Superstitions are beliefs or practices that often result from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation. Despite the fact that they might not be based on science and devoid of logic, superstitions are deeply rooted within the culture of a society and its people. So much so, it is impossible to get rid of them entirely even if they are debunked.
This column does not intend to put an end to superstitions, rather it looks to simply debunk them - all the while trying to appreciate their cultural elements, their essence and where they might have come from in the first place.
Today we are here to investigate an old Turkish superstition whose origin is still a mystery.
If you are in Turkey and ask someone to pass the scissors or the knife they are using, they will probably not hand it to you. And herein lies the superstition that a pair of scissors or a knife
- in fact, anything with sharp edges should not be exchanged from hand to hand. The person using the sharp tool would actually lay it down and ask you to pick it up yourself. Because in Turkish people believe that exchanging scissors or knives from one hand to another might cause bad blood between the people who are exchanging them.
This is one of the most common superstitions in Turkey. Parents tell their children that if they simply hand over a pair of scissors or knife to a person, or they might get into a fight with them. It is believed that especially scissors represent duality, meaning conflict, and passing it to another person's hand is a bad omen and you might end up making enemies. Of course, there must be an explanation for this and to tell the truth it is quite an easy one - health and safety come first. This, in fact, teaches us to use caution when working with sharp tools. Applause for our ancestors for being so thorough: teach your children that you will make enemies if you exchange scissors or knives. I have to admit that this is the perfect way to protect people from unnecessary injuries.