Of Superstitions, Wedding Invitations and Marriage Breakdowns

Are you a superstitious person, consulting every almanac on good and bad tidings – even visiting a clairvoyant to plan your every move – lest you meet with ill fortune or that your enterprise may not achieve its intended goals? Or are you a modern person, forward looking, scientifically- minded and always sneering at the ways of the superstitious?

Superstitions are definitely not the sole domain of Asians. Most peoples of the world hold some superstitious views regarding many things in life. For instance, some Westerners believe Friday the 13th to be a rather inauspicious day to hold important events like marriage. For some, running into a black cat could spell some ill luck or misfortune coming one’s way. For the Chinese, almost everything you utter or anything you do – all have associated superstitious dos and don’ts. According to some Chinese prophets of gloom, failure to adhere to these guides could result in dire consequences.

One friend of mine, an ethnic Chinese living in the West, became sort of a ‘victim’ of superstitions. The story went like this. On his wedding day he inadvertently omitted to include his best friend and confidante in the wedding invitations. This friend, another ethnic Chinese, was inflamed. He showed me an obscure Chinese text forecasting ill-fortune to anyone who omitted to do so, as the above-mentioned bride-groom did.

I made it to the wedding invitations list of this mutual friend of ours but I dared not reveal to him the superstitious belief associated with the confidante’s omission. The opportunity finally afforded itself when, sadly speaking, my friend’s marriage broke down and he filed for divorce. I was the solicitor acting for him at the High Court’s divorce proceedings. He was granted a decree nisi, and he came home with me, depressed and tired. I only told him the superstitious foreboding days after his divorce.

Perhaps my divorced friend’s case should not be cited as a case for the superstitions as his case is atypical. In normal circumstances who would leave out a good friend’s name in preparing a wedding invitations list?

Needless to say, a superstition remains a superstition, no more and no less. In this modern, 21st Century world of high-tech, high-speed Internet connection and digitization, superstitions seem hopelessly out of sync with the times. My advice to would-be brides and bride-grooms is: it is always wise to ‘play safe’ and err on the side of caution. True, you have the final say who are going to be your wedding guests, but a well-thought out weddings invitations name list, that is inclusive rather than exclusive, will do you a lot of good in the long run. Trust me.

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