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Submitted on
August 21, 2006



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Mon Aug 21, 2006, 3:50 PM
I just saw this in the sig of another deviant, and it is food for thought:

:please: I dont like using hug/kiss emotions cuz I'm a muslim woman...  :please:

The internet gives us a feeling of being one big community and it's easy to forget that there are still cultural and religious issues and taboos to be aware of.  

It reminds me of something that happened at work a few months ago.  On weekends, we have a Storytime Hour for the kids and once in a while we get in costumes of popular characters.  On this particular day, we had the pig from the story "If You Give a Pig a Pancake."  The children listened to the story and then at the end, one of the employees came out in the costume and the kids got to get their photos taken with him.  

But one mother was overheard gently telling her child "We don't pose with pigs."  I'm not sure what her religion is: our community is largely Indian and Saudi Arabian, but there is a bit of everything, really.  She wasn't rude or angry, but it was something that none of us even thought about.  

I notice a lot of religious taglines to some deviants' comments- mostly Christian or Pagan/Wiccan.  I don't know if that means that most Deviants are of those religions or if it means that people of those religions are more likely to point out their beliefs than say, Hindus or Buddhists.  (For that matter, I have only ever seen Christian and Pagan/Wiccan bumper stickers... )  Being that most people don't advertise their religion, it can be easy to offend with the most innocuous of gestures (like a hug emote.)  

There's no easy or perfect way to avoid cultural blunders in a blended community like this.  All we can do is let others know when we're uncomfortable and to apologize for any discomfort we have caused, no matter how innocently done.    It's not a matter of right and wrong, or thinking someone's cultural no-no's are ridiculous.  It's about treating each other well.

After all, there is one thing that just about every religion teaches:  treat other people the way you want to be treated.  

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taintedbliss Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
I live in Singapore and half my family are Muslims. They are pretty okay with receiving hugs and kisses but not from the opposite sex or as they say, "God forbid" married people :) The guys(pious) ones, don't do kisses though. The girls give hugs and kisses freely between one another :)

P.S. Insha'allah means if god wills. A proper greeting when you meet or before you leave is "Assalam'ualaikum" which means peace be upon you. A proper reply would be "MualaikumSalam" :) peace be upon you too. :)

And the quran says No to pork and dog's saliva :P I don't know why eiither...
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
Wow, thank you for an edifying reply! I think it'll take some practice to be able to say "Assalam'ualaikum" without stumbling.
taintedbliss Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
:P I think it will to ;P but nothing's impossible if you keep trying
Artigianista Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
I'm not sure if Aloha is one of them... =p
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
Actually, it is.
Aloha, in the way it is said, can carry a special meaning or inference depending on who says it, and how it is said to the person it is being said to.
Aloha is hello, goodbye, I love you, until we meet again.
Aloha is respect, care, compassion, warmth, and it instills pride.
Its various parts carry important meaning:
Alo is to come face to face one with another.
Ha is the very breath, the Source of the speaker being shared with the hearer.
Artigianista Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2006
Well, there is really no translation for either "ciao" or "aloha", but in other cultures, some greetings take on a wholly different perspective. Often, it's religion-loaded.

Amongst Hindi-speaking communities, some greet others by clasping hands together and saying "Namaste". It seems weird, but when I say "namaste", I am saying something like "To the Divine in Thee I bow"!

In Arabic-speaking regions, greetings are also even more religious-loaded - expect to invoke the name of Allah often - for instance, while I tend to greet Iranians and Turks with "selam", Malays with "selamat sejahtera", for Arabs, especially Arab women, it is totally different. When I greet my female friends or some guy I don't know, I tend to say "As-salamu 'alaikum". If I were greeted with that I respond with brass knobs on: "Wa-'alaikum es-salam, wa rahmat-Allah" (if I was feeling like an arrogant bastard I'd say instead "Wa-'alaikum es-salam, wa rahmat-Allah wa barakat-Hu"!) What do these mean? the first one is obviously, "Peace upon ye", and the second "And peace be upon ye, and the mercy of God (2nd. instance: and His Blessing.)"

That was what I was pointing out. Sometimes, you might need to be more religious than you would think.

As per kisses and hugs, it is common in Islamic countries, I think for members to hug and kiss members of the same sex as a greeting. This is seen as appropriate, but with members of the different sex, it's different. So I greet men with a handshake, but for Muslim women I prefer to salute them by drawing my right hand over my heart and bowing.

Even for other Asians (in the American context) kissing and hugging is seen as repugnant, if not too unrestrained. I solved the problem by just kissing girls on the hand (if they are either Spanish, Greek or Italian) or not doing it at all if they are from northern Europe or America. Kissing another girl's cheeks is too much even for me.
tartleigh Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very interesting, I would have never thought of emoticons. Of course it could be because I don't use them often except for the smiley face, because I am not a kissy/huggy person (even on the internet, which I never really thought about until now) but I heard about some culture in sociology that see smiles as aggression, but I have no idea which one.
jondapicam Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2006
It's also funny how those who are offended by the slightest reference to Christianity start going on about being tolerant to other religions, but what are they doing by challenging that tiny statement?

Tolerance goes both ways.
Can't we all just get along?
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