Om Sweet Om

I’ve been wanting to blog about the Olympics because, well, let’s face it, everyone is absorbed in Olympics Consciousness right now. Wouldn’t it be cool to find a Hindu connection? It hasn’t been easy.

I thought I did a pretty good job finding the obscure and puzzling but entertaining link between Armenian ice dancers and prayers to Govinda, even if it was a few years old.

But now the fine folks at NBC’s Today in New York have outdone me. Check out this clip from a recent feature piece “Olympic Spotlight” on India that attempts to give viewers a taste of India in New York City:

I happen to be member of The Bhakti Center,the temple/yoga center featured in the piece, and am thrilled to see itincluded in the coverage. And I hate to look a gift-horse in the mouth.But I have to be honest here… an Olympic connection? Not even close.Come on, NBC, really? The logic seems to go something like this:Olympics –> countries who send tons of many some any athletes to Vancouver –> India –> Indian stuff in New York City –> bhangara, temple, bindi, sari, henna tattoos, spicy Indian food, etc. Hmmm, stretch much?

Here’s how I think it really went down: someone who likes bhangara workouts, kirtan chanting, and naancame up with a neat story idea to put together all the Indian stuffthey like in NYC. They pitched it to the powers-that-be and were told”Sorry, we’re only doing things related to the Olympics this month.” Said journalist went back and book ended story idea with tangentialreferences to Olympics. Powers-that-be easily fooled, love it, andgreen light the segment.

Seems like something out of a 30 Rock episode, doesn’t it?

Anyway,I’m not complaining. I think the inclusion of the kirtan in the segmentis a really encouraging sign, and that its only a matterof time before this sacred practice becmes even more recognized in themainstream. I’m looking forward to networks like NBC covering kirtansas events in and of themselves. Til then, we always have OlympicSpotlights.

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