My friends know that I am not a “Katmandu” type of person. By “Katmandu”, I mean somebody who dresses Indian, usually has a pierced nose and dreams of going to India.
Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with aesthetics or fashion. I don’t care much how people dress.
But the fact is that lots of people who adopt this dresswear fall straight into what I call the Myth of India. And that is where the problem lies, as far as I’m concerned.
The Myth of India is the very common stereotype which says that India is the country of true spirituality, and that it is so much better than here – whatever the reasons. Hence people who believe in it tend to go to India to pursue exotic spiritual practices (authentic sometimes, but more often doubtful, I’m afraid).
I won’t spend too long on this myth here. I’ll probably write something about it in a couple of months.
Just so I don’t mess up things even more, here are the few points I want to make clear:
- I do not subscribe to the Myth of India.
- I think this myth idealizes a country which is all in all neither more nor less spiritual than ours.
- I am not attacking people who dress Indian, dream of going to India, or have a pierced nose. What bothers me is the unconditional belief in the Myth of India, which is usually supported by adopting a certain dresscode – the reverse need not be true.
- I like India a lot, and find its religions fascinating – I’m studying them, remember!
Let’s get back to my poem. I won’t analyze it here (but if you want to do it, I’d be very interested in hearing you!) – I don’t think it is my job.
It is not meant to promote the Myth of India. It simply expresses a general attitude towards life – maybe participating in another myth, who knows?