Superstitions are a big part of Indian people’s lives, whether it is Indians in India or Indians abroad. From my recent experience, I see more fear of superstitions in Indians abroad than Indians in India. This may be because Indians outside of India are trying so ard to stay connected to their roots that they try to keep everything they know about their country and its cultures alive and fresh. Some of these superstitions sound so idiotic, especially because there is never a good explanation for them.
One of the many myths believed is to not wash your hair on Thursdays. Tuesdays and Saturdays are not preferred either but Thursday is one day that is absolutely considered bad omen to wash your hair. After doing my research, I found out that there is a legend to it.
There was once a wife of a rich merchant who was busy doing house chores, while her husband was out of town for a few days, and a beggar had come to her house asking for food. Now here you must know that in India a guest or anyone that comes to your door is considered God and should be given respect and food, especially back in the days. Getting back to the story, the lady ignored him and said to come another day because she was busy. And she kept doing the same thing and he kept coming back, until came Thursday when she said she was busy with house work and he got angry and said to keep washing your hair on Thursday and you won’t be busy anymore. She did exactly that and eventually the family’s wealth was all gone. The beggar was Lord Brihaspati (god ruling Thursday (god of Jupiter)) and had cursed her. She eventually realized her mistake and stopped washing her hair on Thursday and eventually, the wealth and happiness in her family returned.
In conclusion, this ritual, like many other practices in India, took birth from someone’s fear and then everyone else just decided to follow it without asking questions. I don’t want to offend anyone, it may be that goddess Laxmi (goddess of wealth) stops blessing your house if you wash your hair on Thursday; but does nature or God actually have time to make all these dos and don’ts? I find myself, sometimes, thinking twice before washing my hair on Thursdays even if I don’t really believe in it. It’s just that these practices are embedded so deeply in our cultures that for some of us it’s so hard to separate from them, completely.
What do you think?