Etiquette & superstition: itchiness

I either have a cold, allergies, or I should soon expect insults, illness, and a disappointing meeting.

ETIQUETTE: Scratching an itch in public is socially unacceptable in most countries, but in India it also communicates very specific information, mostly connoting negative feelings. Scratching your arms or head indicates nervousness and lack of confidence, scratching your neck conveys a lack of agreement, and you rub your eyes when you want to avoid looking at an untruthful person.

SUPERSTITION: An itchy right shoulder predicts an upcoming inheritance. Gossip is portended by an itchy left knee. Itchy loins? A reconciliation, of course. If you want to be kissed by a fool, pay attention to where your nose itches. If it’s on the outside, you’re in luck. Hooray!

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