Buda (not Siddartha)

There is this bad bad thing here.  I almost don’t know how to describe it.  It’s a belief that people can give you the “evil eye” aka “buda“.  I’m not entirely sure what’s supposed to happen when you are the receiver of this evil eye.  I know the belief seems particularly applicable to kids and pregnant women.  But that just might be because I have a direct relationship to these categories.

We went to a friend’s house for a Muslim holiday and she insisted I wrap a scarf around my belly to protect myself from people seeing my stomach and giving me the evil eye.  The husband’s grandma insisted I was showing too much skin (in a dress) and insisted I change into her little old lady dress to protect myself from the evil eye.  (She started to cry when I didn’t change my clothes.)  So it crosses religious boundaries and the husband says it’s a pagan belief. 

We were at a party last weekend with a lot of family.  One little girl had some fake moles on her cheek and forehead evidently to distract people from looking directly at her to avoid buda.  People won’t feed babies in public in case someone were to look at the milk and give IT the evil eye too.  I know I’m fairly self-conscious when interacting with other people’s kids and babies in case they think the pale ferenji could inflict evil on their child.  The same night after the party (where Zizi hadn’t had a nap for the second day in a row), Z woke up screaming around 11 p.m. and continued to scream for about 20 minutes.  The husband says that’s what happens when kids get the evil eye.  I vote for her being totally off her schedule and needing sleep but…maybe I’m wrong.  There must be some truth to predicting kids’ behaviour I guess but I don’t think it’s because of the evil eye.

It makes me wonder what would happen if you told people you believed in “Buddha”?!


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