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laughing at ourselves - namaste

 
steward
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These YouTube videos made me chuckle. And they reminded me of Paul's comment in his permaculture velocity thread/presentation:

“Namaste” -- I always thought this was supposed to be something lovely. But after hearing it hundreds of times, it came to mean "I will fuck up your shit tomorrow". For the presentation, I looked it up. Apparently it is supposed to mean "I bow to the divine in you."







It's so, so easy to poke fun at those of us wanting to walk the walk and build a better world instead of being angry at the bad guys. Though that anger sure is there underneath, isn't it?

 
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I need more daily apples...that was too funny...and true...Thanks for that...

“Namaste”
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Somehow, folks have been finding this post recently and letting me know they like it! Fun!

Are folks searching for "namaste" or something?

Does JP Sears have one along these lines?
 
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So I happen to have heard Paul's quote in one of his podcasts (thanks for doing the podcast Paul!). When I heard him say his opinion of the word Namaste I started to rethink my use of it as my signature in my email etc.. I finally concluded that I didn't want to change away from it since I really do like the true meaning and want to convey that.

I'm sorry that so many strongly opinioned people have been using the same signature! Probably if Paul is reading this he will conclude I'm the same type of person, but I swear I'm not. Proof can be seen in my history on Permies. I know its woefully little, but that's for two reasons: first I'm not a strongly opinionated person; second I'm a jack of all trades and master of none (except maybe chiropractic but I haven't come accross a thread about that, yet)

I got totally off track there. The point I'm making is not all of us using the word are jerks. I'm hopefully an example of that.

Ok I'm done rambling in defense of Namaste, so I can go do a search for chiropractic on Permies.
 
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As I understand it, it means " the God within me recognises and greets the God within you."
Lovely sentiment. If we all adhered to it there would be more love and less fear, anger, judgement.
We were made in His image, remember?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Well said Jackie & Leila! Yes, of course, there can be lovely examples of "Namaste" where folks sincerely respect, revere, and have empathy and compassion for one another.

And, it can also be insincere or perhaps misused from some folks. Maybe a minority of folks. But knowing humanity, it's unfortunately there.

As much as I sincerely appreciate permaculture people, AND well-intentioned, genuine, and sincere "Namaste" souls, I also like to have some self-deprecating humor, too.

If we take our selves too seriously do we cross the line into being pretentious and self-righteous?

Kind of like this! (Haha!)




 
Leila Blair
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Even Oprah was filmed saying "namaste" several times, then saying "What does it mean, anyway?
 
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Here is a link to a podcast I heard recently discussing use and misuse of the word Namaste, as well as the nuance of its pronunciation. Disclaimer: it is somewhat parade-rainy and the language is in full color.

https://www.theallusionist.org/allusionist/namaste

Here is a link to a text transcript of the same episode for those who don’t want the hear the audio, though I encourage you to at least listen to the first bit to hear the pronunciation.

https://www.theallusionist.org/transcripts/namaste

Long story short, the real meaning and correct use of namaste are more mundane than reflections of the divine.
 
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Well, living in a subcontinent where namaste is the traditional greeting, at least among certain sectors of the population and at least in the past, it certainly doesn't mean anything sinister when locals (especially Hindu, especially non-English-speaking, especially women) use it. In Nepal it's still more common than in India, I think, though I rarely visit rural Hindu majority areas so maybe I just am unaware.

But if a white person says namaste, especially in my region of India where it isn't the tradition at all, it certainly puts me on guard. In those cases, I feel somewhat as Paul does. Maybe they're not gonna try to mess my shit up, but they'll probably insist on doing something in our school that just doesn't feel right to us.
 
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I am the divine within me, so if people wish to pay me homage, who am I to argue?

I just like to see the different expressions generated by clueless people using the word when the topic of cultural appropriation comes up. Or the fact that, as mentioned in the transcript Josh linked (thanks Josh) it has specific significance to some, and actually has linguistic meaning, which makes it inappropriate for use with some Hindus. And some of the bad translations I have heard are just gold.

The only analogy I can think of that fits to me is if a non-Christian started using either generic or sect-specific greetings or prayers to very traditional Catholics. Such a person would be welcomed kindly, and laughed at or scorned privately.

I don't need anyone to bow to the divine within me. I object to the supposition that, for there to be good within me, I need a seed of divinity. I think it insulting that it is assumed that humanity needs the divine crutch, that we aren't capable of being forces for good in and of ourselves.

I think it is dangerous. It opens the door to excuse weakness with the idea that perhaps the divine within us was insufficient, so it wasn't actually our fault, that we have no control, and so how we behave has less to do with our decisions and actions and everything to do with the plans of some entity over which we have no control.

Also, I have had the word used to my face in a situation where the individual saying it obviously couldn't have cared less. Not sarcastically or ironically, just mechanically. If it has no meaning to you, I think it is disrespectful to the culture from whence it came to use it.

I think it would be better to acknowledge the personhood of an individual and treat them as such rather than having the divine within each of us bowing incessantly to themselves while we treat eachother like shit. Unless the endlessly bowing divinities were, perhaps, hooked up to some kind of generator?

-CK
 
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joules graves did a song about this  --->



and yeah JP sears has  done a few funny yoga you tube vids =)

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh, Leila, those were both great - thank you! The Joules ditty is perfect.

I was beginning to think that woman doing the yoga in the JP Sears video was pretty inhuman to stay so serious - until the end! That was fun.
 
pollinator
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I think this will fit in here pretty well; Surviving Whole Foods
 
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Tracy Ullman is absolutely brilliant!

There's an element of truth in humor. That's what makes it funny. When you laugh, it's out of recognition.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Adrienne Halbrook wrote:I think this will fit in here pretty well; Surviving Whole Foods



Perfect!! The namaste snark in that one is so fun!

That reminds me of more laughing at ourselves, though not so much with namaste, but with us trying to eat healthy. Here, by the wonderful Erica Strauss (author of The Hands On Home:  The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater.

 
Adrienne Halbrook
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

That reminds me of more laughing at ourselves, though not so much with namaste, but with us trying to eat healthy. Here, by the wonderful Erica Strauss (author of The Hands On Home:  The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater.



Haha! That was great!
 
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