It’s again Friday the 17th. If you join in the category of superstitious people, maybe I have good news for you; in 2023, this occurrence will happen only three times: two out of three have already passed. It remains the month of July, so be prepared and take note of that. It's not true, but I believe it! Friday 17th for someone is a date like others, nothing different, but for someone else is highly feared as an ill-fated day. Superstition has always existed in human history: some typical examples are broken glass, spilling salt on the table, and keeping an umbrella open in a secure place. Have you ever avoided passing under the ladder or being impressed after a black cat crosses the street?
According to Marino Niola, an anthropoloagist, that day is “a black hole in the calendar on which weight a huge amount of superstitions”. All of it started with the need to explain what’s happening in our lives. We often realize that the rational account provided by science is not precise enough. So, we switch to a grey area of reality where we think, finally finding the real reasons for the facts around us. How often have we heard, “I’ve passed under the ladder, and that day all fell apart”?
This belief leads some people to change their plans for the day, for example, take permission at work and stay at home. Experts consider superstition the magical attribution of power to material things and actions. This attitude is at the base of many neuroses. Obsessing-convulsive behaviours compel us to do continuous rituals.
Many people are the object of severe bullying, pointed out as someone who brings bad luck. Young boys and girls who don’t fit beauty and aesthetic standards are the most affected by this phenomenon which destroys their lives, and the negative statements are challenging to take over. It should be discussed and prevented in any way because the consequences of these accusations are grave.
In an Italian Tv reality show named Grande Fratello Vip, some participants have associated the model and influencer Nikita Pelizon as the cause of bad luck based on anything. Nikita has, on some occasions, expressed their love of nature, saying that she loves hugging trees, but this certainly does not imply the attribution made just because she has particular tastes and preferences. It’s a highly disrespectful and inappropriate gesture of throwing salt on the shoulders made by Italian actress Nicole Murgia after Nikita moves away from the kitchen. The actress was seasoning their salad and interrupted to do it. The production of the TV program hasn’t taken any disciplinary measures. She has confessed to talking with another participant that she thinks Nikita can "demonstrate the evil eye", bringing lousy luck around her. Nicole's gesture is seen by the protesters as an unfair move, with a defamatory background and bullying aimed at the marginalization of the group, against Nikita.
The most sensational case from Italy is that of the singer Mia Martini. In 1983, the famous singer decided to leave the music world. She was the victim of the terrible lousy luck bias that had affected her career. The falsehood started after a concert. She suggested to her band to stay at the hotel as it was covered instead of driving home late in the night. They did not take the advice; unfortunately, they died in a car accident.
Moreover, Mia refused to sign an exclusive contract proposed by Fausto Paddeu, an entrepreneur. He encourages the spread of negative voices about the singer as revenge. Mia Martini, for this attachment, rumours lost a lot of career opportunities.
Friday 17th, is considered a sad day; there is no scientific proof indicating adverse effects occur in large part and frequency during that date. The negative connotation attributed to Friday the 17th is like a meme. It’s enough to be a simple piece of information associated with bad luck that moves from one person to another. It is often believed that we have a sense of control over what’s happening to us, primarily related to bad things. The illusion of control consists of overestimating our behaviour’s influence on unverifiable results.
An exercise to fight this concern related to this scary Friday can be repeated to us that courage is the fear which lasts five minutes more. Try to live that day like others and test if something happens. It’s also a way to remember our limits.
The Latin expression 'eptacaidecafobia' is the fear of the number seventeen. Pitagora followers hated that number because it is located between sixteen and eighteen, considered perfect. In other countries like the United States of America and England, the number to be careful of is thirteen: on the planes and skyscrapers, you might be surprised about the absence of the thirteenth row and floor.
According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, European Parliament and Commission polling surveys instrument, Italy is in the third position countries of the European Union regarding superstition. Also, the SWG poll confirms this data; in 2022, it emerged that 40 % of Italians are very superstitious. 5% of people confess to always being that way. Instead, 35% show concern only in some situations. Although the percentage is relatively consistent, the data becomes even more relevant if the figures for these months are compared with those of previous years. In 2015, it was 36% of compatriots, while in 2017, the figure went up to 37%, arriving up to 40% reached in 2021, confirming a trend that the pandemic seems to have accelerated. As the study points out, looking at spirituality in its various forms, it is confirmed as "a tension and research towards models of explanation of reality and managing one's life experience that exceeds the dimension of scientific rationality".
There are different ways to ward off the evil eye. Take a horn-shaped pendant, particularly repeated phrases or behaviours taken as a talismanic gesture. The former US tennis player Serena Williams bounces the ball five times and ties her shoes starting from the right. The tennis champion player revealed that she hadn’t lost the Roland Garros match because she had misplayed; instead, the event it’s attributed to the fact she hadn't performed the usual pre-game rituals.
Further extraordinary facts happened some days ago at Treviso in Italy. Visit on Friday 17? No, thank you. Less 2 Treviso hospital has seen a thousand cancellation calls arrive for superstition. “Those who cancel the examination end at the bottom of the ranking and the place is reassigned”, Francesco Benazzi, General Director of Ulss 2, said.
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