Buddhism: trend vs. practice


Maya Hoyseth, What's trending

Since when did religion become a trend? It has become more and more popular to have Buddhist tapestries up in your room, filling your shelves with Buddha statues, getting tattoos of ohm symbols, etc. yet the majority of these people are not true Buddhist.

This has been around for a while starting with people wearing a cross around their neck just for the “bling”. The “Buddhism trend” started back when yoga became popular worldwide after a study showed that it could be potentially hallucinogenic. After years of people practicing yoga and mediation, the Buddhist culture soon followed with the Buddhist art itself. Since yoga originated from northern India, the Buddhist “symbols” naturally came along with it and the people who followed the trend picked up those as well.

Now we see elements of Buddhism almost everywhere as millenials expanded upon the trend, yet very few actually practice the religion itself. I, for one, am a culprit of this, about a year ago I “jumped on the trend” and bought a tapestry in Mexico since I just kept seeing them everywhere. That continued with collecting little Buddha statues, salt lamps, mandala art, Dalai Lama wall hangings, succulents and burning incense.

But I wouldn’t say I’m just “following a trend” as I am genuinely interested in the culture and have done my research to serve it at least a little bit of justice. I bought my tapestry from a local store in Mexico where the owners are true Buddhist and make legitimate tapestries compared to those who simply buy them off eBay or Amazon. I have art work straight from Cambodia, a wrist full of wooden beaded bracelets each one blessed by a different monk I’ve encountered around the world including Cambodia, Hawaii, England and Bali, as well as a small tattoo of an ohm symbol.

Buddhist clothing is another huge part of this fad. Anywhere from harem pants, long, loose flowery skirts and tops, and layering necklaces, bracelets and anklets, if someone claims to be a Buddhist, then you’ll see it in their wardrobe.

I don’t know what to expect as the years go on, but I do hope that people start paying more respect to religion instead of using it strictly for fashion purposes.