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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.  

Amen, Blessed be, Shalom, Salaam, Namaste, Ashe, May the Force Be With You, Insha'allah, Aloha, Live Long and Prosper, and Peace Out!

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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?
jmast Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006
I was thinking this as I went to sleep last night

"the only way to offend everyone- is to try to offend no one..."
zeldyn-stock Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Professional Artist
Glac bog an saol agus glacfaidh an saol bog tú

Take the world nice and easy, and the world will take you the same.
Cheers, hun! :pirate:
Elandria Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
"Sophies thought of the day" ... honey you always make me pause and think and consider and view life from a different angle, its wonderful, so don't ever stop!!
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2006
Aw, that's uber-kind of you to say! Thanks!
Rachastock Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006
hehe.. love the Star Wars and Star Trek inclusions. I did hear about people trying to get Jedi classified as a religion by putting it on their Census forms. :) Each to their own I always say. I've only really seen Christian and Pagan signatures too, seems to be those are the two most acceptable religions to have culturally speaking.
lucifuge13 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006
its a good point, but i dont see how being muslim affects your ability to give hugs :S my sister has plenty of Muslim friends, and theyre all very huggy with every1 and each other. myabe that sig was just like a hardcore Islamic follower, like Sharia law or something, which seems to deem a lot of things unsuitable for women...hugging several people may be frowned upon under Sharia..i don't know much about Islam, jst a thought. good point though, made me think, even if it is early morning here.
Moniquette Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006   Photographer
On the same line, here's a quote I've just read on a forum, so I thought to share it with's about the same cultural/religious customs and people's reactions:

"When yoga first began to penetrate the United States, people were
shocked at the exotic and strangely fascinating religion. About a
hundred years ago, the great Apostle of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami
Vivekananda, arrived on our shores with unusual wisdom, but little
money. The custom in India was go door to door, where such souls are
supported as an act of reverence. But someone called the police, and
there, in that act, portrayed the difference in our thinking. Instead
of a holy soul, the frightened lady saw a dark-skinned beggar (lots of
prejudice on our part) in a Halloween suit, and instead of holiness
and wisdom, she saw danger. It did get sorted out, and Vivekananda no
doubt explained to the cops (in English not yet perfect) that he was
there for the first World Congress of Religion (Chicago) and got short
of funds, and was simply asking for a donation. (It annoys me that a
rich Hindu, instead of suiting up Vivekananda with funds, just gave
him a new suit for the monumental trip.)"
JoBeeOne Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Professional Artist
Good thoughts :) - I always use a smilie - I think a smile is international and interdenominational. Except for monkeys and apes where it can mean "Fight me".
zerogalaxy Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
tsheva Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I should probably leave this one alone but...

All I see is separatism. All of our rituals that are meant to bring us closer to the One who created us in fact keep us apart, isn't that strange? People can't be human to each other because of their religion, their cultures clash, it is happening right now.

A hug is a symbol of friendship, it is a trust so maybe we shouldn't be :hug:ing those on the internet at all but it is a gesture of friendship still.

I saw the same signature and found it odd because as I said before, all I see is separatism and the world could use less of that especially now and forever.
Offering Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006
i'm thinking of becoming a methylated spiritualist ..
clickypenpixieXstock Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Hobbyist Artist
food for thought indeed.
its something ive never thought about really...

but theres also the slight issue that a lot of the people i know who claim pagan-ism...only do so because they think it will make them appear more "goth" or "Artistic"

its sad really.

and you cant really please everyone.
even if you are the nicest, more unselfish person in the world...
SOMEBODY out there wont like you.
somebody wont be happy with something you did.
or something you said.
or something you believe in.

people can get offended over anything.
someone once got offended because i had pink hair.
and it was "so unnatural"

heck, i work retail at the mall...
and some people get angry if you greet them at the door.

there was a maan, when i first started working there, who started screaming & cursing at me because he couldnt figure out which tshirt his kid wanted.

one of the other employees had to tell him to tone down or leave.
he was even scaring some customers away.

im sorry.
i could go on over this for hours....
about trying to please people.

why not just be a good person?
or at least try to be?
sure, theres no pleasing everyone...
but at least someone tried to do some good.

instead of being offended over little things.
syn0sure Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
I have a few Muslim friends and they have no problem being hugged. I hug my (female, mind you ^_^ii) muslim friends all the time. Female to female interaction is perfectly fine - they're even allowed to see each other without their veils, etc.
But... everyone in the world needs touch!! Tt's a scientific fact that families that touch each other via hugs, kisses, etc are healthier mentally. It relieves tension and boosts self esteem.
In some cultures, like in China (and I'm sure others) it's rare to have contact with (adult) strangers (but don't be surprised when random people pick up your baby to cuddle and hug it without your consent, even tote them away to show off), but it still exists within families affection is showered!

So you know what? I think that person needs a hug. It's an emoticon! They're obviously being a little.. over the top!
Elvishhobbit Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally agree, I hangout with so many different people, and its frightful when one starts lecturing another because of religion...I guess I am guilty of using the hug emote too much, but I've never offended anyone, and normally I only send 'em to maw be honest I know a few people who made up their own religions, me and my friend might...we're uber bored...I think that I'll keep in mind those things which you have put into so clear a form so my sleeping brain can comprehend them, I am extreamly sorry to anyone I've ever offended
AinSophAur2 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
It is not your imagination that Muslims stand out in western
society, in many respects....

