Friday, February 17, 2006

more fun with swastikas...

As I mentioned a few posts back, I've been wearing a black swastika design on my hand recently. Every day for almost two weeks now, I have drawn and re-drawn the symbol as it fades away. Through this process of familiarizing myself with the design, it has become markedly less shocking to my eyes. I think that my new view of swastikas also has something to do with my knowledge that the sign on my hand is meant to represent good luck, peace, and enlightenment rather than evil. However, I feel that if I had only learned about the origins of the swastika, and hadn't actually kept myself in constant contact with it, I wouldn't have had the same reaction. I never thought that I would say this in my entire life thus far, but I am seriously considering getting a small swastika tattoo. Of course it would be highly decorative in nature, nothing like the bold, institutionalized Nazi swastika. I think that it would be a constant reminder to me that I should remain open minded and be wary of accepting 'norms.'
Another effect of wearing the swastika has been a variety of reactions from people who happen to notice the design. Typically, the first queestion I get is "Is that a swastika on your hand?!" which sets me off on a little lecture about the origins of the swastika and the purpose of my wearing it. I usually get a sigh of relief in return, aside from a small number of people who were already familiar with the pre-WWII swastika. One such person was a friend of mine from Athens, Greece. He informed me that the flooring tiles in his high school were decorated with swastikas, and that his school was "too cheap" to get them replaced. Initially I thought this was incredibly funny, but then I began to wonder if the students of that school, or members of communities in which some architecture contains swastikas, are less offended by the sign because of their constant exposure to it. I'm working on figuring that one out still :o)
So I think that the swastika will stay for a few more days before I decide to let it fade for good. I am incredibly glad that I decided to apply it in the first place, though. That such a small thing could have such a huge impact on my way of thinking amazes me. I still encourage you to try it. No, seriously. Come on, I know there's a pen within reach...give it a shot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding your thoughts on swastiksa in architechture: In Bayonne, New Jersey, there are some brick homes built in the 1920s with swastika borders across the tops.