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FOLK KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY 4.8.2. Beliefs and Superstition concerning flowers journey, it indicates ill omen. It could be a failure of your mission or obstacles could occur. Examples: ? If an owl hoots, it is just a call to the beaver to bring food ? When the plants or flowers are sown by children, but hearing it laugh is ominous and warns of death. they are believed to grow better since the budding Again, if owl is seen in the morning or afternoon, it is power of the child is infused to the plants, compared believed that ill-luck will befall the family. Therefore, to those sown by adults. the Bhutanese call an owl, the bird of bad omen. ? If we plant the flowers which are stolen from others, 4.8.4. Beliefs and Superstition concerning Pregnant they are believed to bloom better. Women ? In Bhutan, flowers represent both beauty and Examples: sacredness. So, if you grow lots of flowers and offer them at the altars, or at sacred sites, you will be ?Differentkindsoffoodthepregnantwomandreamsblessed with beautiful children at present and you of are taken to symbolize the sex of the unborn child. will be reborn as a beautiful person in the next birth. For example, dreaming of pumpkin, turnips and peaches are believed to indicate the child as female ? If the plants and flowers grow very well, the person while dreaming of radish and pear indicate the birth who planted them is said to have green fingers. of a son. 4.8.3. Beliefs and Superstition on Animals ? It is also believed that when a pregnant woman Examples: menstruates during her pregnancy the baby born to her will be the reincarnation of a renowned lama or a ? The generic name given to big black snake is buemen celebrant since the baby is believed to be cleaned and which literally means no snake but bad omen. purified in her womb. So, seeing such a reptile is considered ill-luck and misfortune will strike the person or his/her family. ? If the pregnant women has made the bed wet It is believed to be the messenger of death which unconsciously in her sleep for the first time, it signifies has assumed the form of snake to frighten you and that the child born will be rich and successful. scatter away your soul. The soul once scattered will have to be consolidated and strengthened. For this, ? During her pregnancy the woman should not dye a special ritual la kug (ref. earlier section on this her hair as it means the mother is stealing the babys topic) is performed to restore the soul and to ward fairness. off such misfortune. In this ritual, a replica of the snake is made with dough and left outside facing ? Sex of a baby is felt by the movement in the womb. the direction/site of the place where the snake was If the movement is felt more on the left it is a sign of encountered. a baby girl and conversely if the movement is on the right side the child will be a boy. ? If a dog, especially of your own, howls throughout the night or dig a hole in the ground around your ? If the pregnant mother loses her charms and becomes house, it is considered a bad omen. It is believed that dull the baby is believed to be a girl since the mothers they can sense an impending disaster, which makes beauty is taken by the baby but if the mother has her them cry. glowing looks on her face the baby is believed to be a boy. ? If a cat licks its front paws and then wipes its face, it announces the arrival of guest at home. 4.8.5. Beliefs and Superstition on Children ? Brawling of cats is considered bad omen as it is Examples: believed that cats fight over the spirits of dead people. ? When the baby is born it is considered to be impure (drip) until the cleansing ceremony is performed ? If a black cat crosses the road when you are making a early in the morning on the third day after its birth. | 177

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