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Hindu festivals
September 9, 2009 2:22 PM   Subscribe

The Big Picture: Recent Hindu festivals and rituals. "Many Hindus throughout India recently celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi, a 10-day festival celebrating the birth of Ganesh, their supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, is rich with traditional festivals and rituals, celebrated in many ways and locations around the world. Collected here are a few photographs from recent Hindu festivals and of Hindu devotees worshipping and practicing ritual ceremonies in India, England, Nepal and Indonesia."
posted by homunculus (25 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously.
posted by homunculus at 2:23 PM on September 9, 2009


More recently, previously.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:34 PM on September 9, 2009


We are planning to visit India this coming January. Recently I have been having second thoughts - you know, other places we could go, do we really want to go, etc.

But after seeing this set of wonderful photos, I know I want to go and so will my wife when I send her the link to this site.

Wonderful.
posted by Quillcards at 2:36 PM on September 9, 2009


Man alive, I'll get to India some day. I look at photos like this and sometimes think it would take a year or two (or 10) to really...see? know?...the place.
posted by jquinby at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2009


So there was this article in my local paper this weekend. Yes, my local newspaper publishes batshitinsane religious dogma.

Anyhoo, I made the unfortunate mistake of reading the column, knowing full well the guy is jackassedly ignorant.

And I wonder to myself, how the hell does a maroon like that deal with the concept of an entire, crowded, multi-religious society like India? His head must freakin' explode with the agony of the idea.

This little, white, religious, ignorant town is an ideal location for him. He'll never, ever, ever have his assumptions and prejudices challenged.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:53 PM on September 9, 2009


Who needs the infinite wisdom of Ganesha when I have Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman staring at me with their dead eyes?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:23 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


aaargh homunculus, now you've gone and made me homesick.
posted by dhruva at 3:28 PM on September 9, 2009


Awesome pictures.

Weird little comments war right at the bottom though.
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2009


A friend of mine shot a ton of footage and put together a documentary on Ganesha Chaturthi.
posted by davebush at 4:07 PM on September 9, 2009


For whatever reason, many American Christians like to condescendingly deride Hinduism. See the usage of "sacred cow" as a metaphor for something that is given undue reverence.

My speculation is that these people so rarely meet anyone who is not a believer in an Abrahamic religion, they they do not even comprehend how insulting and ignorant they are. We are living in that short period of time where large numbers of people can be that cloistered for most of their lives and then be exposed to the Internet at large, where their chances of being heard by people of unfamiliar creeds are increased by a huge degree.

Looks like some dude talked ignorant shit calling Hindus stupid for having sacred cows, in a context where actual Hindus could hear him speak, for the first time in his life.
posted by idiopath at 4:39 PM on September 9, 2009


oops meant to cite what I was responding to:

Artw: "Weird little comments war right at the bottom though."
posted by idiopath at 4:40 PM on September 9, 2009


Looks like some dude talked ignorant shit calling Hindus stupid for having sacred cows, in a context where actual Hindus could hear him speak, for the first time in his life.

To be the contrarian here, I think it's safe to say that some religious creeds, norms, and practices are dumber than others. While you don't have to check your brain at the door to become religious and actively practice, doing so certainly helps.
posted by Palamedes at 5:05 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


To be the contrarian here, I think it's safe to say that some religious creeds, norms, and practices are dumber than others.

I assume you mean "sacred cow haha!" and not Hinduism's (and particularly, Jainism's) philosophy of kindness to animals, right?

I was watching the live-chick-grinder and pig-bunging-machine videos from earlier posts and couldn't help but think that it's ok to judge a civilization by how it employs its wealth, means and intellect to the treatment of animals. India does a hell of a lot of things wrong, but we don't have that yet and that's pretty much entirely because of Hinduism. So there's a contrarian perspective for you.
posted by vanar sena at 5:24 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Palamedes: "it's safe to say that some religious creeds, norms, and practices are dumber than others"

And it behooves us to have a good reason to belittle religious norms and practices when we venture to do so, because people take their religious convictions extremely seriously, and a throwaway one liner is not going to change someone's model of reality. In a place where everyone else in Christian, sure, a crack about sacred cows may make a Hindu shut up if that is what you want, but this is bullying, not discourse.
posted by idiopath at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2009


Palamedes: "it's safe to say that some religious creeds, norms, and practices are dumber than others"

Well if your whole livelihood depends on cows, it makes more sense to worship them than turn them into burgers.
posted by dhruva at 5:58 PM on September 9, 2009


but we don't have that yet and that's pretty much entirely because of Hinduism

yeah, we I can allow that we all should also remain open to learning from other traditions. Nobody on this planet is close to having all the answers . . . the more you think you're absolutely right the more you're probably wrong.
posted by Palamedes at 6:48 PM on September 9, 2009


Meh!
posted by mdrosen at 9:27 PM on September 9, 2009


I was watching the live-chick-grinder and pig-bunging-machine videos from earlier posts and couldn't help but think that it's ok to judge a civilization by how it employs its wealth, means and intellect to the treatment of animals.

And people.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 PM on September 9, 2009


And people.

I thought that was a given.
posted by vanar sena at 4:26 AM on September 10, 2009


It's funny people seem to think the sum total of a very old and very complex religion is worshiping cows and idols.

These photos are great.
posted by chunking express at 6:58 AM on September 10, 2009


Learning from tradition is all very well, if you remember that it's a tradition only because it didn't kill enough followers. Maybe it killed nonbelievers, maybe it reliably kills 10% of adherents, but all "tradition" means is "people did this a long time ago, and still do it now".

Anyhow, I like traditions because they're overall unlikely to kill me instantly (that's what tradition means after all), and it brings me closer to people I like. But the suggestion of ancient wisdom strikes me as dodgy at best.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:56 AM on September 10, 2009


Wrinkled Stumpskin Learning from tradition is all very well, if you remember that it's a tradition only because it didn't kill enough followers.

I confess that I can't understand how this works in any way other than reductio ad absurdum; it appears to apply to any long-practiced human endeavour. For example:

The Scientific Method is a tradition only because it didn't kill enough followers.
Representative Democracy is a tradition only because it didn't kill enough followers.
Rational Humanism is a tradition only because it didn't kill enough followers.
Buttsex is a tradition only because it didn't kill enough followers.

I hope you see what I am getting at here. All these examples are perfectly valid, but are so nebulous that they add little or nothing to the discussion at hand.
posted by vanar sena at 2:51 PM on September 10, 2009


And people.
I thought that was a given.


If only it were a given. It isn't. There's a wingnuttery minority that feels quite the opposite.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:45 PM on September 10, 2009


vanar sena: My bad, in retrospect. Getting into it wouldn't be particularly on-topic here, although I feel there is a difference.

I have a slightly knee-jerky reaction to the idea of learning from tradition, because it suggests that tradition=truth. Just because great societies have done something for thousands of years doesn't make it a good idea. However that is not really the discussion here, and I'll sit back and learn from the knowledgeable people now.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:23 AM on September 11, 2009


Faces Of The Day
posted by homunculus at 8:42 AM on September 29, 2009


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