religious caste

Let’s Talk About Midnight, Texas

“Did you just find a new fandom?” 

I had been talking about the premier episode of Midnight, Texas all. day. long. Seriously, there was nothing anyone could do to get me to shut up about the show. In fact, I was demanding all of my friends watch the show. When I first heard about the show, I was apprehensive to say the least.

The initial trailer seemed to be missing something. It’s possible I didn’t look close enough, or this character really wasn’t included. Chuy Strong appeared to have been erased from the Midnight, Texas universe, and I was livid. As such, I took to Twitter to express my distaste. You’re really going to make a show like this and not include the gay guys? Really? Monica Breen corrected me quickly. “You mean Chuy? He’s in the first episode.” Oops, ignore the angry queer girl in the corner. I chose to watch the first episode and reserve any judgment. 

Y’all. I don’t even know where to begin. This show is remarkable. I am a huge fan of Charlaine Harris. I have read all of her books several times. When I get frustrated about writing, I remind myself that a bad ass like her went out there and created magic. Then, I go for it and write weird shit like stories about Weresharks. Screw it, it’s all fair game. If Charlaine can create all manner of creatures and monsters and magic, I can too. Seeing the world of Midnight, Texas come alive has practically been a religious experience.

The cast for this show is insane. To be honest, no one in the cast is how I mentally pictured any of the characters in the book. However, once the show began and they started speaking and acting, I was sold. These people really are the best choices. 

One of the first things we see in the first episode is Manfred Bernardo (François Arnaud) conducting a psychic reading. At first sight, my initial reaction to Arnaud was “That is not what Manfred looks like.” Manfred was supposed to be a walking “I’m a freak” billboard. He was supposed to be all tattoos and piercings and vibrant hair color. Francois Arnaud looks so…normal. This dude is light years away from normal, and I say that in the most complimentary fashion possible. Watching him interact with a spirit no one else could see, getting possessed by that spirit, talking to his dead grandmother…I’m sold. Arnaud is Manfred Bernardo and I couldn’t be more delighted by that. Someone in casting watched him and said “YES!” and did the world a huge service. As for the missing tattoos and piercings…they’re still there, just subtle. The closer that I watched the character, the more frequently I would catch a glimpse of something shiny or of some ink. This is attention to detail on a whole other level.

Sidenote to go with Manfred: Xylda (played by Joanne Camp) is brilliant. This woman comes off as the well meaning (albeit dead) grandmother with some spark to her. She could be leading you to a messy situation just to amuse herself, or she could really be aiming to take care of you. Buy the ticket and take the ride.

Olivia Charity (Arielle Kebbel) is one of the first citizens we come across in midnight. Another thing that worried me about the show was what would happen with Olivia. Would they turn her into some daddy-issue-ridden-sex-kitten? Y’all. High fives all around. Olivia is every inch of the badass in the show that she is in the books. Even in a scene where Olivia is in her underwear, it’s not in order to be sexy. She was off duty and getting ready for bed (it would appear) when her help was needed. Who the hell has time for pants? Olivia grabbed up her bow and arrow and went to work. This girl is murder and kindness and energy and grace and strength rolled into one and she. Gets. Things. Done.

Next up, we meet Bobo Winthrop. He is renting out a house to Manfred. Whoever cast Dylan Bruce as Bobo deserves a raise and a bottle of whisky. I fell in love with the character of Bobo Winthrop in the Lily Bard series. We watched him grow from a goofy teenager to a man with a huge heart. His family situation imploded and Bobo just kept plowing forward. He has always had a calm, easy going, charm about him. This guy, though, has one “weakness” so to speak. He can stand on his own two feet and has proved that many times. Bobo is at his most effective with a woman’s support. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he always needs a romantic partner. He just happens to do best when there is a woman there to tell him “This is okay, you are okay, I’m here.” There’s a scene in the first episode where Fiji and Bobo are sitting together and a police officer asks to speak to Bobo privately. Fiji gathers herself to leave, Bobo reaches for her and asks her to stay. That is classic Bobo. He knows he can do it alone, but would prefer not to. Dylan Bruce managed to bring all of Bobo’s best parts to the table.

Creek Lovell is played by Sarah Ramos. If I’m honest, I never gave much thought to Creek in the book series…even though her family has a pretty solid plotline. Sarah Ramos has given Creek so much depth that I am officially in love with Creek. Don’t get me started on shipping Manfred and Creek…I’m already there. She’s a strong woman trying to do right for her brother Connor. All I want for her are good things. During episode one, it is Sarah Ramos in voice over giving the lowdown on the citizens of Midnight. It appears Creek knows a little about everyone there.

