The Complexities of Cultural Clashes

on Apr 03, 2017 at 10:59 AM in Society, Politics, Global

YouTube is my online university for many topics. For example, I’ve long had a desire to grow sweet peas in my flower garden, a remembrance of the flowers that grew so easily in my mother’s fertile Florida beds, in February. For some reason, they don’t seem to prosper in Virginia clay (nor do nasturtiums, but that’s another sad story). Today, I discovered most of what I’m doing wrong, which I hope can be amended quickly enough to get a late crop before the heat sets in.

However, while wandering through all the gardening information — there are thousands and thousands of videos out there that directly apply to our horticulture ‘issues’ at Schloss Bodissey — I got sidetracked (my middle name is SideTracked). As many of you no doubt have experienced, it’s not difficult to go wandering far afield from your first interest. Thus, in looking for items on flowering peas, e.g., their soil preferences and best temperatures for germination, up popped a Vedic offering on “perfect” soil:

This video shows a small part of the reasoning behind the Hindu practice of cow ‘worship’. It brought to mind one of the items featured in our newsfeed yesterday:

Gandhinagar, March 16: The State Government of Gujarat is set to introduce a Bill in the State Assembly

One reader’s response to the news item was dismissive of this piece of legislation. He asserted that Hindus undermine their legitimate complaints against Islamic intolerance by such measures.

But as I pointed out in return, those aren’t his sacred cows. My intuition was bolstered by the information I later found in that gardening video. It described well how, in a desperately poor country like India, cows are crucial to a fragile eco-system. Based on the soil video, one could reasonably infer that the cow is sacred to Hindu Indians at least partly because of its ability to make manure, one of the best soil amendments there is (at least it must be so based on the dozens of pallets piled with bags of cow manure at every garden center at this time of year, or on the evidence supplied by my rose bush).

Indian Muslims don’t care about cows except as food, so slaughtering these animals is a quick way to get meat. But for Hindus, it is, at the very least, akin to eating their seed corn. Islam suffers from presentism; eating someone else’s seed corn wouldn’t be a problem.

As we all well know, through its desertification projects Islam has ruined more than one robust ecosystem (cf. Egypt’s once-upon-a-time prosperous wheat, papyrus, and flax exports and its present Islamic practice of breadlines for the poor). So the slaughter of India’s cows is simply another eco-system outrage. If the Greenies had the brains God gave a goat, they’d know that Islam is probably the biggest enemy of nature and they’d be up in arms about the ongoing destruction wherever they invade. So where are the demonstrations to save Hindu cattle??

In a similar vein, Do you remember when Egyptian bureaucrats, in an effort to “protect” the populace against swine flu, stupidly slaughtered the pigs of the Zabaleen?

That was a hugely ill-advised move. Besides ignoring the fact that the Zabaleen pigs were never a vector for swine flu, that decision also ignored the habits of Cairo’s residents, and the intricate role the Zabaleen played in keeping the city (mostly) free of garbage. Hosni Mubarak will be long remembered for what he cost Cairo in that boondoggle. Piles of rotting garbage swallowed streets. The disease levels kicked up several notches as a result – and none of them were swine flu.

The destruction of an intricate system was so thorough that the Zabaleen are only now beginning to recover from the wreckage.

Kudos to the Hindus for moving against the slaughter of their cows. They have already lost so much to Muslim massacres over the centuries; this is one place where they could and should draw the line against ignorance. If the cow were not such an integral part of Hindu practices, perhaps a case could be made for Islam’s violation of Hindu sensibilities. But that is definitely not the case.

Hindus and their sacred cows were there in India before the Islamic hordes arrived. Based on history alone, their cultural and religious practices ought to be honored, not dismissed.

As a Christian who has watched her own religious culture denigrated and denied, I stand with those Hindus and their cows…not to mention their paneer. 


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