Hindu protests against Valentine's Day Cards in India
February 13, 2002 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Hindu protests against Valentine's Day Cards in India While I understand the "protest against encroachments of Western culture" part of this, I find it curious that part of the problem is that they find the cards obscene "because they show young couples embracing and kissing" - considering certain bits of Hindu cultural history.
posted by dnash (45 comments total)

 
Since when has the truth ever stopped a zealot?
posted by aramaic at 11:35 AM on February 13, 2002



posted by quonsar at 11:43 AM on February 13, 2002


From the news story: "The 20 nationalists waved religious saffron flags and demanded Valentine's Day celebrations be banned in predominantly Hindu India."
They are from Shiv Sena, they tend to do such things. Not really that big a deal in my opinion.
posted by riffola at 11:44 AM on February 13, 2002


Also any reason is a good reason to protest for some people.
posted by riffola at 11:46 AM on February 13, 2002


While I understand the "protest against encroachments of Western culture" part of this

Huh? Valentine cards are enroachments of western culture? Uhm... ok.
If someone doesn't want valetine cards, big macs, starbucks coffee or disney-brand merchendise, they shouldn't buy it. No one's forcing them.
posted by tiaka at 11:58 AM on February 13, 2002


certain bits of Hindu cultural history.

The same could be said for a lot of religions. How about Christianity's Song of Solomon? That never got a love fest going in any church.

I really can't decide what's wrong with modern religions, their inability to follow their own holy texts or their selective "interpretation" of those holy texts.
posted by skallas at 12:01 PM on February 13, 2002


dnash: "...I find it curious that part of the problem is that they find the cards obscene..."

To me, the word "they" is starting to get really annoying. THEY are a handful of lunatics who pretend to speak on behalf of a nation.

"20 nationalists.."

Isn't that about the same number of people who show up for anti-abortion demonstrations at clinics here in America? Every culture has its own vocal minority. THEY don't speak for me. In fact, our own politicians don't speak on my behalf even though allegedly they were voted by the majority. (ha!)

" 'I bought some of these cards for 150 rupees (about $3) each to prove that this is not our culture,' said Jai Bhagwan, chief of the New Delhi branch of the Shiv Sena party."

Shyeah right! How does financially supporting something not of his culture prove that they are not of his culture. By buying it he's fulfilling the role of ingesting this "foreign body" of greeting cards into his culture, [sarcasm] where they will now circulate and turn his country over to the Great Satan! [/sarcasm] Anyone stupid enough to financially support the very product they are denouncing speaks with individual ignorance and not nationalistic authority. It's like when fundamentalist zealots in this country buy books and record albums they find unholy just so they can throw them into a public bonfire. When I don't like something, I don't buy it. That's how I demonstrate.

Stupid people got no reason to live. Sometimes I just want to walk around the planet with a box of postit notes and with impunity, tag anyone I choose with "I'm stupid kill me" signs.


skallas: "How about Christianity's Song of Solomon? That never got a love fest going in any church." You're obviously going to the wrong churches. *rimshot*

Hey I'm still lookin' for just one babe with boobs like gazelles. SoS4:5 - "Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies." How can a boob be like a four legged herbivore? WTF? What drugs were they taking when they wrote this thing?
posted by ZachsMind at 12:21 PM on February 13, 2002


Song of Solomon....thanks for pointing that out, Skallas, that book is extremely celebratory of physical love without being coarse about it....but the imagery is certainly not all that obscure either.
posted by bunnyfire at 12:21 PM on February 13, 2002


Look, my husband is from colorado, and he keeps insisting on comparing me to a cow elk, and what is more infuriating, insisting it is a compliment. His mother actually understands this, although to her credit can understand why I might not find it flattering.
My point is, to an ancient hebrew culture, teats and fawns might have some connection that we don't follow....
posted by bunnyfire at 12:25 PM on February 13, 2002


Maybe because fawns are agile and perky...
posted by insomnyuk at 12:30 PM on February 13, 2002


Uhm bunnyfire? SoS okay's incest. I'd call that pretty coarse. And in any culture I think comparing a woman's breasts to animals is coarse. Don't get me wrong I love SoS, but it's a coarse book and proves the hypocrisy of any Christian who wants to ban books. The Holy Bible should be on top of any banned list. It's violent, it's bloody, and it's got a lotta "begetting" sex in it.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:30 PM on February 13, 2002


and the coat of a fawn is probably shiny and smooth...
posted by insomnyuk at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2002


ZachsMind: there are prudes in every religious system, get over it. That doesn't bastardize the philosophy, just because some bastards misuse it.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2002


Song of solomon does not okay incest. You have to understand the terminology of the time, and I don't have time to give you an old testament cultural history lesson here. Background, people, background.......it's like I call my husband my brother in the Lord, but he ain't my brother-you dig? but if you were from the planet zorgon and didn't know the lingo, you'd be trippin'......
posted by bunnyfire at 12:49 PM on February 13, 2002


And one other thing-ancient Hebrews were a lot of things, but you certainly could never have called them prudes.
posted by bunnyfire at 12:52 PM on February 13, 2002


Bunnyfire: I know, I'm referring to many modern day Christians. I would probably have gotten in trouble in my old Christian high school for reading aloud certain passages of the Bible, which include words like 'semen' and 'breasts.'
posted by insomnyuk at 12:58 PM on February 13, 2002


Wonder how many demerits they would have given God for writing it .... speaking as one of those modern day Christians of course.....bunny scratches her head in wonderment...
posted by bunnyfire at 1:13 PM on February 13, 2002


insomnyuk: "ZachsMind: there are prudes in every religious system, get over it."

