“Don’t call an Asian person Oriental, that’s offensive,” said the smug white woman to me a few years ago. I never got that memo, so thanks.
Oriental: usually offensive term used to define people from Asia. associated with colonialism. politically incorrect.
During my erratic reading about China, both fiction and non-fiction, I ran across a televised Chinese talent show named “Let’s Go Oriental Angel.” I guess the Chinese have no problem describing themselves as oriental. Where’s that white woman?
Oriental: from Latin meaning to rise, come to be born, to exist.
A Middle Eastern restaurant that I frequent plays a YouTube channel by the name of “Oriental Journey.” It plays music and video form the Middle East & North Africa (MENA region). So far neither the Arabic owners of the restaurant nor the diverse customer base started to rant at that channel title. Smug white women must not eat there.
Oriental: referring to The East vs. occidental which refers to The West.
Words can only do so much before they run into limitations. Stop offending words by pushing them into muddled agendas.
White women: creating problems when none existed before.
A dark, depressing book brings me some peace. That book is “Of Human Bondage” by Somerset Maugham.
In the novel, Philip loves Mildred, a woman that tortures him and never loves him back. He loses hope and questions the point of being alive. An acquaintance tells him the meaning of life can be found in a Persian carpet. Before he can unlock the mystery of the carpet it is destroyed.
Later on when he keeps thinking about the lost carpet, he unlocks the secret. The patterns in the carpet, the cycle of life and death, are all we have. Life has no meaning on this rock hurtling through space. But this insignificance gives Philip power.
Forget about the meaning of life and just find a place in the pattern. Failure and success are all the same. Just live as best as you can.
Nivana is a big nothingness in an Eastern culture. The elimination of life on earth is the goal.
My Western mindset pursues meaning in life. A life that does not end in death but continues on to a blissful, new afterlife.
The Eastern viewpoint makes more sense to me than the Western one.
It’s kind of odd that meaninglessness provides more comfort to me than everlasting life. Getting composted back into the All seems to be a useful occupation for the dead. Not too shabby to be One with the Cosmos.
But how much do my sensibilities matter in the grand scheme of things? For all I know, this universe may be running on Calvinist principles. If that hurts anyone’s sensibilities, no one cares.