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Evil Eye...... Growing Up

I am an American Armenian, born and raised in Southern California.  Growing up in a tradition Armenian home, we had many superstitions and rituals we fallowed. My mother was and still is the Queen of superstition.  Here are a few off the top of my head.

  • No whistling......especially at night.  The belief is whistling caused evil spirits to come.
  • No cutting your nails at night.  The belief is, cutting your nails at night shortens your life.
  • Never hand a knife directly to someone, always set it down for them to pick up.  The belief is that it causes turmoil and fights between you and the other person.  
  • Not to step over anyone.  The belief is that, the person will remain short. 
  • Never eat food out of the pot.  The belief is that it will rain on your wedding day.  This one I believe because I used to eat out of the pot all the time, and it did rain on my wedding day in June....go figure.  My mom turned to me and said "I warned you about that, didn't I".

I could go on and on, but of all the superstitions and rituals, the one that has stuck with me, is the belief of the evil eye.  I remember as far back as the age of 3, my mother would adorn me with an evil eye pin, necklace or bracelet.  Especially when I would be among other Armenians, family functions or school events.  I recall asking my mother what the eye was about, her response was that it was good luck charm.  I was content with her answer for a while.  Then one day, we were at an Armenian function, apparently my mother had forgotten my evil eye that day.  Throughout the day whenever someone would compliment me on how cute or articulate I was, my mother would quickly but veeeery discreetly scratch my behind.  After about the 3rd occurrence, I finally asked her why she kept on doing that?  She sternly shooshed me as most Armenian mothers do and said that she would explain later.  On the way home she talked to me about the details of the evil eye, in terms that a 7 year old could comprehend.  She explained that even people who love and adore me could "accidentally" cast the evil eye on me.  She went on to say that by scratching my behind, she defused the risk of me being a victim to the evil eye.  As I got older, the more I was exposed to these rituals and behaviors, it became second nature to me.  I was taught whenever I needed to praise or compliment something or someone, I should use the term "Mashallah" as a way of invoking God's blessing.  These rituals have been with me all my life.  They actually became more so part of my life, as I brought children into the world, and wanted to do whatever I could do to protect them.  Overtime these rituals turned into my fascination.....my fascination turned into an obsession and just recently my obsession turned into my business venture.  I now design evil eye jewelery for woman, children and infants.  To some the evil eye is just superstition but to the true believers of the evil eye it's power are nothing to be taken lightly.  Check out my website, I have all sorts of information regarding the history of the evil eye.  Mashalllah to all!              http://myguardianeye.com/

 

 

GaboudAchk GaboudAchk 26-30 13 Responses Jan 24, 2009

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Thanks, GaboudAchk for your insights. I was raised by Russian Armenians and though they occasionally mentioned the evil eye in conversation with other adults, it really wasn't part of my home life. My parents were virtual atheists so I'm sure that made my experience quite different than yours. I plan to check out your website. May all your endeavors be blessed by the grace of God.

I'm also superstitious in many ways. I'm not Armenian. I grew up with lots of tales from the east and west. Mum was a keen follower of Oriental superstitions. I understand about the evil eye 'powers' when we lived in the Middle East for many years -I take at least one with us at each posting abroad to place them in our home - I have a few evil eye collection I cherish in storage - DF

hey all, I'm Armenian too. I actually heard it all from my mother and grandmother too, but in time I started not to take them as serious as before. Now? Well I'm starting to feel i have to pay extra attention to evil eye effects. I encountered few incidents whenever i would throw a big party for my son (from 1-3 years) and the same nights my son would cry all night so scared suddenly that would make me half dead from that scene, now I'm feeling the same effect taking over my marriage. it has been years now that i feel something is wrong but i'm still not sure what to do about it. Any helpful suggestions???

Hi! I'm Albanian and omg, EVERY SINGLE superstition that I read about in your story is EVERYTHING that we do in my very traditional Albanian home. It's amazing to see how we have the same superstitions although we have different cultures. My mom always tells me to scratch my behind when someone complements me for example lol. Or if we go for visits we might carry some salt to warn off bad wishes too!:)

Ahaha all of those my mother taught me. I'm still a teen and I sometimes whistle in the house and my mother gives me a biiiig stern look. :) Also if you finish your food your spouse will be beautiful :P I finished all my food but it's too early to see my future husband ^,^ and whenever my mom comes over to me and I'm on the floor she yells at me to move so that she won't step over me.... in kindergarten we tested that theory x) haha I don't know how my friend remained because I moved

Hahaha! This is all so hilarious. I don't know about you guys, but in my family there's this thing where we're forbidden from handling sharp ob<x>jects on Saturdays when the sun goes down? I always forget what it's called, but I remember getting yelled at for knitting on saturdays. And being told that I would have horrible luck the next day.

I thought "Mashallah" meant something akin to congratulations ("abris") and also that it's Arabic. This place is the only other place I've ever heard that about the knife (or scissors) before besides my grandmother. In American school, they taught you to hand it the person sharp end facing you; Armenian mothers went one step further--to place it on the table!

I thought "Mashallah" meant something akin to congratulations ("abris") and also that it's Arabic. This place is the only other place I've ever heard that about the knife (or scissors) before besides my grandmother. In American school, they taught you to hand it the person sharp end facing you; Armenian mothers went one step further--to place it on the table!

Armenian Pride LOL! This is halarious! I totally relate, especially the whistling at night! gosh my mom would scare us when my brother and i were younger...actually she still does, because it was "calling the devil"! Oh brother, and dont even get me started with the crossing over anybody! Also dont leave you hat, scissors, or clothes hangers on the bed (it brings bad luck) ! And never leave your puse on the floor (because your money will flow out)!

In Turkey or Greece you can find glass evil eye amulets almost everywhere. People donate everything they love or appreciate with these blue evil eye charms. They attach an eye bead to the clothes of a new-born baby. They buy gifts or jewelry with a good luck charm for their sweethearts. They bring gifts with eye bead for a new office or a new car. Almost everywhere you see thousands of blue eyes, that aim to stop the evil eye with an eye amulet or an evil eye jewelry. i bought one at Evil Eye Store - www.evileyestore.com and still wearing - everything is ok by now !!!

I am Armenian too. I agree about the whistling and not to step over anyone, but I didnt know about the others, maybe because my family is not that superstitious. I know that If you believe hardly in something it comes true but when you pass those things they dont reflect on you. <br />
My mom still scratch me behind lol. If she is not near me I do it by my self.

Really enjoyed your story! I have Armenian friends but they haven't told me that we share a lot of cultural similarities and superstitions. That's really great. See, we have more in common from culture to culture than the mainstream tries to make us believe! Mashallah and khuda hafiz

that's so funny! I knew about the third and fourth one because of my mom and aunts, and your fourth one is pretty funny! Oh, I also knew about the evil eye, and I had a plastic little blue eye under my pillow or something when I was little... now that I remember, I wonder where that thing is.... it was pretty cute.<br />
one more thing, I heard my mom say 'Mashallah' just yesterday, and I find it interesting that they give praise to Allah without I think really knowing what they're saying... just picked up on it, like these silly rituals..