The word swastika derives from the Sanskrit root ssu(“Good”),asti(“to be”),andka(making)The older term gammadion cross derives from its appearance, which is identical to four Greek gamma letters affixed to each other.
What I find interesting is that this is actually a very very good representation of what can happen when white people culturally appropriate something.
The Swastika, long before the Nazis came about and started brandishing their own bastardization of it, had a strong religious and cultural significance to a LOT of people.
It didn’t represent anything evil, it didn’t represent a dictatorship that perpetuated one of the most well known genocides taught today.
It only started having this horrible association in the 1920’s when the Nazi party appropriated it as for their logo.
White people, white supremacists, taking something with an already well established past and meaning; and placing their own over it.
Because of these people, swastikas that do not have anything to do with the Nazi party are demonized in most people’s eyes because they don’t know any better, because white people wiped out it’s original meaning in white culture.
People seriously need to learn some history. THIS is the sort of damage that cultural appropriation can do in the long run.
but forreal tho. being brown means your parent had to pull you aside before the WWII unit in school to explain to you that you werre going to see a lot of white people misusing and fearing the symbol that’s in your place of worship
The only thing that bothers me about this whole this is “people need to learn some history.” How? Its not taught in schools, not brought up in any conversation, and when you live in a country full of other ignorant white people aka America, you have no reason or thought to go look it up. The only reason I knew the symbol’s history is because I’m majorly into war history and it came up in an article I was reading. This whole thought of faulting people for their cultural ignorance when it has never once been brought up in their lifetime needs to stop, because if white people think its bad they don’t fully understand something, they’ll pretend they do and get the wrong meaning of it. This needs to become common knowledge!
This is a map of Asia. North Americans, you may notice this map is not solely comprised of Japan, Korea, China and Thailand. People in the UK, you may notice India is not a continent. That is, if those of you who generalize entire continents can even pinpoint India on a map. Indians are Asian, gasp! And not all brown skinned people are Indian, also, gasp! There are an alarming amount of people, of all ages, from all backgrounds, who seem to be unable to process this.
I’m ethnically Asian. Since Asia is an extremely large continent, I could be from any number of countries. I am neither from India, China, Korea, Japan or Pakistan, yet not so surprisingly, I am still Asian.
Yes, there are commonalities across regions, through the conflation of cultures, colonialism, globalization, transnationalism and movement of diasporas. Sometimes these are all the same thing. Rickshaws, rice and curry can be found across the continent. But let’s not overgeneralize. You can also find Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus across Asia. Cantonese Speaking Chinese Muslims! English Speaking Indian Jews!
No, we are not all the same. Orientalism? (Please look up Edward Said for basic concepts) No thank you.
Geography, people. It’s important.
This pops up on my dash every so often. I reblog it again, not just because I wrote it, but because nothing has changed since I first posted this.
What’s cool about Iran is that it falls in 3 different regions of Asia so depending on what part of Iran you’re in, you can kind of get culture shocked a bit. The central and western part of the country is West Asia, the north east is Central Asia, and the southeast is in South Asia.
To the folks wondering about Russia being included, I want to mention that the cultural debates and angst about that has been going on for CENTURIES. While France has been pretty fetishized all the way back from Peter the Great, there is no question that we are not Europe, even with that influence showing really obviously in historical seats of power like St. Petersburg. Nonetheless, the whole country was under control of the Mongols (The Golden Horde) from roughly 1242 to 1480, and that left an enormous Mongolian and Tatar heritage that remains to this day. The ancient Scythians are huge in the cultural imagination as well. And besides… look at the Russians who are outside the standard “Kievan Rus” phenotype (which most folks assume is how all Russians look.)
Here are three of the 30 distinct ethnic groups in Siberia alone:
Buryat grandfather, photo by Alexander Newby
Evenk children, photo by Evgenia Arbugaeva
Young Yakut couple, photographer unknown
AS SOMEONE WITH NORTHERN IRANIAN (AZERBAIJANI)/RUSSIAN/ HAZARA-PERSIAN/ UYGHUR-CHINESE ANCESTRY THIS IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL POST
IF ANYONE EVER SAYS “I LOVE ASIAN CULTURE”, REFER THEM TO THIS AND THEN STOMP ON THEIR FACE