Hellenic Solidarity For Hindu NASA Intern A Bright Spark Amidst The Black

Earlier this week, NASA posted a tweet featuring four of its young interns at their workstations. One of these was a Hindu woman in a bindi – whose workspace featured several deific depictions (small statuettes, a miniature shivling, and a few pictures up on the walls).

Now, sadly this was … a bit much for some people – and so the NASA post in question wound up with some pretty caustic pushback from people outraged that somebody working for NASA might be, variously, religious (and specifically Hindu religious), or Indian (and unapologetically Hindu whilst being so).

Personally, I’d have felt that what she had on her desk was of considerably secondary importance than the fact that .. you know .. she’d scored an internship at NASA – and was therefore evidently pretty smart straight from the get-go. But I suppose I’m biased in that way. (Also noted that her desk was the most ‘cluttered’ of those on show – a positive, it frequently correlates with a spark of genius .. but, again, biased in that sphere)

I also found myself recalling various of those great minds in physics and other scientific fields in history who’ve been quite overt as to their having derived some influence, inspiration, and in Oppenheimer’s case, pithy quotation from our faith. Perhaps these people with a problem with the young woman shall be similarly rolling up at CERN to protest that they have a rather large Nataraja Murti upon the grounds there.

Certainly, were I in her position, the active integration of religious elements into my work – by which I mean my headspace, mindspace, and the drawing from those faculties in the work’s completion – would be a big part of what I was doing there. (Although perhaps not quite as overtly and actively as I wound up doing for my rehab coursework last semester, as I think some of us may recall 😛 )

Anyway, while it can be quite fairly argued, I think, that were it a young Muslim woman with a hijab, or a Sikh lad with a turban, that there’d have been a rather different response from some of the commenters in question – praising the ‘diversity’ on show, the ‘look at how they’ve proudly presented their culture and heritage even into the highest echelons’ sort of thing …

… a young Indian Hindu woman in a bindi is, apparently, supposed to be the opposite and the antithesis of everything NASA stands for; and never mind the absolutely incredible heritage of Vedic mathematics and astronomy, etc. … how very dare somebody actually be this specific kind of religious in the 21st century in science with Saraswati devotional iconography upon display.

The fact that the major murtis were the TriDevi probably also induced some consternation in there somewhere about being unable to so easily roll out a “patriarchal religion, oppresses women!” attack to add to the calumny 😛
But all of that isn’t why I shared this tweet here.

Instead, it’s for something quite different, and far more positive –

A Greek (Hellenic) traditional religious adherent sending his solidarity, and his support by showing that, once again, “we’re not so different, after all”, across the Indo-European sphere!

One thought on “Hellenic Solidarity For Hindu NASA Intern A Bright Spark Amidst The Black

  1. Pingback: Hellenic Solidarity For Hindu NASA Intern A Bright Spark Amidst The Black – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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