This shit is so baller, I can’t believe it’s real:
“Antony Ratcliffe, 42, from Nottingham, was turned back at Colombo’s main airport on Friday for allegedly showing a lack of respect for Buddhism. The authorities are tough on perceived insults to Buddhism – the religion of the island’s majority ethnic Sinhalese. But Mr Ratcliffe says the “inoffensive” body art was meant as a tribute.”
“They took my passport and held me there for an hour and a half. All the time they were bringing people in to look at my arm, and they were shaking their heads. I was explaining my case, pleading basically, and the chief officer just told me to ‘shut up, shut up’ and he refused to talk to me. I like the artwork in tattoos obviously and, due to my belief in Buddhist philosophy which I have followed for many years, I thought a quality tattoo of the Buddha was rather apt. It wasn’t something I took lightly or did on the spur of the moment.”
While, obviously, us being a bunch of wily anarchists are rather flummoxed by any form of State-sponsored censorship, we can’t help but feel a little tingle in our britches over this clash of cultures.
“Despite having a valid two-day tourist visa, Mr Ratcliffe said he was frogmarched to a detention area after immigration officials spotted the Buddha’s head tattoo poking out from the sleeve of his T-shirt. As soon as he saw it the chief officer went crazy. You could see it on his face, he looked really angry and said I would have to go back to London,” Mr Ratcliffe told the BBC.”
And, while it doesn’t match the level of idiocy we witnessed last year when an image of prominent NYC yoga instructors showed them planting their colonialist feet all over statues of Ganesh in India, it’s still something to consider. Especially when doing so might get your ass thrown in the clink.
“Last year, three French tourists were given suspended prison sentences for taking photographs that showed them pretending to kiss a statue of Buddha at a temple.”
So, here’s a word of note: Westerners, just because you “mean well” doesn’t mean you aren’t at the same time being a total blubbering cultural dumb-dumb. For better or worse, having good intentions and being a jerk can exist very much simultaneously. Life is big, and it includes the whole range of experiences.
As for Sri Lanka. Stop being so fucking stupid, and start dealing with your anti-Muslim hate problem.
Your “Buddhists” are starting to annoy me.
Many thanks to one of our gracious readers for the tip.