Sunday, 22 July 2007

"Buddhaphobia" in Durham!

It looks like Matthew Carter, the Burnley binman reprimanded for wearing a Cross of St George bandana, has an equally unlikely competitor in the contest for Wicked Racist of the Week:

A Buddhist businessman who wants to call his Chinese restaurant Fat Buddha has angered council chiefs - who claim the name will upset Buddhists.

Eddie Fung's £1.3million restaurant will open in Durham next month, creating 60 jobs.

But the restaurateur was astonished when Tracey Ingle, the city council's head of cultural services, demanded he change the name because it was 'provocative'.

Mr Fung, 39, said: "I cannot believe that this woman should go to so much time and trouble to take issue over an inoffensive name like Fat Buddha.

"No Buddhist is going to be offended by this. The fat Buddha is a symbol of health and happiness. It is political correctness gone mad."

And a spokesman for the Buddhist Society said: "Buddhists regard the fat Buddha as lucky. To suggest this is offensive is to misunderstand the faith."

Hmm. Is anyone else thinking, that since Miss Ingle has made false assumptions about Buddhism, and broadcast those assumptions to the world, it may in fact be she who is guilty of "Buddhaphobia"? Perhaps she should apologise for this.
She is certainly guilty of speaking without thinking, and of making an idiot of herself into the bargain (although, what more can one expect of anyone bearing the title "head of cultural services?"), and she should definitely apologise for that.

Postscript: For an example of real Buddhaphobia, click here. You may or may not be surprised to learn that it's the Religion of Peace that was behind it.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Fat Buddha is called Hotei and is actually the Buddhist equivalent of Santa Claus.

From http://www.aboutulverston.co.uk/celts/buddhistchristmas.htm

"Ho Ho Ho ... Hotei! The Buddhist Santa Claus

I'm a mince pie junkie, so when it comes to the the annual Christmas Battle of the Bulge, I've long ago taken Langri Tangpa's advice and adopted the practice of 'accepting defeat and offering the victory'.

Unfortunately, this does have a slight problem with the self-generation visualisations. Most of the Buddhas are portrayed as young, slender and sitting upright, which means that those of us with a more Homeric appearance (in the Simpsonian sense) need rather vivid imaginations to 'bring the result into the path'.

So I was quite pleased when I discovered a Buddha with whom I could easily identify - Buddha Hotei - a manifestation of Buddha Maitreya with an amply proportioned physique (The Wikipedia article rather unkindly calls him 'obese').

Buddha Hotei is very popular in China and Japan. He's often portrayed sitting in a semi-reclining posture and laughing uproariously, while distributing presents to children out of an inexhaustible sack."


P.S. Who's the RoP Santa Claus? Maybe Mohammed sitting Ayesha on his lap and saying Ho, Ho, Oh, Oh, Oh, Ohhh, Ohhhhh!

bernard said...

Her name is Tracey.

Tracey. I even MET a 'Tracey' once; and that was once too many.

Has anyone ever known a person with a name like that, except in a call centre or on children's Blue Peter?

Buddhist Jihad said...

Hotei is not a Buddha, but a Chinese deity.

Better to call the restaurant "Fat Jesus."