That's my point. Just cuz twenty guys run around India waving greeting cards around saying how evil they are, that doesn't mean the whole country thinks that. It's a vocal, stupid minority.

Bunnyfire, the context is that the girl looks to her loverboy and admits that she wishes he were her brother, so their mother would allow him to take her daughter into a private room in their dwelling and the brother could teach his sister how to make love. In other words, at the time SoS was written, it was acceptable that brothers and sisters privately 'play' with one another. It is discussed as if it was less socially unacceptable for her to make love to her lover because they were not related. That if they were related she wouldn't have to wait. The actual quote from the book's a little more saucy than my dissecting commentary, but that's the context.

I'm not saying that the Christian bible is evil or that incest should be acceptable behavior. I'm saying anyone who thinks the bible is infallible is not living in reality. It's very fallible and contradictory, even when trying to understand the culture from which it stems in order to interpret it.

God may or may not be infallible. I happen to believe God is infallible. That's my trip. However, the book he allegedly wrote using human beings as his stylus: the book's VERY fallible. And most Christian religions are not based on God, but the interpretation of God from the book, so most Christian religions are fallible, being made by man and not by God.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:18 PM on February 13, 2002


How about perky doves.... oh no it was fawns that my husband speaks of sometimes... I never once registered the allusion, but now I get it! SoS--Thanks all!
posted by Quixoticlife at 1:25 PM on February 13, 2002


NONONONONO.....in that culture husband and wife could not kiss in public! Brother and sister could!

Oh give me a break......sheesh! Where in the Alpha Quadrant did you ever get THAT interpretation from-and before you go off on me, you should know I went to bible college and I have access to Hebrew and Greek scholars who can back me up if i need it-

There is no foundation that I have EVER heard of for such an off the wall statement such as you just made. That is sick! The Bible condemms incest- in no uncertain terms- !
posted by bunnyfire at 1:35 PM on February 13, 2002


NONONONONO.....in that culture husband and wife could not kiss in public! Brother and sister could!

Oh give me a break......sheesh! Where in the Alpha Quadrant did you ever get THAT interpretation from-and before you go off on me, you should know I went to bible college and I have access to Hebrew and Greek scholars who can back me up if i need it-

There is no foundation that I have EVER heard of for such an off the wall statement such as you just made. That is sick!
posted by bunnyfire at 1:36 PM on February 13, 2002


Bunnyfire: If Adam and Eve were the first people on Earth, who did their children marry?
posted by insomnyuk at 1:37 PM on February 13, 2002


Genetically speaking, they didn't have to worry about birth defects, etc. so at that point in human history, the incest problem was practically speaking, not an issue...later on, once there was enough of a population to actually have someone to choose from, then incest taboos could take hold-not only protecting from biological defects, but also protecting the integrity of the family relationships-if you have studied sociology, as I have, you will know how sexuality would muck up the waters so to speak amongst blood family....If I recall correctly, the Bible's first mention of condemnation of incest was after the Great Flood.
posted by bunnyfire at 1:51 PM on February 13, 2002


The explanation given regarding incest sounds a lot like a very technical rationalization to me (why wouldn't adam and eve's kids (of which there were no girls) have to worry about birth defects?). I don't agree that going to bible college makes one an expert in objectively looking at the bible. Children are allowed to play sexually with brothers and sisters in some cultures. Why not there?
posted by goneill at 2:11 PM on February 13, 2002


tiaka: what if i not only don't want to buy mcdonalds, starbucks, or hallmark, but don't want them peddling their wares in my neck of the woods? you can't always stop that.
posted by whoshotwho at 2:50 PM on February 13, 2002


see this thread
posted by goneill at 3:06 PM on February 13, 2002


whoshotwho: eventually, if there are enough people that feel the same way you do, they will go out of business. You don't get to make the decision for everyone else.
posted by jbelshaw at 3:36 PM on February 13, 2002


Look, since the Bible is my holy book as a Christian, can we assume I have some knowlege of what it means?

Sorry if that came off as snarky , I don't mean it to, but it does seem illogical to think that people who are not Christians will know more about Christianity than Christians will.
As to the Hindus and Valentine's day, perhaps we truly do not understand their cultural objections to the sentiments of the day......cultures are funny things....I studied cultural anthropology and sociology in college and found it utterly fascinating....they have a right to their opinion on the matter.
posted by bunnyfire at 3:55 PM on February 13, 2002


Hey, hold on a minute guys, as an Indian, I am completely offended by all the statements in this thread,

showing young couples embracing and kissing...

what will you all think of next, free pr0n accssible 24/7 to the entire world...

damn all you sexually liberated people, in my country what we do is simple, marry then go f**k your sisters...

