I’m not superstitious, just a little stitious: Korea Edition

Anybody having a terrible day? 

In honor of Friday the 13th, I told my students about a few American superstitions: walking under a ladder, umbrellas indoors, black cats crossing your path, lack of 13th floors in America. One of their favorite things to do, and I believe this is a common discovery amongst English teachers in Korea, is compare Korean and western cultures. Food, folktales, high school life, and now superstitions. Now I’m starting to enjoy it as well. I also had them teach me a few. About 90% of them involved how to avoid interactions with ghosts…someone’s paranoid! Here are some of my favorites:

If a boyfriend buys shoes for his girlfriend, she’ll dump him. (This doesn’t count for couple-shoes, I asked.)

Don’t play the flute at night. 

Push your chair under your desk before going to bed, or else a ghost will come sit in it for the night. 

You must sleep with your hair in a ponytail, or else a ghost will come and count your hair strands. If you don’t wake up before he’s done, you’ll die. 

If you move to a new house, sleep upside down. 

If you hold your chopsticks at the top (longly), you’ll marry someone far away. 

Don’t throw clipped nails into a fire. 

Don’t sleep with your head towards the bathroom. 

Pigs in a dream are good luck!

Red bean scares away ghosts. 

After a funeral, people throw salt at you before coming back into a house. 



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