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Modern Times, Old Beliefs: 5 Hilarious Superstitions Jamaicans Still Believe

September 22, 2023

Jamaicans are superstitious people. It is safe to say we have a superstition for almost every situation. While growing up I often heard some superstitious beliefs that even now as an adult I find myself exercising caution in certain situations. Jamaica's history is a fascinating blend of diverse cultural influences, stemming from African, European, and indigenous traditions. Within this cultural tapestry, superstitions hold a pivotal role. They serve various functions as they shape how we interpret and navigate the complexities of daily life. These superstitions range from eerie to downright hilarious. In today's post, I'll shed some light on five hilarious superstitions that Jamaicans still believe.

Missing a Loop in Your Pants

One of the most intriguing and chuckle-worthy Jamaican superstitions is that missing a belt loop means your spouse is being unfaithful. In Jamaican terms, we would say 'Yu a get bon'. While there is a common belief that some Jamaican men are serial cheaters, heaven forbid the roles get reversed or people get the idea that their woman is cheating. For this reason, men will take the time to check and re-check their belts, ensuring they do not miss a loop.

Opening an Umbrella Indoors Means You Will Never Marry

I can't tell you how many times in my younger days I'd be excited to show off a new umbrella only to be told that opening it inside would result in me not getting to experience the thrill of walking down the aisle towards marital bliss. Yes, you read that right. I have no idea how the two correlate but to this day this is something many Jamaicans still believe. The idea of marriage is still important to many Jamaicans and as we all know 'prevention is better than a cure' so you will find that most Jamaicans refrain from opening umbrellas indoors.

Putting Your Bag or Wallet on the Floor Makes You Poor

This next Jamaican superstition advises against putting your handbag or wallet on the floor. It suggests that doing so might lead to financial misfortune. Most Jamaicans may have heard this well-known superstition at least once before. It teaches us the importance of treating our personal belongings, especially those related to money, with care and respect.

Itchy Palms Mean Money Is Coming

Jamaicans have a funny way of knowing when they will be coming into money. The superstition says that you can expect to get some money soon if you have an itchy palm. The Jamaican way of saying it would be 'ef yu an migl skrach yu, yu ago get som moni'. Konshens a popular Jamaican dancehall artist even made a song about it. However, it is important to note that money only comes to you if your right palm itches. If it is your left palm, you can expect to spend money, rather than receiving it. I cannot vouch for the credibility or inaccuracy of this superstition, all I know is my right palm never itches ­čśĺ.

Bird Poop = Money

Imagine going about your day when a bird decides to relieve itself directly above you. Well according to this Jamaican superstition, if you are the recipient of birds' droppings falling on you, this is another sign that good fortune is just around the corner.  I must confess that this might not be widely believed, however, it is certainly hilarious. This tells me that we Jamaicans are optimists who try to find the good in even the messiest situations. I, however, find it extremely hard to look on the 'bright side' after being assaulted with the faecal matter of a bird.

Conclusion

There you have it five hilarious superstitions Jamaicans still believe. These superstitions are an essential part of the Jamaican culture. They are shared to entertain, educate, and guide us through our day-to-day lives. While some may dismiss these superstitions as mere folklore, for many Jamaicans, they represent a cherished aspect of their cultural heritage, acting as a timeless bridge connecting the past with the vibrant present.

Do you believe in any superstitions? Share them in the comments below.

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10 Comments

  • Reply Kevin Foodie September 30, 2023 at 8:09 am

    I always questioned how Jamaicans come up with these superstitions. The missing loop is new for me, but the umbrella inside the home is popular one. Washing one’s face with rice water and you will be able to see “duppy” or ghost is another false belief in Jamaica. Interesting post, Kimberly

    • Reply Kimberley September 30, 2023 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! I know the rice water one very well and for that reason when using the rice water as a hair treatment was trending I did not try it lol.

  • Reply simplyjolayne September 25, 2023 at 11:18 am

    Hah! Would be interesting to know how some of these superstitions got their start!.

  • Reply Kirsten September 25, 2023 at 6:51 am

    Great post

  • Reply Rochelle | Adventuresfromelle September 24, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Ha! You’re right. We are definitely superstitious people because I know I knock on wood any time I speak of a situation which I hope never to come true

    • Reply Kimberley September 24, 2023 at 4:47 pm

      Me too! And if there is no wood around I’ll say “God forbid!” in my best African accent.

  • Reply Janice Reid September 23, 2023 at 11:58 am

    I had never heard the pants loop one before. Guess I should be paying more attention to my loops from now on ­čśé­čśé.

    • Reply Kimberley September 23, 2023 at 11:09 pm

      Lol, I believe it mostly applies to men but you never know. Thanks for reading!

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