Tag Archives: culture

Namaste – So Much More Than A Greeting

12 Mar
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:An_Oberoi_Hotel_employee_doing_Namaste,_New_Delhi.jpg

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:An_Oberoi_Hotel_employee_doing_Namaste,_New_Delhi.jpg

I openly share my ignorance when I admit that up until very recently, I thought ‘Namaste’ was simply the Indian way to say ‘Hello’.  I was raised in a Christian household, and have had little to no exposure to other religions or cultures outside of what I’ve seen on television or perhaps clicked past on-line, and didn’t put forth much effort into remedying my ignorance.  To be completely open about it, I still don’t do much to proactively investigate other religions or cultures past their relation to something I’m thinking about or researching, but I do learn little tidbits here and there.

I recently learned that ‘Namaste’ and the pressed hand gesture/slight bow combination in Hinduism literally means ‘I bow to the divine in you’.  This wouldn’t have meant much to me a few weeks ago, but I’ve been watching a series of interviews on YouTube recently featuring Sister Shivani where she speaks often about the importance of remembering that everyone is a soul, and began pure and good.  I know not everyone even believes in the existence of a ‘soul’, but regardless of your beliefs, you can’t deny that we are all human, we were born innocent and pure, and are the way we are as a result of the things we have been taught or experienced in the time since we were born.

I could be totally off the mark since Hinduism isn’t my forte, but I imagine that the practice was created as a reminder to the person giving the greeting that everyone else carries a spark of the divine within them, and to treat them accordingly.  Even if I’m way off the mark, I think it’s a good concept.  Continue reading

America – Til Underverse Come

30 Jul

Warning: This post is possibly inflammatory, and if it upsets you, please read the ‘posting rules’ on the About page before commenting.  Thanks!

My new but already dear-to-my-heart friend over at Spirits and The Paranormal made a post yesterday about the her Maori heritage, and she and I got into a discussion in the comments about history and heritage, and I commented that I was envious about the fact that she (along with so many other cultures) had such a rich background to be rooted in and a part of. I bemoan the fact that as a 10+ generation American with nothing more exotic in my background than English and German ancestry that is so distant as not to even count, I have no ‘culture’ to claim as my own.

She replied the following:

But America has a lot to be proud of. You stood up to the English to get your Independence. That was a huge thing to be proud of and you ended slavery in the US. Okay it was 30 years after the Brits but you did it. Some countries still haven’t done that. You invented the mass production of the cars and lets not forget Motor City, Detroit produced so much at one point. You gave us Elvis and Motown. You don’t back down. You Americans do patriotism better than any other country on the planet. You perfected Space Travel. You should be proud. I can’t wait to come to AMerica. You have a rich culture, it’s just made up of every flag in the world but sometimes you need a big melting pot to make the best product. Continue reading

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