Blog: Leonie BarrieCulture clash

Leonie Barrie | 17 June 2005

An AIDS fundraiser in Toronto has found its tagline of ‘Two cultures collide’ a little too near the mark. For the South Asian community is enraged at the alleged “misrepresentation” of Hindu deities in the event’s marketing material. The East meets West theme chosen by Fashion Cares’ 19th fund-raising annual gala organised by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) last weekend has sparked an international protest among Hindus, who say the event was disrespectful to their culture and religion. They are now staging protests and calling for apologies.

ACT’s good intentions at setting up the event – which is expected to raise more than $1 million – have been undermined, even though around two dozen activist groups, including the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, are said to brought the issues to its attention a month before the show.

Fashion seems to be a prime example of potential incidents that spark a clash between cultures. Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus have all been consistently offended by the fashion world misappropriating their religious symbols to sell clothes – with most recent examples including the House of Minelli which featured Hindu gods on its latest footwear collection; and London department store Harrod’s and designer Roberto Cavalli being forced to withdraw swimsuits and lingerie depicting Hindu deities.

The latest uproar is unlikely to be the last, but must surely serve as a wake-up call to mainstream organisations when dealing with ethnic groups.


BLOG

Why digital supply chains are top of mind

Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....

BLOG

Navigating global political frictions and economic uncertainty

As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...

BLOG

Trump and Brexit generate more confusion

Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...

BLOG

Bangladesh works to resolve labour activist issues

The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?