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Urban Outfitters Pulls Ganesh Socks After Offending Hindus

in YD News

urban-outfitters-ganesha-socks

It’s so not unusual to hear that Urban Outfitters has offended yet another group in society, but this time their Ganesh socks have taken it a step too far, says an American Hindu advocacy group. Though we’ve seen lots of Indian-inspired items from UO, the Universal Society of Hinduism has come out to protest the “awesome” socks depicting the Hindu deity Ganesh, known as the god of wisdom and remover obstacles (note: not necessarily including stinky feet nor cultural appropriation).

“Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshiped in temples or home shrines and not to be wrapped around one’s foot,” Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement.

UO responded by pulling the socks from stores and sending an email to confirm and apologize:

“We sincerely apologize if we offended the Hindu community and our customers,” a spokesperson said in an email Monday.

“We appreciate Rajan Zed and the Universal Society of Hinduism for bringing this matter to our attention and for helping us understand the cultural and religious sensitivities this product carries,” the statement continues. “We will remove the Ganesh Socks immediately from our website and stores.”

A responsible response, if you ask us — after the fact, of course. But it brings to the surface so many other questions about not only Urban Outfitters, who still have Ganesh t-shirts, sweatshirts and tapestries for sale, but the huge array of yoga-inspired companies slapping Hindu gods and goddesses on everything from headbands to yoga mats to bathing suits. The only thing we can see distinguishing any of it from flagrant appropriation and honest appreciation is intention. Also, don’t put Hindu gods on items you put on your feet, people.

[Via Business Insider]

 

8 comments… add one

  • Janya Wongsopa

    It’s not OK to sell socks with Ganesh on them. But it’s OK to sell Ganesh statues as sacred objects. It’s OK to wear Ganesh on the upper body. But it’s not OK to wear Ganesh on the feet. Can we be more specific/separated/divided?

  • It is considered a sign of respect to touch the feet of someone. My interpretation, is that by putting a god on your foot, you are having him/her pay respect to you. You can read more about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pranāma

  • Stewart Lawrence

    How about firmly committing yourself to keeping the Divine source out of the marketplace. Cleaning the Temple of the Money-Changers has a strong foundation in Christianity, too. But alas, such structures would put Yoga Dork and 90% of yoga out of business, too. What would we lose, if there were no yoga studios and no yoga blogosphere? More than a few hucksters and predators, I suspect. But would the angels really weep? Would Ganesh?

  • Sam Louise

    How about you drop the sanctimonious diatribe. You are on this website and EJ regularly so I assume you gain something from doing so?

  • Stewart Lawrence

    How about firmly committing yourself to keeping the Divine source out of the marketplace. Cleaning the Temple of the Money-Changers has a strong foundation in Christianity, too. But alas, such strictures would put Yoga Dork and 90% of yoga out of business, too. What would we lose, if there were no yoga studios and no yoga blogosphere? More than a few hucksters and predators, I suspect. But would the angels really weep? Would Ganesh?

  • Sam Louise

    Get over yourself, Stewart. Yoga is adapting to the culture it has been imported in to. The world will not end. If you have such a deep attachment to “the Divine” have some faith all will work out. Knee-jerk fundamentalism is short-sighted.

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  • Desiree

    Hmmm…..the company that sold tons of “Jesus is my Homeboy” T-shirts errs on the side of religious sensitivity? For the record, not Christian. It just seems inconsistent. :/

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