Legend of the Deadly Propu

You can’t Google “Propu”. You can, but nothing significant pops up. However, if you were a fly on the wall in our hostel or bus, you would hear this word come out of our mouths on an hourly basis. As far as I can tell, propu is an ovary-eating devil monster intent on slowly killing anyone selfish enough to enjoy a cool breeze.

Used in a sentence:

“Oh, your back is hurting? Must be the propu.”
“You will never have babies rolling the window down like that…propu”
“You’re really wondering why you’re sick with all these strong fans in your room?”

This is the legend of the propu. I thought it was a belief only shared among older women, but when I heard a 6 year old boy refer to it, I knew this was something of great cultural importance that would work against delightfully breezy rooms for generations to come. Propu is one of those Balkan beliefs that makes the area so unique. As far as I know, there are no scientific studies revealing the proof of propu (none against either), and it does seem rather illogical.

But my dear foreign reader, do not sit on your high chair scoffing at the people who hold this strange belief. Even the world hegemon of the United States holds equally strange myths told as truths. In attempt to share empathy with propu, below is a short list of similar beliefs.

-Reading under low light will ruin your vision!
-Going outside with wet hair will make you sick
-The 5-second rule: if a food item is on the ground less than 5-seconds, it’s still good to eat
-Feed a cold, starve a fever…have you actually talked to your doctor about this one?


For lists of others, check out these sites:


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