Estelea's Blog

French proud Mum and wife, restless explorer and doer freshly landed in Hanoi. One Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “kids friendly” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

Did Buddha become a fashion star?

We’ve been living in Asia for over a decade now, and it might be the reason I am so surprised to see how Buddha has become such a Fashion Icone back home.

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 15.20.53

One don’t need to be a fervent Buddhist to know that Lord Buddha is a religious figure to many. In Thailand you can not even have a Tatoo of Buddha as it is considered as profanity. One can not even export his head – it is almost a crime.

But back home in Europe, Buddha is a star.

In my home town in Fontainebleau, a famous pastry used his face as decoration, in the middle of the candies and cakes.

Seriously … A man who preached the non attachment to pleasure ! and guess what was in front of him? A bottle of Champagne!

To me, it’s like having the Dalai Lama advertising for the special Mc Do Beef Burger!

But hey, it’s a light joke compared to the Japanese sweets “Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha”.

Next street you’ll find a tatoo shop similar to this one. It seems very akward to me. Same as if there were a drawing of the Christ on his cross. What’s the connection here? .. The Tatoo artist has a Buddha on its shirt obviously and he probably wears one on his pyjamas. Oh la la …

tatoo shop

Buddha has  become a Pop Star indeed, making Che Guevarra looks “soooo 20th century”.

Isn’t it strange that people wear figures they don’t know anything about, just for the sake of being trendy? Do any of the Buddha’s new fans know anything about the principles of Buddhism? Of Myanmar? There are definitely places where wearing a Buddha is a political statement.

The funny thing about the Buddha candies is that Buddhists objecting to the sweet on the grounds of profanity were outnumbered by Japanese … put off by the thought of eating something named after snot!

Conclusion? Why allow anger or another destructive emotion to take hold in response to something that doesn’t last longer than a relative blink of the eye? That goes against the Buddha’s teachings after all 😉

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 15.19.09

3 comments on “Did Buddha become a fashion star?

  1. lexklein
    August 27, 2018

    You sound like me – getting all twisted up over something and then deciding the best route might be to let it go. In a strange coincidence, I saw an Instagram post today in which the Dalai Lama was depicted as a hip member of a basketball team – sweatshirt, necklace, and a little patch of hair on top. There were comments both for and against the art … the guy who posted it (a Tibetan) insists it is not disrespectful, and I liked his justifications, but we all see these things differently. To me, the Japanese sweets take things a little too far for sure!

    • estelea
      August 29, 2018

      Yes Japanese candies are indeed a bit too much.. Plus how weird it is to eat a snotlike candy? well, I’ve seen the success of “shit” ice creams in Korea. I think I am turning into an old conservative Parisian 😛 – foodwise at least 😉

  2. equinoxio21
    March 2, 2019

    Om mani padme om. 🙂

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This entry was posted on August 27, 2018 by in Culture shock, expatriation, Japan and tagged , , , , , .

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