Just like many Americans carry lucky charms and follow “silly” superstitions (like not changing socks) amidst the “March Madness” college basketball championship games, Indians also practice similar quirky rituals to support their love for cricket.
History repeats itself every world cup, and we get to see new world cup stunts, crazier fanship and some strange rituals. Indian cricket fans took a blow last week with India losing out to Australia in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2015. For cricket enthusiasts, it was not yet over and their love for the game had them glued on to their TV sets, following up the world cup finals to cheer up the best performing team. Australia won.
If you did not switch on the Indian news channels for the past few weeks to witness some crazy stuff this world cup, you sure missed out the fun. World cup is also a time for strange superstitions even if they sound as crazy as a fish (considered an auspicious one) swimming to touch a board stuck in an aquarium with the name INDIA (and not touching the board with the name Australia). There are also mass hawans, duas, fasts and prayers. And let’s not forget the food traditions such as ICC World Cup menus, world cup shaped cakes, and mithais like Dhoni Rasgullas. Apart from special hairdos, paints and tattoos, there were astrologers predicting victory with a level of certainty that must have baffled many Indians. FIFA too has its fanship in India, but the game of cricket is another thing for Indians.
As a cricket fan would you?
- Stand or sit throughout a match : You either need to be seated or standing in the same position for the luck goddesses to shine upon Team India and you!
- Wear the same lucky color? : If you wore something and India won, you will most likely want to wear the same clothes/colors.
- Pray: Even non-believers are known to pray during tough times in a match. There is always a chance with pleas like “Let the electricity resume and I will study every single day till my exams.” Well, if electricity resumes, and India wins, God surely loves you.
- Apply Vaastu shastra: The direction and placement of the TV just before a match becomes utmost crucial. Many people watching a match on the television actually believe that placing the TV in a particular direction affects the team’s performance!?
- Fast and tie lucky knots: Fasting for the victory of the Indian team, tying a knot to one’s duppata (Indian stole) or saree for good luck.
Do you have any sporting rituals? Share them with me.
Sanjay Puri has been working on Indian-American issues and facilitating stronger US-India relations through USINPAC (US India Political Action Committee and AUSIB (Alliance for US India Business), two bipartisan organizations that he chairs.