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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: Mexican Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 5 - Umbrellas and Knocking on Wood. I'm Eric and I'm joined by Alex.
Alex: Hola! Hi, I'm Alex.
Eric: In this lesson we’ll talk about two common superstitions in Mexico. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s the superstition called in Mexican Spanish?
Alex: abrir un paraguas adentro
Eric: Which literally means "opening an umbrella inside." Alex, can you repeat the Mexican Spanish phrase once again?
Alex: [slow] abrir un paraguas adentro [normal] abrir un paraguas adentro
Eric: In the US, opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck.
Alex: The same in Mexico.
Eric: It's believed that opening an umbrella indoors will attract death or accidents.
Alex: This superstition has a reasonable purpose.
Eric: It's probably because opening an umbrella indoors can tip things over or cause accidents.
Alex: So stay safe and lucky!
Eric: The second superstition is about good luck. What’s the superstition called in Mexican Spanish?
Alex: tocar madera
Eric: Which literally means "knocking on wood." Let’s hear it in Mexican Spanish again.
Alex: [slow] tocar madera [normal] tocar madera
Eric: So when should we knock on wood in Mexico?
Alex: When someone says something you don't want to happen.
Eric: Some people believe that this will prevent it from occurring.
Alex: It's probably because religious artifacts are mostly made from wood.
Eric: Therefore, knocking on wood will protect you from evil spirits.
Alex: Knock on wood.


Eric: There you have it - two Mexican superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Alex: Hasta pronto!