eclipse which occurred last week on Wednesday.
  30. 30. • Black magic is killing India’s owls [source :THE INDIAN EXPRESS, November 5, 2010] Superstition holds that the various body parts of owls have medicinal, occult healing properties. • Superstition over witchcraft claims three lives in Gumla[source: THE INDIAN EXPRESS, :June 22, 2012] Three members of a family were axed to death by unknown men after being branded as ‘witchcraft practitioners’ in Gumla district,police sources said today. The assailants pulled out Birsa Bhagat (65) and his two sons,Bichar and Tara (25 and 22 years respectively) from their home at Khaira village last night and struck them with axes till they died.
  32. 32. CASE NUMBER:1 Kalawati Gupta , of Mumbai was the victim of a sacrifice, according to Thane Rural police. Her body was found at Nalasopara last December, the head severed, and a tantrik was among five people arrested a month later. Kalawati used to visit the tantrik, Saravjit Ramdev Kahar, for a cure for her ailing son. According to the chargesheet filed under sections of the superstition Act and IPC, Kahar planned her sacrifice as a solution to the problems of two other clients, brothers Ramdhani Yadav and Gulab Yadav who, the chargesheet, went on to behead her. Kalawati’s is among 76 cases, and one of seven involving human sacrifice or murder, registered in the first year of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Black Magic Act, 2013, according to data compiled by Maharashtra Andhashradda Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) of late crusader Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
  33. 33. CASE NUMBER:2 The Aurangabad rural police have arrested a 40-year-old self-proclaimed godman on the charges of raping a widow and molesting her younger sister, an MBBS student, on the pretext of "freeing them from the clutches of spirits and evil souls" at Bidkin, around 23km from here. The accused, Narayan Baburao Vaishnav, is a resident of Bidkin. As per the complaint lodged by the 28- year-old woman, she went into depression after her husband passed away a couple of years ago. The accused, claiming to have supernatural powers, came in contact with her family and informed them that the she was haunted by evil spirit and needed "to be treated". Falling prey to his trap, the family allowed him "to treat" her and the accused would call her to his place. The woman in her complaint has stated that in a span of about a year, the accused allegedly raped her several times by spiking her drinks and food he would offer as prasad.
  34. 34. CASE NUMBER:3 The Vishrantwadi police then arrested a maulana, Sayed Alam (36), of Shantinagar in Yerawada, for allegedly inducing a 25-year-old married woman to sit naked with him to perform a black magic ritual to cure her husband of his tuberculosis. The maulana had also told the woman that a lot of money would be generated automatically during the ritual, of which he would give her Rs 3 lakh.
  35. 35. CASE NUMBER:4 Two brothers are alleged to have asked a witch to beat their mother to death in a ritual sacrifice to bring them good luck.The brothers were among ten people arrested for the murder of Budhabai Dore, 65, after she was found in a shallow grave in Nashik, Maharashtra, India.The occultist is alleged to have gouged out Ms Dore's eyes and buried her nearby. Their sister, who was also to be sacrificed, managed to escape with her life..
  36. 36. STEPS TAKEN BY INDIAN GOVERNMENT AGAINST SUPERSTITION • The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013 • Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill, 2013. • Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have enacted laws to restrict witchcraft. • The Assam Government has been mulling an anti- superstition law. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently announced that the state government was contemplating to enact a law to put an end to the practice of witchcraft.
  37. 37. Anti-Superstition laws across the world All across liberal democracies, anti- witchcraft and anti- divination laws have been repealed. The USA has TV channels with plenty of psychic lines, tarot readings, crystal balls, palmistry. They have achieved a great balance by adding a tiny disclaimer “For Entertainment only”. The last remaining local statute against divination in the state of North Carolina was recently repealed. Britain had its last anti-divination law – the Fraudulent Mediums Act repealed a few years ago. The Witchcraft Act 1542 enacted by King Henry VIII –had similar provisions to the Karnataka Act. The act called for sanctions against invoking spirits for a voluntary participant causing the same kinds of harms mentioned in the Karnataka Act. Papua New Guinea’s Parliament also repealed the country’s 1971 Sorcery Act, which criminalizes sorcery and recognizes the accusation of witchcraft as a defense in murder trials. Thousands of people had protested and signed petitions calling for an end to violence against women and violence related to ‘sorcery’ accusations. Sorcerers, fortune-tellers and other pagans will be able to cast their spells without fear in the Australian state of Victoria after local authorities moved to repeal a 200 year-old anti-witchcraft law. Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls said he had introduced legislation repealing the Vagrancy Act, which makes it illegal to pretend or profess to tell fortunes or “use any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or conjuration”. “It is almost 200 years old and is steeped in the language and attitudes of Dickensian England,” Hulls said. Section 365 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the practice of witchcraft
  38. 38. How to get rid of or prevent superstitions? If you plan on sticking to cultural superstitions, make sure you know it’s only symbolic. If you choose not to believe, superstition has no weapon against you except for the fear. Realize that there’s no rational proof that these superstitions can affect your life. Realize that you have the power to make your own luck. Prove that these superstitions have no basis in reality. Expect the best instead of the worst. Read more of science books .Be optimistic. Good food & good sleep will help your mind to be calm & relaxed. Practice Yoga &meditation regularly. Learn to ignore the urge to act on a superstitious belief. Seek help if your superstitious beliefs are an indication of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Know that a superstition only works because you believe in its inherent charm and power. Spend time with people who are not superstitious.
  39. 39. CONCLUSION • Superstation is irrational state of mind which is illogical state we should be reasonable and rational mind to overcome upon it. • Education is one factor that can wipe out superstitions to some extent. • A scientific outlook and temper should be cultivated to do away with superstitions.
  43. 43. OUR GROUP MEMBERS PALLAVI SAMAL A91005215073 ASHESH ROY A91005215067 KUNAL BAISHKEYAR A91005215083 SAYERI MUKHERJEE A91005215032 ASIF AMIN A91005215014 SAGAR CHOWDHURY A91005215059 DEBRATNA GHOSH A91005215009
  44. 44. THANK YOU.....