Friday, October 5, 2012

Whistling In The Dark

Recently one night when I was in bed, trying to fall asleep in the Sahara, my post during my Peace Corps service here in Morocco, I was reminded of a certain superstition which supposedly some Moroccans have.  As I was resting there in bed in the dark, I barely heard a television playing somewhere.  On the TV was a commercial which sometimes plays here which includes whistling.  For some reason, even though I'd heard this commercial numerous times before, only as I heard then in the dark did it remind me of the superstition here that if you whistle in your house, you're going to let a djinn, that is, a genie, into your home.  However, just as in the US, here in Morocco certainly not everyone subscribes to superstitions.  I was so reminded during a recent visit to the home of a family I know in town.

Perhaps a few days after I heard that commercial when I was trying to fall asleep, I was at the home of this particular family in town, visiting them for dinner.  As usual when one visits the home of a Moroccan family here in Morocco, the TV was playing.  As I sat there with the family, that same commercial which features whistling started playing on their TV.  I mentioned the superstition that if you whistle in your house, you'll let in a djinn. Some of the family members nearly seemed to chuckle, apparently unconcerned.  As an added expression of their lack of concern, one of them noted that the pressure cooker on the stove was starting to whistle!

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