Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Malocchio

...or in English - the evil eye. In many cultures it is believed that certain people can cast a spell on you, cause bad luck or injury just by looking at you. You'll find this belief or superstition in the Middle East, but also in countries like Italy, Greece or Spain.

The so-called "curse" can consist of anything from small mishaps to some major "disasters". As protection against these, you can wear a cross around your neck or use various good luck charms.

Here in Italy people often use a "horn" as protection against the malocchio 
 

 
..... While in Greece they use the blue eye




Some days ago I got the proof that this superstition is still very much alive. My brother-in-law had suffered from headaches several days and no tablets helped relieve it so he asked his mother to do the malocchio - which means to perform a kind of ritual in order to verify if someone really has given him the evil eye and if so make it disappear .....

This ritual is normally performed by one of the oldest in the family, usually a grandmother - who most likely has learned it from her grandmother. I have found a video on Youtube that shows how it's done. It can be found here. (An American filmmaker has made a film about malocchio; can science prove or disprove this? Is the superstition still alive in the new generation? Is it possible to cure malocchio? Or even better, how can you avoid getting it?)

To perform this ritual you pour water in a small bowl and make the sign of the cross over it several times while saying a Catholic prayer before telling the evil and the envy to leave the person. When done, dip one finger in olive oil before dripping four drops of it in the water making the form of a cross.  If they divide in to many smal droplets it means that it really was the malocchio; if they remain unchanged it wasn't...

Then the bowl with the water and the oil is left to rest for a few hours so the oil will spread over the entire plate before it's poured into the sink so that it all will end in the sea where the malocchio will disappear for good. 

While this took place me and my husband was sitting in the living room and mother- and brother-in-law was in the kitchen. 

What on earth are they doing - is it the "malocchio"? I asked my husband.

"Yes, my brother has a headache that won't go away", was the response I got.

"Well, then you simply take a headache tablet", I said (with emphasis - just to show how I felt about this topic). My husband only laughed at me...

When my mother- and brother-in-law came back into the living room, of course my husband had to tell them what I'd just said. My mother-in-law then looks at me and says "My dear, he has already taken several tablets without any result"

Which of course means that the only reasonable solution to the problem is doing the malocchio! 
 
....... SIGH!

10 comments:

alfredandvincent said...

Fun read! :))

Will be sharing this to our Evil Eye Page followers. :)

Evil Eye Jewelry by AlfredAndVincent.com

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Great! Thanks :)

demie said...

superstition? what do you mean superstition???
;0 )

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Ooops! Forgot that you're Greek, Demie! ;-))

Anonymous said...

Cara LINDA,
io al "malocchio" proprio non ci credo,anche se
la gente a volte può essere veramente cattiva e
questo è peggio del malocchio!BUONA
EPIFANIA!
LILIANA

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Buona Epifania anche a te, Liliana!

Nora said...

Gøy å høre om overtro og skikker i andre land ! Bor i Frankrike selv, men her virker det ikke som det er så veldig utbredt... De er derimot veldig flinke (les:altfor) til å ta medisiner. Jeg er sikker på at de hadde gitt ut piller mot pille-avhengighet...!

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Ja, det er tydelig at hvert enkelt land har sine særegenheter... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, the blue eye charms are Turkish, NOT Greek. I think you need to study this a little more...

A Foreigner in Italy said...

This post wasn't meant as an article about the origins of the different charms used for protection against the evil eye. I'm merely stating that the blue eye charm is used in Greece for this purpose. Anyone who has been to Greece would know that. But this doesn't mean that it can't also be used in Turkey for the same purpose. Greeks and Turks have a lot of history in common and I doubt that one can claim that this charm is solely Turkish or Greek. Even though a Turk would claim it's Turkish and a Greek would claim it's Greek.

And I'm not the one to decide who is right...

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