Dreams in different cultures

Dreams are one common thing around the world but they have different importance according to the cultures and religions. Spirits, ghosts, gods… How dreams take place in our societies varies and is essential to understand the culture of peoples.

For India’s Muria people, dreams are interpreted as what the soul sees. All the messages come from the other world and are only analysed by the wise man of the village. For example, dreaming about death is usually considered as a happy omen.

For the Inuit, dreams are influenced by the spirits of words or evil spirits that bring incredible suffering, while Native Americans used to have a dream catcher facilitating the process of dreams. During those dreams, teenagers would discover their identity and destiny. They are really important and considered as spiritual guides for life.

In Haiti, spirits speak to their faithful during the dreams. They usually advise the dreamer and give him medicinal recipes. The Finnish people also receive advice in their dreams. Some mothers even choose the name of their kids thanks to their dreams.

The Maori people of New Zealand don’t take dreams lightly. It is thought that during the dream, the mind leaves the body to look for answers. That’s why it is important not to briskly wake someone up who is sleeping, otherwise the soul gets lost. The soul needs time to reincarnate into the body.

There is a Zulu tradition that uses dreams as warnings. If danger or an enemy approaches, a Zulu knows it thanks to their dreams. They can also predict wars, death and weddings. In this culture, dreaming in winter is a bad sign while dreaming in summer is usually a good prediction.

Indians of Amazonia think that they develop their second self in dreams. Dreams are there seen as an adventure of the mind.

Dreams are the centre of the Aboriginal culture. According to the legend, the whole world was created by Ancestral Beings, moving across the land in human shapes and creating life (animals, plants, and humans) and significant geographic features such as mountains. The Dreamtime or Dreaming is important and can still be accessed when necessary to solve troubles, problems or diseases.

If dreams can take different meanings and importance according to tribes and people, one thing’s for sure: they are universal. Sweet dreams everyone!

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