In the book series, Reverend Emillio Sheen was a mysterious creature. He kept to himself and tended his church and graveyard. As the books progressed, he added on the care of young Diederick, but still stayed somewhat disconnected from the world around him. Between the talented writers and the wonderful Yul Vasquez The Rev is a brand new man. Sure, he’s still mysterious. Everyone in Midnight has their secrets. But, the way this character is written and acted have me empathizing so much more with him. It was an unexpected quirk of the show, but not unappreciated.

Lemuel Bridger (played by Peter Mensah) is probably the world’s coolest vampire. Not only has he been around long enough to control his impulses, but he can also leech energy instead of taking blood. Watching Mensah play Lemuel in a moment of bloodlust (where he leeched Manfred instead) was breathtaking. The careful, controlled, restraint shown was exactly what one would expect in that situation. His interrogation of the Sons of Lucifer member was horrifying and wonderful. Mensah definitely showed how immune to the concerns of humans an ancient vampire would be.

Fiji Cavanaugh in the books and the show is a breath of fresh air. This witch is incredibly brave and talented. Additionally, she’s not afraid to show her softer side. Fiji has always been a motherly type of character. I didn’t know what to expect with Parisa Fitz-Henley playing Fiji. Really, I don’t watch a lot of TV shows (only Midnight, Texas and Supernatural right now!) and am not familiar with her work. From the second Fitz-Henley took the screen, I was smitten. This woman…wow. She is kind, courteous, bad ass, and magical. This year, we got Gal Gadot as Wonderwoman…by the same token, we need to appreciate the hell out of Parisa Fitz-Henley as Fiji. The heart of everything Fiji is can be found in loving kindness and a desire to protect others. She is, for sure, the Wonderwoman of this show.

Let’s put the next two together, because that’s where they belong. Chuy and Joe Strong (played by Bernardo Sarcino and Jason Lewis respectively) are couple goals. These two men are angels…literally. In the first episode we get treated to Joe unfurling his wings and flying around. Can we just take a moment and appreciate the VFX and SFX teams? Joe unfolding his wings was gorgeous and a little gruesome. In their daily lives, the two men run a tattoo shop (Joe) and Nail Salon (Chuy.) The second episode treats us to a touching exchange between the two men. Though it is of Chuy questioning Joe’s decision to go flying and a little tense, you can see the love they have for each other. These two men have watched over the crossroads for ages. The end of the second episode reveals that Joe was in Midnight millennia ago. I cannot wait to see how things progress this season and to have Chuy and Joe’s perspectives on unfolding events.

Y’all…I literally do not have a single complaint about this show. There are certain unexpected aspects of it, but none of them are unpleasant. With episode two concluding, the overarching plotline for the season is starting to come together. The strengths and weaknesses of the citizens of Midnight are being revealed. Add in the amazing writing and killer visual and sound effects and this show really is a can’t miss.

P.S. Fiji’s cat talks…and he’s got a Texas accent! 

anonymous asked:

Ambassador thingy; in Finland we have our own dumb sports like throwing phones or playing soccer in a swamp - do you have weird sports like that in Romania? Or anything weird, like traditions? I like to learn about weird stuff (I hope this question isn't too confusing ;v;)

Unfortunately, Romanians don’t celebrate such wacky things as Finns! Romanian celebrations are divided into Pagan festivities and Religious festivities. This time I’ll speak of the Pagan festivities, which appear to be less documented, so that’s why I decided to speak about them!

Many Romanians pay more attention to the religious celebrations because Romania is a heavily religious country, thus casting aside other celebrations that have no religious value or history behind them.

Mărțișor is a small, red and write ribbon with tufted ends that’s traditionally pinned to your clothing. It is exchanged between women, men to women, as well as between children. However, it is only women who get to wear the Mărțișor. The small ribbon is often adorned with a charm, too! The materials of the charm can vary from gold and silver, to wood or plastic. There’s all kinds of shapes and sizes as well, the charms can be shaped into traditional Spring bloomers (such as the Snowdrop) or animals symbolizing the month of rebirth (such as the ladybug or the swallow).

