I was on vacation in Ottawa when I heard about Christina Grimmie. An artist I admired greatly had been shot, senselessly, after a concert, while she had been signing autographs for fans. It was the first thing I read that morning, shaping how I approached the rest of that day. I remember being glad I lived in Canada; although we are nowhere near perfect, gun violence does not occur anywhere near the rates at which occurs in the neighbourhoods of our southern neighbours.
I did not post anything on social media.
A few days later, I heard about the Orlando Pulse shooting. Again, first thing I read in the morning. The worst mass shooting in Modern American History, headlines read. I mourned. I mourned for days, for weeks; I could not wrap my head around the number of deaths that occurred that night, in what was supposed to be a safe space. I mourned the death of Gay Nightclubs as a safe space for the LGBT community.
It’s summer, and for my family, that means beaches, hiking, and picnics pretty much every weekend. I’ll admit, every year, I too succumb to the “summer body” ideal and start exercising, working out, to achieve it (knowing full well that it will all go to waste once midterms hit, but I digress).
My mother has wanted to go to Yoga classes for a few years now, and this summer we decided to finally do that. After all, it’s supposedly great for building body strength and toning muscle. So we signed up, and started going.
At our very first class, the (very white instructor) told us that we were going to start our practice with an “Ohm.” That made me feel a little bit weird, but..Ohm isn’t a strictly Hindu word, many different religions and cultures use and view it differently, I told myself. It wasn’t until the end of the practice, when our instructor said “Namaste,” that I genuinely felt something was wrong. Continue reading “Oh So Exotic: Hinduism, Yoga, and a Note on Cultural Appropriation”
I want to start off with a disclaimer. I know that this is a touchy subject, and I will try my best to not overstep any bounds. I’m specifically calling out the South Asian community; to anyone with a right to the word and a right to reclaim the slur (ie, the Black community), it is obviously not my place to tell you otherwise. That said, please do call me out if I cross lines.
Technically, I didn’t need to say that. I mean, we live in a free country; we all have freedom of speech, right? We can say whatever we want with no consequences, right? Not entirely. For some reason, people seem to equate the two, and it’s simply not true. Believe it or not, just because the government can’t put you in jail for expressing your “opinion,” doesn’t mean you’re not capable of being wrong.