I have to remind myself that there are busybodies in any culture, but being pregnant and dealing with the superstitious Aunties in my big fat Indian (and Hindu) community is sometimes more than even I can bear.
I don’t mind the gender predictions – they’re harmless. According to my grandmother, if I suffer from acne or if I crave savory foods (yes and yes), then I’m going to have a girl. I wish my face didn’t have to be examined at every family gathering but it’s easy to shake off superstitions that have no basis in reality.
My mom is queen of the superstitions that impede on my lifestyle. Like the fact that I’m not allowed to cut my hair in case it shortens the lifespan of the baby. I’m pretty sure some obnoxious guy with a long hair fetish came up with that one.
Then there’s my mom’s aversion to The Walking Dead. Indians believe that watching something gross will result in a deformed baby. If I watch zombies, apparently I’ll birth a zombie. The converse of this is that I’m supposed to look at photos of beautiful babies so that I’ll have a beautiful baby. But the thought of inflicting cutesy Anne Geddes babies on myself is enough to bring my morning sickness back.
Then there’s my mother’s sister, who had a dream last week that she was performing a seemantham for me to celebrate and welcome my baby into the world. After she woke up she called my mom and kept grilling her about me possibly being pregnant but fortunately mom kept mum. I’m actually looking forward to the ceremony, which basically involves all the Aunties showering me with sweet and savory food, clothing, and blessings. But my nosy aunt can keep her dreams to herself!
My aunt also cautioned my mom not to buy anything for the baby before it’s born as it’s bad luck. Since I’ve suffered from a miscarriage before, I guess I don’t mind this superstition, because it feels a little bit like jinxing myself, especially in my first trimester.