Nat Geo Assignment: Superstitions Around the World

Nat Geo Assignment: Superstitions Around the World - Kristian Bertel
Hindu ceremony in Nashik, India submitted to ‘Superstitions Around the World’ on Nat Geo.



See the National Geographic photo assignments that Kristian Bertel has participated in – Read the story about his photographs here…

Kristian Bertel has contributed to the National Geographic Your Shot with an assignment called ‘Superstitions Around the World’. Curated by Kristen McNicholas, an associate photo editor at Nat Geo Your Shot, they are inviting us to share our experiences with superstitions through our images and stories this will be a great opportunity to learn something new or old from all corners of the globe.

Superstition for any belief or practice
Superstition is a pejorative term for any belief or practice that is considered irrational for instance if it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a positive belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown. “Superstition” also refers to actions arising from irrationality.

”Some people may not think they are superstitious, but still knock on wood or avoid walking under a ladder to prevent bad luck. Many cultures believe that the number 13 is evil and brings bad luck, yet other cultures believe the number 13 brings good fortune”


Superstition in India is considered a widespread social problem and this superstition refers to any belief or practice which is explained by supernatural causality, and is in contradiction to modern science. Some beliefs and practices, which are considered superstitious by some, may not be considered so by others. The gap, between what is superstitious and what is not, widens even more when considering the opinions of the general public and scientists.

Lack of education in India
Superstitions are usually attributed to a lack of education. But, in India educated people have also been observed following beliefs that may be considered superstitious. When talking about this subject the word ‘Godman’ is also worth to know about since it is a colloquial blanket term used for charismatic spiritual leaders in India. Locally, they may be referred to as Baba, Swami, Guru, Shastri, Bapu or Bhagat. Many of them claim to have magic or psychic powers and perform miracles.

In Delhi a Ganesha idol was reported to have drunk the milk offered to it. Soon, as the news spread, similar phenomenon were reported from all over India and a few from abroad.

Superstition has been in our lives for ages
Superstitions have been a part of our lives for the ages, passed on from generation to generation, just like traditions. People have always been fascinated with the world of superstitions, wondering where they originate from. How have they evolved over generations? Are they a belief in the supernatural? Do they stem from hope or faith, fate or magic? Are ghost stories superstitions?

”- I was photographing a group of people that were garthered at a Hindu ceremony. Superstition is often used to refer to a religion not practiced by the majority of a given society regardless of whether the prevailing religion contains alleged superstitions. It is also commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and certain spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific apparently unrelated prior events”, the photographer Kristian Bertel says.


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    Tags:   #india   #travel   #portraits