This beautiful festivity is said to mark the beginning of the Spring season, as it is celebrated by Romanians everywhere starting March 1st through the end of the month. According to folkloric legend, it is said that Spring was an all beautiful maiden who, one day, while taking a stroll in the meadow, observes how a Snowdrop awakes to life as it blooms from a blanket of snow. She decides to aid it in its growth by pushing away the snow and thorns around the little sprouting Snowdrop. Winter, seeing all this, becomes infuriated as a blizzard suddenly freezes the growing Snowdrop in place. Fearfully, Spring tries to shield the now frozen flower with her hands, but pricks her finger in the thorns of frost. A single drop of blood trailed down Spring’s finger, onto the frozen Snowdrop. The warmth of Spring’s blood melted the frost, and the Snowdrop sprung back to life once more. The colours of the Mărțișor representing her red blood on pure white snow.

Noaptea Sânzienelor (Translation: Night of the maidens clad in white) is imagined by Romanian minds as three young and beautiful ladies, dressed in white, which are said to live and dance along the Carpathian forests once night draws in. 

The three mountain maidens each represent three elements, all strongly tied to one another. Through their playful dances, they are described in the pagan legend as “fairies of the field” (Română: zâne ale câmpului) who give powers of growth to flowers and weeds, as the following day, they’d be gifted with the power to heal illnesses and injuries.

Aside from the more common name above, this celebration is also known by the names of “Cap de vară” (”Summerhead”) and “Amuțitul Cucului”. (”Silence of the Cuckoo”) The same legend passes down the notion that if the cuckoo stops singing, the coming summer months would bring drought. 

In terms of how this is actually celebrated, people light up candles around their homes, or if they live in a mountainous area, they’d climb the mountaintop and place the light on its peak. This is supposed to celebrate the joys of the Sun, As the morning approaches, the lights don’t die out.

anonymous asked:

I'd like to know what the original names of Undertaker, Finnian, Agni, and Snake were. Is Earl Ciel, Sebastian's first contracted human? Why did Soma decide to save Agni's life? Does the manga explain about Snake's life before he joined Noah's Circus?

Phew! Ok, but give me a moment. On my phone, so I can’t see your ask while I’m typing my reply. Will have to post a partial reply and then edit it….

Undertaker – I think he’s really the Cedric K. Ros-(something) mentioned as the father of Vincent (and Frances) on the earl’s family tree…. This would mean he had been a reaper for some time and had already abandoned the post before siring these children… as odd as it sounds.

Agni – was given that name by Soma, right? No idea what his name was originally, but he was (I think) from a family long-associated with a religious order of Hinduism – he was in the religious caste in Bengal. It should have led to the life of an ascetic, but he rebelled and had become a lush and a lech. Since he was being put to death, his behavior had reached a serious low point; he had fallen into a life of debauchery and crime. Prince Soma saved Agni because he saw potential in him to be useful. That’s about the extent of the reason given….

Finny – who knows. The research facility simply labeled him S-12, since he was the twelfth of who knows how many test subjects. He knows at least some German, though that could be simply from being at that facility for who knows how long. Either that… or German might have been his original language, and the researchers spoke something else (English would be my guess, since Sebastian had to teach him to read/write but didn’t have to teach him how to *speak* English), so he was slowly losing his German. Since the earl was *surprised* that Finny spoke/understood German, I’m now thinking it was his first language, and that the research facility might have been elsewhere…. If that’s the case, then he probably had a German name (if he ever had a real name at all).

Snake – The circus troupe named him Snake, right? It’s entirely possible his parents never named him…. There’s been no real account of his life before joining the troupe… other than that he hadn’t been accepted anywhere or by anyone until the circus troupe came along? I *vaguely* recall something about a freak show that was less-than-kind to him. Perhaps he had once been abused/neglected as a freak show attraction, like caged…. But this could just be in my head, IDK.

—–

Regarding Sebastian, no; I don’t think it’s his first contract. His last contract had been some time before, apparently. The comment about dancing the Viennese Waltz suggests he was active in Austria sometime after 1750 (but a good deal before 1886, since he was apparently sleeping when the earl summoned him). There’s a good chance he had a contract with either a Hapsburg or someone with strong connections to them (in order to attend dances at Schönbrunn Palace). I’d be interested to know more about that “stint”… and what his given name might have been then. Before that? I haven’t a clue. The manga hasn’t given any other clues to his activities before this contract, not that I’ve noticed anyway.

—–

Thanks for the asks!

