Please Stop Your Stupid “Nobility” Act, Respect Ethnic Culture

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost written by a Tibetan blogger called Gyatso and posted on their TibetCul blog on June 29, 2013.

The blogpost is about the well-known singer Sa Dingding who in her music and music videos often uses Tibetan sounds, imagery and landscape. One of her most famous songs is the 2007 song “Alive” – the “Sanskrit” version of which is mentioned in the post.

In the post, Sa Dingding is being criticised for disrespecting Tibetan Buddhism and culture and another example of such disrespect is wrongly attributed to her, namely the controversial customised shoes designed by Keds also featuring Buddhist imagery. When these particular shoes were brought to the attention of Keds in 2010, they issued an apology which can be read here.

As noted before on High Peaks Pure Earth, Tibetan netizens often use their blogs as spaces where they can vent frustration or anger or simply express their feelings on subjects that matter to them. For an earlier example of this, see this post about Chinese tourists in Tibet

 

2013 09 30 Sa DingDing 0

Please Stop Your Stupid “Nobility” Act, Respect Ethnic Culture

 

  • Sa Dingding’s Birthday: December 27
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Star Sign: Capricorn
  • Introduction: Sa Dingding, mainland Chinese performing artist; Original name: Zhou Peng; Graduated from the People’s Liberation Army Arts Academy’s first Popular Music Vocals class (a military academy, shameful)

Sa Dingding’s despicable actions are not only an affront to Tibetans; even more so, they are offensive and disrespectful to Buddhists all over the world. How could a military academy can produce such scum? Or are you blatantly discriminating based on ethnicity? Thangka paintings are very sacred Buddhist objects, yet you take them and wrap them around your filthy body, you sew the six syllable mantra on your shoes–is this crazy behaviour that your leaders instilled into you? What blasphemy towards Tibetan Buddhism. And your sloppy, Sinicised pronunciation of so-called Sanskrit-language song “Alive”– how incredibly laughable. As one netizen sarcastically said, “I bet the only language she can actually understand herself is her ‘self-created language'”. And she still dares to brag about being able to speak Chinese, Sanskrit and Tibetan. But laughter comes from ignorance. Perhaps this saying is true. If it is your ignorance that is causing this laughter, let me give you a lesson on thangkas right now.

Thangka, also known as tangga, tangka and other approximations from the Tibetan pronunciation, are scroll paintings of religious worship made from framed pieces of coloured satin. Thangka are an original form of visual art unique to Tibetan culture. The content and subject matter of Thangka include Tibetan history, politics, culture, society and multiple other domains. They have been referred to as Tibetan encyclopaedias. After religious thangkas are displayed, it is usual practice for a Lama to bless the artwork with prayers. The majority of thangka paintings portray Tibetan religion, history, cultural arts and technology. They are aggregations of the beliefs and wisdom of the Tibetan people; they record Tibetan civilisation, history and development; they embody the Tibetan people’s unparalleled affection for the Buddha and boundless love for their homeland. If you are not acting out of ignorance, then you must be acting out of malice. What kind of hatred could you have with a people who believe completely in Buddhism, that would move you to defile our traditional culture and religious spirit?

http://tina.tibetcul.com This is her TibetCul blog.

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Hideous

2013 09 30 Sa DingDing 2

Ignorance

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Comments

2013 09 30 Sa DingDing Comment 1

 

Zhou Ziqi 2013-6-29 18:42

I don’t like her either. I know a Tibetan woman, and she says she really hates her too. She thinks this woman looks disgusting. I agree with the author of this blog! The problem is that there are people who would want her, this shady, degrading, despicable person, to act as a judge for some Tibetan music concert or contest or whatever. But she’ll eventually get what she deserves.

2013 09 30 Sa DingDing Comment 2

 

Comment from Sina Weibo:

Everyone look, this pair of shoes has Tibetan Buddhist Thangka style images of Manjushri, Sakyamuni Buddha and the Six Syllable Mantra printed on it. [It’s like she is] stepping on the practice of worshipping Buddha and on this ethnicity’s religious and artistic culture. What would you think of that? [Clothing] designs should be respectful to culture. The arts are meant to promote culture, not trample on the beliefs of others. If this is what people call fashion, then the Breaking the Four Olds campaign of the Cultural Revolution was already much more fashionable than this lady almost half a century ago.

 

2013 09 30 Sa DingDing Comment 3

 

Recently a great number of netizens have been passing around pictures of shoes that have been imprinted with images of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Six Syllable Mantra. This truly is an affront to we Tibetan Buddhists. In this society where everything has to do with “money”, some people, who only care about profit, have taken actions that are extremely disrespectful to Tibetan Buddhism. With regards to this matter, I personally did some online research to look for the manufacturer of these shoes.

Sure enough, I found what I was looking for. But I found out that this matter is actually a few years old. The shoes were made by an American company called Zazzle as early as June 2010, and they were being sold on the company’s website. The shoes were printed with all kinds of Tibetan Buddhist imagery. Images of the Buddha and the Six Syllable Mantra were being printed not only on shoes but also on t-shirts. That year, Tibetans in India, the United States and all over the world expressed their anger to the manufacturer through emails and letters, demanding they cease the production and sale of these shoes.

Subsequently, Zazzle published a letter of apology on its website, apologizing for their actions and promising never to manufacture or sell these kinds of shoes again. So the Internet-using masses need not worry–these shoes will not be sold again. The original text of the apology letter is as follows…

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)

2 Comments

  • the mantra’s on shoes is a wrong idea, I guess she’s no buddhist

  • Soon to be a Buddhist will mean to be enraged? Interesting new development on the klesha front, people! But the world is so full of contradictions, how can a hypocrite like myself throw the first or even the second or third stone? Nowadays sellers just download (steal) imagery from the internet and slap it on anything. Even their own skin. I don’t think it’s a good thing, not at all, but I don’t know how it can be stopped, do you? Young people will never learn respect if we have to try to hard to teach it to them.