These are some of the ubiquitous taboos of the Malays:
1. Shake away your wealth
Goyang Kaki when sitting on a chair is strictly prohibited among the Malays. This is because they believe shaking your legs habitually is like jiggling all your wealth away and causes all your prosperity to flow away. This myth is probably to discourage an unbecoming and impolite sitting position. So no matter how cool it may look to shake your legs, refrain from doing so if you do not want to pokai in the future.
2. Indication of your future wife
When you go to a Malay girl’s house to propose marriage, if she happens to be bathing when you arrive, this means she’s a patient and kind-hearted girl. If she’s grinding flour, think twice before walking down the aisle since she will pass away shortly after the marriage. If she’s doing her laundry and hanging clothes when you arrive, this indicates that she will be a diligent fiancée.
3. Cracked mirror
It’s believed that gazing at yourself in a cracked mirror can have a disastrous effect, such as appearing pale during your wedding. This superstition aims to prevent accidents involving dust or tiny fragments of glass that could enter your eyes and hurt you.
4. Umbrellas and snakes
Opening an umbrella indoors attracts snakes into the building. This prohibition was created when umbrellas were still remarkably huge, and opening them inside the house would usually knock something over and break it.
5. Do not complain that you are hot
Young men cannot complain that they are feeling uncomfortable due to the scorching heat or their future wife will leave them. This superstition trains young men to grow up to become “men of character“ who can face any challenge or obstacle without endless complaining.
6. Sewing your clothes
Do not sew your outfits while you are wearing them since this causes your eyesight to deteriorate.
7. Eating from the pot
Eating straight from the pot will result in diarrhoea. It’s true, if you think about it. It’s extremely unhygienic for everyone to be sharing rice straight from the pot. If you want to avoid a stomach ache and getting stuck in the loo all day long with watery poop, try not to eat straight from the cooking pot. Transferring food to your plate does not take that much time, right?
8. Pointing at a rainbow
Last but not least, the most preposterous one superstition involves pointing at a rainbow with your index finger. It is said that doing so will make your finger fall off. Hmm, it’s not as if rainbows know how to use a knife to cut off your fingers, right? Well, this is the traditional way for elders to forbid young children from pointing at anything with their index finger since this is considered rude in many cultures.