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You shouldn’t say “What a beautiful baby!”

January 9, 2007


During this blog-mini break during which I became a fully functional (diaper changing, cuddling to sleep) father, my mother-in-law came around with the most amazing superstition I decided I must share with you.

To our words of adornment (look at this beautiful baby), she (the mother-in-law) became all nervous, knocked on wood and said “You shouldn’t say such things”. As it turns out, in the region of Bosnia where she comes from, there is a superstition (apparently still alive) that you should not call a baby beautiful as not to put a spell on her or bring other kinds of misfortune. So in order to prevent this, people would tie a ribbon or sth. similar around baby’s arm so that the people would not burst out in adornment saying “what a beautiful baby” but rather ask “what is this around her hand”.

Hmm. Do comment on this one please.
Go to Tamara’s photos on Flickr.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dom permalink
    February 1, 2007 2:03 pm

    Bosnians sound a lot like Sicilians. My 88-year-old mother still thinks that people who become jealous may hex you with their “malochio” (evil eye), so you should never let anyone know how fortunate you are.

    You are indeed blessed, but I won’t say it. I’ll just say, “What is that on Tamara’s hand? :)

  2. February 6, 2007 9:04 am

    Apparently, Macedonians are even worse. According to one of our friends, they routinely practice charm protection for their babies and there are a number of stories circulating of evil relatives/neighbors putting the spells on the babies and all that comes with it. Though no witch-burning reports have reached Slovene media :))

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