img_2183

“The evil eye is essentially a specific type of magical curse, and has its roots in magical thinking and superstition. Curses, including the evil eye, are an answer to the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people.” writes  Benjamin Radford, in Live Science, October 23, 2013

Though I am partial to praising beauty, sometimes the fawning about everything that’s so prevalent in US culture is exasperating. Is it good? is it bad? I don’t know though in other parts of the world it’s not considered polite.  Reading about the folklore, customs and ancient rituals of places like Syria, Turkey, Southern Italy and other European counties – I understand how missing cultural information could complicate things, creating misunderstandings and mistrust, especially when traveling.

“Never praise; that’s what causes the evil eye to strike,” said University of California-Berkeley anthropologist Alan Dundes.  In this article  on folklore studies about the evil eye he goes on to say “The basic root of the evil eye is the notion of a limited good most common in peasant societies. If there’s not enough of a good thing and if you praise someone or something, it means you want what they have.” Hence the evil eye ornaments and jewelry prominent in countries outside of the US.

Not bridled  with a peasant culture or it’s archaic laws, the New Americans arrived on their tiny little ships, bypassing older mythologies steeped in superstition and evil eye lore.

These guys.

If you think about it, Americans  have been wandering the world-over for decades – traveling traveling traveling – literally scaring and scarring people with their friendliness, kindness and over the top exclamations of how gorgeous wonderful amazing incredible fantastic; babies, people, buildings and oceans, tramways, women, coliseums and pyramids are. No wonder those little old ladies cross themselves so often and spit piu piu piu as they pass.

Double up on the evil eye jewelry kids. I know I will.

Turkish Evil Eye – Nazar Boncugu, Hebrew Evil Eye – Ayin Ha’ra,  Italian Evil Eye – Mal Occhio, Farsi – Bla Band, Arabic – Ayin Harsha, Scotland – Droch Shuil, Spanish – Mal Ojo or El Oja, France – Mauvais Oeil,  Germany – Böser Blick, Romans – Oculus Malus