Om Sweet Om

Om Sweet Om


Halloween Hare Krishnas, take two

posted by Vineet Chander

As a sort of post-script to my blog about Halloween-Hare-Krishnas, check out this video of a carnival in Croatia (yes, Croatia), where one of the groups participating dressed up as Hare Krishna devotees.

Note: The selection above is hosted by YouTube and after the video playsthere may be several links presented to other videos. Om Sweet Om and Beliefnet.com have no control over the selections presented and are notresponsible for their contents.
 

The dancing girls are definitely taking liberties with their moves; thebooty-shaking seems more inspired by Britney Spears videos than it doesby actual Krishna devotees. The men appear to be wearing a slightlymore accurate version of the costume I blogged about. The whole thingseems like a parody of popular Hindu festivals like Nagar Kirtan orRatha Yatra (at one point, some of the costumed “devotees” appear to bewheeling around some sort of contrived deity).   

HareKrishna_costume.jpg

By the way, the music is not an actual Krishna chant; its the soundtrack from the popular Bollywood movie “Bhool Bhulaiyaa.”(The film cause controversy with some Hindus and Buddhists, both forthe irreverent use of the “Hare Krishna, Hare Ram” song, and for havingscantily clad women dancing around icons of Buddha.)

BhaktaFerdo, a European devotee of Krishna, is part of a traveling festivalcrew that has staged devotional festivals in the Croation town wherethis carnival is held. It seems the group in the video is parodyingwhat they observed of Ferdo and his friends, and he sheds more light onwhat is happening in the video:

At the 26th International Carnival in Rijeka, Croatia this year therewas a group that dressed as Hare Krishnas…it seems we[visiting Krishna devotees] are just about the only tourists they see during summer.

Were Ferdo and the other devotees offended seeing the obvious spoof of their festival? Not really:

…we were amused of howthe Holy Name found its way to the mouths of a hundred or soparticipants and ears of nearly a hundred thousands spectators.

What about you? Are you a Hare Krishna devotee who isoffended by this? Or how about a non-Hare Krishna reader (Hindu orotherwise) who has a point of view? Share your thoughts below.

(As for me, I’m going to have to go do something to get that “Hare Krishna, Hare Ram” Bollywood jingle out of my head…)



  • clasqm

    Ignore it and eventually it will go away – it is all maya, anyway.
    Rioting in the street every time someone refers to your religion in a non-approved way may lead to short-term gains, but is a long-term PR disaster. Do Hindus really need a reputation of being thin-skinned everything-phobes?

  • Anan E. Maus

    the level of racism in Europe is profound.
    There is a resurgence of anti-Semtism that is of great concern to the Jewish community. There is open recruitment by Nazis, at soccer games.
    There are all sorts of problems.
    Making fun of something is ok, if there is an underlying respect and it is all in good fun.
    I don’t think this is all in good fun. I think it belies a real underlying hatred of people who are different.
    If you disagree, I would suggest that you contact some of the world’s major organizations that work on tolerance and racism and see what their views are on the subject.
    The same people who now hate Arabs and commit violent acts against members of that community..tend to lump Indians into the same ethnic profile and would almost as easily attack them as easily as an Arab.
    Racism comes from the ability to objectify another as “other.” Mocking comes from the same place. And they are quickly linked.
    On the other hand, extreme comedy groups, like, say, Monty Python, do similar things. But there is a fundamental difference. In their hearts and their intent, there was no racism (one of their members, for example, was a gay man).
    You know, in Japan, even into recent times, they sold “black Sambo” dolls. And did so openly. Like black-face comedy that existed in America around 1900 and before.
    So, again, I think folks need to take a step back, examine the current problems of racism in Europe, before assuming that such things are perfectly innocent.
    And, by the way, on the basis of this kind of ignorant misunderstanding, I was personally the victim of violent crime…that nearly took my life..
    so I know first hand that it is not all fun and games.
    even though I am an American, my practice of Hinduism almost cost me my life…
    so, yeah, I don’t find joking about it to be without consequences.

  • Caroline

    Even though done in parody, it allows many to hear the holy names of Shree Krishna. (What can be done about public opinion?) Those who have evolved in consciousness to the point of being sincerely attracted to the mahamantra, hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare, will at some point take it up sincerely. All benefit goes to them. Those in ignorance must simply suffer and enjoy longer in the mundane atmosphere. No problem. Shree Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita, 4.11:
    ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah
    All of them – as they surrender unto Me – I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Partha.

  • Your Name

    Diamond is Diamond even if one puts it into mud…

  • Your Name

    To me the fact that the Hare Krishnas have become enough of a recognizable religion to warrant a halloween parody, is actually a compliment. I was raised in the religion and though I no longer practice any organized religion, it is encouraging to see the culture and belief system I grew up with now becoming accepted as more than a cult. For halloween this year I had friends dress up as a catholic priest and also a “jew.” Having someone dress up as hare krishnas in my mind means they are now a recognizable religion. I don’t take offense I take pride in it and think it is important that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

  • http://none Marilyn Rau

    the tune from the Bollywood film used to be used in old Hollywood movies as cobra dancing music when there was a snake charmer.

  • Jerry Sarvas

    imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

  • http://www://wix.com/rucira/Rucira ruciradevidasi

    anything that makes us think of krsna is good.

  • PRABHU PRASAD

    Hinduism is based on faith not on fear. When properly practised it gives permanent peace and happiness. Some people are seeking the latter on the material level and not on spiritual level.

  • Elizabeth

    I think Krishna would be pleased.

  • Bh. Ferdo

    Hare Krishna!
    Namaste!
    I am the one that posted the video and mentioned in the article.
    I need to correct a few things here.
    This video has been taken on the Rijeka International Carnival, the Europe’s largest carnival in my birth city of Rijeka, Croatia. That is not held on Halloween, but on the same day as the famous Rio Carnival some time in early spring.
    These Guys are a carnival group from Kraljevica, a little town some thirty kilometers down the coast from Rijeka.
    It is there that my country’s Hare Krishna Yatra yearly festival is held.
    Since Kraljevica is a small industrial town in the middle of a huge tourist region, they don’t get much tourists, so the whole project was revolving around them complaining about it.
    Rijeka Yatra counts only 60 devotees, and we do as much as we can in promoting Krishna Consciousness. We have a Preaching Centre with Jagganatha deities, Sankirtan Group is distributing books, Harinama Group performs a Harinama each Saturday in the Main Street. We have Sastra Dana Group, Puppets Theatre, and occasionally we organize public programs when preachers are available. The peak of our activity is Ratha Yatra held in the Rijeka Main Street in coordination with the mentioned Kraljevica Festival. That is where these guys from the video have seen deities being honored on chariots.
    We don’t mind being ridiculized. We could never hope to have one hundred thousand plus spectators attend our programs. Having all those people hearing Hari’s name is a blessing in disguise. A trick from God to have so many people in otherwise corrupted western culture sing Lord’s names. Isn’t it beautiful?

  • Bh. Ferdo

    Oh, and thank you Vineet for relaying this video here!

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