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Tibetan prayer flag appropriation

Illustration for article titled Tibetan prayer flag appropriation

I have some Tibetan prayer flags in my garden. I also think that the use of Tibetan prayer flags in Western culture is largely cultural appropriation.


This is kind of problematic. On the one hand, I truly love the simple idea behind prayer flags, in that they symbolize peace and goodwill to the area as they blow away in the wind, in essence. I also know why there are 5 colors and what the colors stand for (the elements: Air/space, wind, fire, water, and earth). However, I’m also not a Buddhist and I do not practice meditation or other Buddhist practices; I have only a cursory understanding of Buddhism. And while the meaning behind the flags may be somewhat simple, their history is not necessarily simple.

I suppose my point is that I don’t want to be an asshole, and I feel like it may be problematic for me to have these displayed, but I also appreciate the symbolism behind them. Any thoughts, GT?

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