Namaste.
posted by bittennails at 3:56 PM on February 13, 2002


I swear some people seem to walking around hoping they'll be offended by something and get to picket or fire off an angry letter to the editor(or angry mefi post for that matter). I imagine some people have an all-purpose placard in their garage reading "DOWN WITH _____" and a marker for filling in that days "outrage."
This would just be harmless stupidity were it not for the fact that while we piss and moan about minutia, the truly big issues go merrily on in the background. Or short version "Pick your spots, folks."
posted by jonmc at 4:01 PM on February 13, 2002


Jonmc, my post was a joke, just in case you did not get it.

oh, and I meant, first we get married then go f**k our sisters...

Which I am sure happens with the same regularity the worldover.
posted by bittennails at 4:04 PM on February 13, 2002


Genetically speaking, they didn't have to worry about birth defects, etc. so at that point in human history, the incest problem was practically speaking, not an issue.
ah, so boinking mom isn't in itself sinful, it's birth defects that offend god.
posted by quonsar at 4:09 PM on February 13, 2002


One more thing, bunnyfire, [genetically speaking] adam & eve were/are a myth.
posted by bittennails at 4:09 PM on February 13, 2002


bittennails - I know. (and a funny one too.) I think we were typing at the same time.

I was actually poking fun at the original topic: that someone was upset enogh over greeting cards to take to the streets.
posted by jonmc at 4:18 PM on February 13, 2002


Sorry, jonmc, thought yours was in response to mine, should have checked the time better.
posted by bittennails at 4:24 PM on February 13, 2002


Regardless of whether bunny is an expert on the Old Testament or not, the larger point--that extrapolating an entire set of cultural taboos from one line in one text--is still valid. The success of Britney Spears's song "Hit Me Baby One More Time" does not mean that USerican culture condones either domestic violence or BDSM roleplay, hmm?
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:35 PM on February 13, 2002 [1 favorite]


Hey, I heard that there are some Hindu fundamentalists in India who don't like Valentine's Day cards. How crazy is that?

I love it. Mention religion and ten posts before some jerk-off is flaming the Bible. No, excuse me, it was eleven.

Metafilter saddens me.
posted by dhartung at 4:39 PM on February 13, 2002


Ok, bittennails, I will be happy to take a ride in your time machine-you must have one, since you are so sure Adam and Eve are a myth..... bunny snarked, being surrounded by whiny teens and husband....she leaned back in her computer chair...it had been a long day, and she was tired......she wondered how much a ticket to India would cost.
posted by bunnyfire at 4:55 PM on February 13, 2002


bunnyfir: The ticket is probably less than you expect, pricewise, and if you want a ride in my time machine all you have to do is BUY that ticket to India.
posted by bittennails at 5:01 PM on February 13, 2002


Actually Manu and his wife Mansi (not too sure about her name) are the counterparts to Adam & Eve, although in some versions I believe Manu's family is more like Noah's, starting all over again after a flood. (I may be confusing two seperate people, or maybe not, but I know Indian legends have it's first man and first woman.)
posted by riffola at 5:57 PM on February 13, 2002


Thank you, riffola, for mentioning the fact that they are Indian "Legends."
posted by bittennails at 6:00 PM on February 13, 2002


I love it. Mention religion and ten posts before some jerk-off is flaming the Bible. No, excuse me, it was eleven.

Metafilter saddens me.


Get over it. Has any thread Bunnyfire decided to make her own ever turned out well? Sure, I find her sophomoric arm-chair attempts at theology entertaining, but to others she's practically a troll. At the very least she's a loudmouth argumentative poster who will defend her faith in a way that defines thread hijacking and results in insipid and endless back and forths.
posted by skallas at 7:15 PM on February 13, 2002


Getting back to the original topic, now India and Saudi Arabia are being bunched together for this stupid opposition to Valentine's day! I don't particularly like Valentine's day, but nothing in Hinduism (the religion or the culture) stops people from celebrating this day if they want to. These Hindu Taliban can no longer be ignored.

A few of us are sending the the pinkest, gaudiest, brightest Valentine's day cards to Shiv Sena & company. Maybe some gaudy pink hearts will change the mind of these idiots. Might at least fill their mail boxes up! If you would like to join us go to Keep Cupid Alive in India campaign to get VHP and Shiv Sena's email addresses. (warning: campaign link is shameless self link).
And don't tell me this idea is stupid and will lead to nothing. I know. That has never stopped me in the past :)
posted by rsinha at 7:44 PM on February 13, 2002


At the very least she's a loudmouth argumentative poster who will defend her faith in a way that defines thread hijacking and results in insipid and endless back and forths
well said skallas. gotta love them bible humpers.
posted by quonsar at 5:34 AM on February 14, 2002


Happy Valentines' Day, skallas....I need to introduce you to an atheist friend of mine in Belgium...he makes you look like a Baptist deacon, but he and I actually got on quite well on line.
posted by bunnyfire at 8:24 AM on February 14, 2002


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