Friday, September 03, 2004

Pop Culture's Appropriation of Hindu Icons

I don't necessarily think the appropriation by popular culture of Hindu icons is always offensive. Any deity on a toilet seat, sure that is offensive, a deity on a t-shirt...I don't know.

Anyway, Time Magazine (Asia) recently published an interesting story on Pop culture's appropriation of Hindu icons and how "the faithful" is up in arms about it. The article is essentially a listing of some of the more recent examples of this, including Roberto Cavalli's ingenious Holy Bikini and undergarments which made a stir earler this summer, and were subsequently removed from the famed British department store, Harrods.

It's been five years since the spirituality-seeking Madonna, dressed in a sari and adorned with a tilaka marking on her forehead, sang a self-composed Sanskrit song at the MTV awards before a backdrop of Hindu god images—simultaneously raising the West's awareness of Hinduism and incurring the ire of the religion's faith police. Things Indian have only gotten trendier since. But as Madonna discovered, cashing in on Hinduism can be a mixed blessing.

To read the full article, click here.


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