Exploring Homeownership Traditions in Different Cultures
Homeownership is a goal for people of many cultures, and it’s no surprise that there are varying traditions when it comes to celebrating and honouring this new chapter in life all around the world. CREA has an awesome blog where they speak with Canadians from a variety of cultures and religions to further understand their traditions and values when both buying a home and when someone else does.
Traditions and superstitions
Certain cultures have long-standing traditions and superstitions that are believed to bring good luck and ward off negative energy. In feng shui, for example, the placement of furniture and objects in the home is believed to influence the flow of energy and bring harmony to the space. Some even base their home purchase on Chinese feng shui principles, such as which way the front door faces or the placement of the staircase – if it faces the front door, it is believed your luck will fall down the stairs and tumble out the door.
In Judaism, it is customary for the front entrance way of the door to have a mezuzah (a small casing with a roll of parchment inside that has two biblical passages written). Some even place a mezuzah on every doorway except the bathroom as a reminder of their connection to their heritage.
Koreans have a couple interesting traditions as well including leaving your old broom and dustpan behind – these items could bring bad luck from your previous home and sweep away the good luck in your new one. When selling a home, some Koreans believe hanging a pair of scissors upside down by the entry door can help cut your ties with the house and make it easier to sell.
One more tradition we actually see often in Alberta is the burning of sage, referred to as “smudging”. Originating from ancient Indigenous practices, it is said to eliminate negative energy from the house and act as a cleanser.
Blessing the home
In some religions and cultures, it’s common practice to have the home blesses as a way to cleanse the space of negative energy, especially if someone lived there before you. One interviewee grew up in a Caribbean and Catholic household and described a priest blessing the house followed by a gathering of friends and family to bring new positive energy to the space. Southeast Asian’s have a similar tradition while one says “the first thing that must go into a Filipino home is a crucifix so God can come into the home first.”
More than just a warm welcome to a new house, many items are symbolic and represent good luck, prosperity or hospitality. In Japan, traditional housewarming gifts include a new coin to represent wealth, a straw broom to sweep away evil and wine or sake to bring happiness.
Koreans often give presents associated with cleanliness & purification, like toilet paper as a symbol of easy good luck (as it rolls out effortlessly) and soap which represents multiplying happiness, as bubbles grow and expand. In Judaism the most common are bread so they never experience hunger, sale for a flavourful life and sugar for sweetness along with a houseplant to bring growth and life into a new home.
Regardless of the cultural background, homeownership bring respect, empathy and unique opportunities that are respected by those all around the world. Check out the full blog here and join me on Facebook and Google for more fun and interesting articles! https://www.creacafe.ca/welcome-home-exploring-homeownership-traditions-in-different-cultures/