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The Draft a.k.a. Durchzug/Zugluft

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Look at this miserable lady! Chances are, she brought her cold onto herself by getting into a draft. Germans tend to fear “the draft”, and try to avoid it at all costs, as, in their minds, it can cause numerous illnesses and ailments including colds, sore throats, headaches, a stiff neck, even pneumonia or worse. My web search for “Durchzug” or “Zugluft” resulted in over a million websites.. Admittedly, I only perused a few of them. This is what I learned:

1. Not only Germans are afraid of the draft. This makes me feel less weird.

2. According to a 1968 Spiegel article , two South African researchers did experiments to find out if drafts could really make people ill. The result: NO. It is all in our heads. These researchers, however, found a nice explanation for the fear of winds entering our homes – they blame it on ancient religions that imagined demons traveling by wind – e.g., the most evil demon of the Sumerians was called Lilitu, which translates into “Wind”.

I will still wear my scarf in my drafty bedroom this coming winter. It helped me not catch a cold last year. Who would have thought that weapons against demons could be so cheap?

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