slaves of superstition

There are no seats with row number 13 in Lufthansa airplanes. In fact, not only row 13 but also the row 17 is missing. If you thought that this was the case only with Lufthansa then you are dead wrong – many other airlines avoid certain numbers in their aircrafts. As the matter of fact, Japan-based All Nippon Airways omits rows 4, 9 and 13! Why? Of yourse, the answer is clear – because all these numbers are generally considered “unlucky” in different cultures. In Christianity and Viking folklore for example, the number 13 is associated with bad luck, and even has a specifically recognized phobia, “Triskaidekaphobia”, a word which was coined in 1911. Seventeen is considered unlucky in Italy because rearranging the letters in the Roman numerals for 17 could spell “VIXI” which means “I lived” in Italian. Number four is generally avoided in Japan because it sounds like the word for death in their language (“Tetraphobia”) and the word for nine sounds like the word for torture.

But how about the fact that number 13 is actually considered “lucky” in Sikhism, since 13 is tera in Punjabi, which also means “yours” (as in, “I am yours, O Lord”)? Or the fact that Italian Alitalia’s Boeing 777s have thirteenth row while the rest of their fleet does not?!

I believe that education against superstition should be a part of common school programme, as well as education against religious, nationalistic and other ideological rubbish: as long as people are ready to believe that numbers, black cats or broken mirrors can bring misfortune, or that a horseshoe, knocking on wooden material or saying some special words can keep misfortune away, they will never be truly free and never be real masters of their own destiny. It may sound unimportant in comparison to a number of significant and disputed issues in the world today, but I am sure that connection between superstition and many cases of human suffering is much deeper than it may appear at the first sight.

Slaves of superstition

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5 Responses to “slaves of superstition”

  1. kiklop says:

    Hehehe, ccekao si trinaesti da objaviss post 🙂

  2. dzo says:

    Nego, koji su brojevi bili “unlucky” kad nismo znali da brojimo? 🙂

  3. pezza pan says:

    Svi preko tri 🙂

  4. pezza pan says:

    Kiklope, joss jednom se potvrdjuje tvoja odliccna sopsobnost zapazzanja postavljenih mina 🙂

  5. kiklop says:

    Hvala, kolega 🙂

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