I'm sorry to say, yes, "...just about every religion..."
fosters tolerance, as you mention, except,
probably Islam. I have spent some time with the Koran,
and was quite surprised at the negative tone, precepts, and specific
comments on other religions - invariably missing from
the holy books of other religions... suffice it to say, none of
what I saw in the Koran would support the concept
of the "goldern rule" that is the backbone of the Christian/Jewish/Buddhist holy writings.... don't take my word,
take any translation of the Koran, and check it it....
Islam is either grossly misunderstoood by the west, needs
different translations or reform (as several thoughtful muslims
themselves have suggested...)
darthhorus Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Professional General Artist
I say kill them all and let their respective gods and goddesses figure it out.
Kamrusepas Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Interesting, I've never even thought of that before.
BlackCatsAngel Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
I live by the rule treat others as you wish to be treated... if that means hugging people because you were bought up that way, then hug away! If someone is uncomfortable with being hugged, then they will generally show it by holding the elbows of the person hugging so as not to get too intimate.... Online obviously this is a little more difficult to determine, but again, if your making comments that are making one person uncomfortable, then chances are others feel the same way too.... Things can be taken too out of context thru sms and email, therefore thinking through what one's about to say BEFORE saying it goes a long way... I personally have a Muslim friend who cannot get enough hugs from Men and Women... I guess it depends ont he individual.... I love every human being until such a time that it is shown to me that I shouldn't.... We can't see who is a terrorist until it is told to us, therefore I will continue to wear my heart on my sleeve, and learn from my mistakes.....

The world population needs to look at how life is now, and change..... Peace is the only way to live, and at the moment, life is too uncertain... why should people live like that?

I hope you are feeling better Sophie, and I hope to hear from you soon :D

Love and light,

ravynsky Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
i click here often, thanks for the food for thought!
ZoeSotet Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, that seems a bit over the top to me...
If someone gets offended because of an emoticon on the internet they need to get a grip. I'm not going to worry about what sorts of emoticons I use on the net. Frankly I think if people are that sensitive about it they shouldn't even be on the internet. The net is a big bad place with far more opportuinity for offence than emoticons.
NoraBlansett Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Professional General Artist
You know, today I was going through stock photos for someone, and noticed that the only request was that they didn't want their stock associated in any way with pentacles -- specifically Wiccan references -- but they perferred their art used for fantasy. It was kinda shocking to me to see that someone made a point of saying not to associate their stock with Pagan themes. I wasn't really offended, but I was shocked that they made a point to finger Wiccans rather than any other religion. *shrug* I'm all about freedom of religion and not offending any religion, but I was rather disgusted at the pointed dislike of a specific religion. I felt like asking, "So, how about I use your art in a Voodoo piece depicting you performing sacred rites?" Frankly, while Voodoo is a very valid and respected religion by its practitioners -- I'd find my photo being associated with the decapitation of a chicken or goat to be far more disturbing for a Christian than having a pentacle in the picture. *shrug* I can understand not wanting your art associated with pornography -- but putting a pentacle in the piece? Eh, it's just strange to me. :)
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Lots of people blindly associate paganism and witchcraft/wicca with Satanism.
And a lot of people portray Christian themes in images of oppression and decay.
PrimeHunter Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Professional General Artist
hmm that is quite sounds liek the lady was muslim..because Muslims don't eat any Ham...I'm not sure why they can't though...funny..because i lived in Jordan for 18 years..and i never actually asked my friends why they don't eat ham like me...
Felissauria Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
lmao at the Star Wars and Star Trek references :B
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Samianne Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
:lol: Here in Canada, we had much the same revelation. In a country of 30 million people there were over a thousand who listed Jedi as a religion, enough to give pause consider it at least a cult status. And then there is that one woman who wears her Trek regalia as her civic duty as a member of the Federation. (Yes, she even wore it to court in 1996!)

You believe what you believe. I'll support anyone in their right to do that so long as people aren't injured or killed as a direct result. Harming my fellow humankind goes against my own beliefs.
tsheva Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh come on now ya'll. SERIOUSLY.
Felissauria Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Uh. That's lame. :lmao:
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Yeah, but I bet they have really cool holidays.
biggbabysweetz1 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
"Amen, Blessed be, Shalom, Salaam, Namaste, Ashe, May the Force Be With You, Insha'allah, Aloha, Live Long and Prosper, and Peace Out!"

Well said!! :)
scapermoon Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
I wish people would treat others the way they'd want to be treated, but sadly, it rarely works out like that. Every so often I run into flashing avatars with "OMG Seizure!" or some other epilepsy reference in them, and being an epileptic myself, it makes me furious. I even tried the signature thing with a link to a journal entry I wrote explaining what it's like to have seizures (and how they can be triggered by flashing animation,) but it didn't do any good.

I've since learned to just ignore it (and scroll fast, :D) because unfortunately, people don't always care if they hurt or insult someone. :(
heavencall Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Student Digital Artist
nice speech, gorjuss! :)
MogNetCentral Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006   Traditional Artist
o.o; I enjoy your adding in the Vulcan salute. Also, you make a great point and I hope there are more people on DA that understand that point.
TriadDraykin Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Forgot one ^^

Peace be with you.
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Oh yeah! Thanks!
TriadDraykin Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Iakka Takka.

A phrase i use fairly often. Look it up, you'll find a good comic strip in the process :)
lockstock Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Hmm... google only seems to bring up 2 entries, both forum posts. [link]
TriadDraykin Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
[link] should clarify.
That'll teach me to look things up myself before passing them on.
Renilicious Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not offended by such comments at all, however I sort of don't see the point to it and find them more ridiculous than anything else.

Okay, so... don't use the "hug" icons if you're Muslim. I don't really care. Why do they need to tell us this? Obviously it's important to them for some silly reason and most of the time that reason is simply attention from people like you and me who would occasionally question it.
ImaginedMoments Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2006
Excellent reflection and so true!
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August 21, 2006