Delhiites eye good luck charm, chillies at trade fair

By Rohit Vaid, IANS
Thursday, November 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - “Laws should be made, not against quacks but against superstition,” it is said, but traders from Turkey, Thailand and Hong Kong would beg to differ as good luck charms from their countries are seeing a robust response at the 30th India International Trade Fair (IITF).

Turkish charms against evil eye or what is commonly known as ‘nazar’ in India is one of the fastest selling items in the protective and lucky charm segment at the Nov 14-27 fair.

Others trading well at the fair are the good old ‘good luck coins’ and the ‘good luck chillies’ from Hong Kong and Thailand, which have debuted in the fair this year.

“Evil eye is a specialty item of Turkey. It is a protective item and we are seeing very good sales of it this year,” Tillo, a Turkish goods merchant at the IITF, told IANS.

Turks believe the ‘glass evil eye’ protects them from any evil or negative gaze. Even the tail-wings of aircrafts in the country are painted with the evil eye sign.

“In our country, it’s an intrinsic belief that if you are doing good, sometime people get jealous of your success and cast an evil gaze at you. At that time, evil eye protects you,” Tillo said.

“If someone gives you a curse gaze, the evil eye will break and that means you have been saved,” he explained.

In India, the concept is known as ‘nazar’, or ‘drishtidosham’ and the evil gaze is generally removed by a religious aarti.

“This is the first time I am buying this. I bought four pendants for my family to protect them from any negativity,” said Urwashi Nath, a housewife from south Delhi.

The evil eye or ‘nazar boncugu’ in Turkish, has been a popular item ever since it was first introduced at the IITF four years ago.

“We found that the cultures of India and Turkey have many similarities and the concept of nazar is one of them. So we decided to bring in this charm and the response of people has been tremendous,” said Ramesh Tiwari, a partner at a Turkish handicrafts stall.

The evil eye products range from Rs.100-Rs.8,000, and include an array of items like amulets, jewelry, pendants, ear-rings, necklaces, and beads.

Another hot item on the platter is ‘good luck chillies’ from Hong Kong and Thailand.

“These are our specialty items, and we have sold the majority of stock that we brought. People love to buy them as they look good and bring prosperity,” said Carolina of the Hersons International Stall of the Hong Kong pavilion.

This is the first time the ‘Good Luck Chillies’ have been introduced at the trade fair. A ‘Feng Shui’ item, it is a common sight at homes in Southeast Asia.

“People are very excited to see these chillies and we have sold a lot of them. People are even buying it for gifting purpose,” Carolina added.

Even the evergreen good luck gold coins are fetching good business.

“These coins bring in luck, wealth, prosperity to the one who owns them. They are known to increase your wealth and are also in a lot of demand,” Carolina said.

Monish Singh, a Class 12 student, said: “I bought the coins for my parents and myself as I think they will bring luck and wealth. I will also gift some to my friends as we are having our board exams this year.”

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at

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