Superstitions in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia - Takhayul

Superstitions in Indonesia - Takhayul

Superstitions have been part of human cultures for millennia and they have been passed down from generation to generation. Some superstitions that have come a long way in the history of humanity are even very common across cultures. One of the most common examples is crossing our fingers for good luck. In Indonesia, superstitions still persist because of strong cultural and religious beliefs. Superstitions are often about prohibiting people from something considered wrong as a way of avoiding bad luck. Or they are about suggesting ways to do things considered right as a way of bringing on good fortune. As there are quite a lot of superstitions in Indonesia, this article will focus on some well-known superstitions across East Nusa Tenggara.


Let’s check them out:

At Night, do not whistle, do not cut your fingernails, do not clean your ears, do not sweep your house, do not sell salt and sharp things

These are some famous superstitions about things you cannot do at night. It’s is believed that if you whistle at night then you’ll attract snakes and ghosts. If you cut your fingernails then you’ll parents will pass away soon.  Cleaning your ears and sweeping the dirt out of your house at night both mean you will ward off your fortunes while selling salt and sharp things like knives, scissors, needles and nail clippers are forbidden because it will attract ghosts. Some people also believe that salt and needles are related to black magic. That is why people cannot sell or buy them at night.

Disliking someone during pregnancy will cause the child to have features of the disliked person

Mostly it is believed that when the newborn child would have facial features resemblance with that disliked person. If not, then it would be the characters.

Do not take photos of groups of three

This superstition is actually among the most common superstition in the world. It is believed that if three people are photographed together then the middle one will die first and followed by the two other. Even nowadays some people still tend to avoid taking photos in a group of 3.

Cooking overly salty food means you're eager to get married or you will marry soon

This mostly happens to women; as if they cook a dish and it’s too salty then it means that they’re going to get married soon/they’re eager to get married soon.

Wash your face, hands and feet after a wake or funeral

For people who believe this superstition, washing these parts of the body is obligatory because if it is not done then the spirits of the deceased would follow them.

Any more?

These are only a few out of tons of superstitions that exist in East Nusa Tenggara. Do you believe in superstitions? Leave a comment below.

By Richard Williams