Cultural appropriation? Hindu nationalists used yoga as an anti-colonialist export


I was thinking less in terms of legality than cultural taboo.


I used to live in a suburb that had a very high percentage of Hasidic Jews and there was someone in a council flat who had a very hippy VW van who parked it in the street - among the various Indian-inspired stickers, there was a swastika sticker (a swasticker?) smack bang in the middle of the back window.

I always wondered at the chutzpah or the naivete of the owner, and also at the restraint of the Jewish populace for not breaking the windows :wink:

1 Like

One of my faves:


I think you mean the year ٢٠‎١٥, as long as we’re appropriating numerals.

1 Like

Give it time. Observing Western white middle-class liberal academia is like watching an especially dumb snake eat its own tail. Otherwise people who are ignorant of history wouldn’t foist their fragile egos all over campus. The only reason they haven’t immolated completely is because modern Western white conservatism is even more out to lunch.

1 Like

I have mixed feelings about the idea of cultural appropriation. I can see how it can be insulting when people go wear native American head dresses for halloween or dress up. However, I just saw an article that accused the people behind the Thug Kitchen blog and books of black culture appropriation because of the word thug and the fact that they swear a lot. That seemed ridiculous and insulting on many levels to me.


Yeah, good luck with that. I’m sure my wife’s Jewish relatives will be all over it.

I expect the Trump campaign to begin that process real soon now.

1 Like

Looks like they stole an aircraft carrier too, since they never completed one of their own.

1 Like

What about their moon base?


That’s hardly the worst thing marketers have done to Chinese Gooseberries:

Kiwifruit are kind of amusing when they just remind you of donkey balls, but that fucking thing gives me the crawling heebie-jeebies.


One example of cultural appropriation that I was part of:

Zucchini bread is pretty popular in the US, so I decide to make some. It’s way too sweet, so I use less than half the sugar in the recipe and eat it with butter. Not bad at all. We had a couch suffer from Hong Kong who also thinks it’s pretty good, but it really needs fish. And she’s right. Take out almost all of the sugar and eat it with smoked salmon, and you have a really good mix of flavours.


fun quotes…

If you’re not a disabled student, you don’t get to decide whether the CSD is using it’s funding appropriately. And if you’re not a south asian person, you don’t get to decide whether yoga is offensive or not.

The first clause seems reasonable if the class is restricted to disabled students at that particular University, and simulataneously expanded to those others who have voting rights at this CSD… The second clause is a bit nutty.

1 Like

I’d say there’s a big difference between parodying a style (wearing an Indian headdress to a Chiefs game, for example) and appreciating something while making it more appropriate to your own uses. If you want to use yoga as an exercise and relaxation technique without adopting the spiritual elements, there’s plenty of value to be gained. Some people focus on the religious elements and not the physical exercises. That’s also fine. Claiming authenticity without having some sort of allegiance to the traditions and culture would be where I’d draw the line, but I don’t think you should need to have a specific ethnicity to be able to do that.


I could be down with it! Are the Americas going to only allow indigenous religions now? Why should Yoga get special protection as contrasted against other Eastern practices? This could get interesting!


I saw that thug kitchen thing, and I agreed with it!
But only because the creators hid that they were white for so long!
They knew the image they were creating was at odd with their actual heritage, so to me, that one rings true!

And meanwhile in Canada, this made the news yesterday…


Couldn’t agree more.


And you’re welcome to them (me being the very definition of a gentleman - someone who can play the bagpipes… and doesn’t). Are you sure I can’t interest you in some neeps and tatties for the way home?

1 Like

You don’t like potatoes?


Ok, seriously, there is some DRAMA around the whole neep/swede/rutabaga/turnip thing!

(This is almost as good as the whole mango/green-pepper thing in Ohio!)

1 Like

Thug is, not unlike Yoga, an Indian term. which itself was appropriated by British colonialism, and subsequently by African-American culture. It seems weird to protect its appropriation by a later group, but to deny it to an earlier one.

Hegemony, (how) does it work?