Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Lesson in Symbolism

Long before Mr. Hitler re-assigned it as the nazi logo, the swastika belonged to the Hindus. The symbol is even more prominent in Jain practice and is seen as an auspicious sign in both traditions.

It might appear shocking to western eyes (especially when splattered in red paint), but swastikas are commonly applied to temple exteriors by hopeful devotees asking for their wishes to be fulfilled.

I found an adorable little boys shirt printed with these and elephants. While my first reaction was to pick it up as a gift for one of my nephews, I figured the elementary school yard might not be the best locale to make such a statement. His history teacher might be impressed. But his parents, less so.

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