There's a bit of a to-do in town at the moment, because one of the pubs has renamed its upstairs function room as The Buddha Bar. I have friends who are practising Buddhists and they are very upset about this. Can you imagine The Jesus Joint, Mohammed's Movie House, Krishna's Cafe? There is, of course, Mecca Bingo, but how would you feel about the Nazareth Nitespot?
Whether the pub intended to cause offence I can't possibly know, but certainly it's brought it some publicity. Am I offended? To be honest, I'm not sure. I mean, I can see that it's at best a bit tasteless and thoughtless; but is it my place to be offended on someone else's behalf? If I don't speak against it, am I implicitly supporting it, or expressing neutrality?
It's all a bit of a minefield. I'd be interested in your thoughts.
They may not have been deliberately offensive – but they've made no effort not to be, have they? I don't think it can be a surprise to them that using a name connected with any religion would have the potential to cause upset or offence.ReplyDelete
I suspect they simply haven't thought it through. There is quite a strong Buddhist community round here, so it will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.Delete
Not being a Buddhist, I can't personally feel the offense, but I can see it. On the flip side, I also wouldn't assume the business owners offended anyone on purpose. I'm the kind of person who'd want to do something so I wouldn't feel like I was implicitly supporting it. I'd feel compelled to write the owners a discrete, polite, personal letter saying how they've hurt their own good will in the community by the poor name choice and ask them to reconsider the name.ReplyDelete
I know some people have posted reasonably worded objections on the pub's Facebook page. I'll let you know if anything else happens.Delete
That's a difficult one, Julia! I would imagine that if anyone was going to complain, it would be those of Buddhist faith. Interesting to see if they do.ReplyDelete
I know letters and emails have been sent. I've not heard if there's been any response.Delete