A dalit woman colleague of mine came to the university campus wearing a mangalsutra one day and this forms the context for my discussion. An upper-caste feminist professor was a little inquisitive about the reason for wearing the mangalsutra. In a lighter mood, the dalit woman professor responded, “My parents-in-law came to visit me. They insist…” The mainstream feminist said that, “we fought such a great struggle against mangalsutra way back! And you still wear it?!” The dalit professor felt offended by this comment since it implied she was somehow a “lesser” feminist. She realized that the mainstream feminists’ construction of their body is hegemonic in many ways in that it leads to the exclusion of lower-caste/class women studying and working in the urban universities.

It is not uncommon to find in the urban universities, many upper-caste feminists clad in ethnic, handloom clothing (either a kurti or saree), wearing terracotta/wooden/metal jewelry and a crimson red bindi on the forehead. This construction of upper-caste feminist body is partly a post-modern assertion of native culture by upholding the aboriginal skills of weaving and jewelry making. Mangalsutra is opposed by many feminists since it is a signifier of marital status of Hindu women. At the same time, it symbolically conveys that the woman is the property of her husband. Hence, the feminists’ rejection of mangalsutra is a rejection of a manifestation of patriarchy in the name of tradition. But the question here is whether the mainstream feminists have rejected all forms of patriarchy. A bindi on the forehead is a marker of Hindu woman. Constructing Hindu woman figure as the Indian/native woman figure leads to the exclusion of other women. Similarly, many feminists have neither rejected bindi nor the religious/caste position that comes from the patriarchal family structures.

The reason for the dalit professor’s discomfort has been that the construction of the upper-caste feminist body has become hegemonic since it excludes the Muslim, Christian/dalit feminists. Dalit feminists who wear mangalsutra or gold jewelry and Muslim feminists who wear burqa are often perceived to be lesser feminists or not completely free from patriarchy. But mainstream feminists too have not yet rejected certain privileges of their own social position in the intersecting caste and patriarchal structures. For example, many feminists have not rejected their surnames, family/caste names, husband names, caste/religious status. Surely, some feminists are more equal than others. While rejection of mangalsutra is considered rejection of patriarchy, rejection of caste markers have not been a significant deliberation within mainstream feminism.

The battle grounds we choose depend on the oppressive structures from which the individual and collective subjugation emanate. This is the reason why feminists are not a monolithic group. They come in different shades such as liberal feminists, radical feminists, Marxist and socialist feminists, third world feminists, black feminists, eco feminists and yes, dalit feminists. Each layer of feminism targets a particular oppressive structure that leads to the subjugation of a particular social group. For a dalit woman, the rejection of wearing gold ornaments is oppressive while for upper-caste woman, the insistence on wearing gold jewelry is oppressive.

bell hooks says, “Being oppressed means absence of choices!” Hence, such absence of choices leads dalit women to embrace marriage in certain contexts. Gopal Guru considers marriage in the case of Devadasis as the ‘rejection of rejection’ since they challenge the oppressive tradition by marrying a man and refuse to be the wife of some god or goddess. Here, marriage (though an oppressive system) in this context is “a radical alternative to fight reduction.” Similarly the case of a dalit woman professor wearing mangalsutra (or not strongly rejecting it) may be a statement on her rejection of being accessible to other men (though her parents-in-law’s insistence may be a mere imitation of Brahmanism) because the traditional ideology of considering dalit women as sexually accessible is prevalent in the urban universities as well. Such ideology is evident in cases like that of Sunita, a post graduate student of University of Hyderabad, who committed suicide after being allegedly sexually exploited by an upper-caste Reddy student from the same university. In Nagarjuna University, a dalit woman teacher committed suicide after being sexually exploited by an upper-caste male colleague. Similarly, many dalit women students have been facing sexual harassment by both upper-caste and dalit men in prestigious educational institutions of India.

—  T. Sowjanya, “Have savarna feminists rejected markers of caste and patriarchy?”

Bulgarian St. Stephen Church, also known as the Bulgarian Iron Church, famous for being made of cast iron. An iron frame was preferred to concrete reinforcement due to the weak ground conditions. Designed in a combination of different styles by Hovsep Aznavur, an Armenian of Constantinople origin and it was manufactured in Vienna and then shipped to Constantinople, where it was inaugurated in 1898. In terms of architecture, the church combines Neo-Gothic and Neo-Baroque influences. Now St Stephen is one of the world’s few surviving prefabricated cast iron churches.

+ DISCLAIMER: This is a headcanon for my TFP AU fanfiction project, Book of Hours. It has little to do with Aligned canon - as with everything else of mine, basically I’ve just made shit up. Don’t take it too seriously.

C A S T E—

>> Stratified social groupings defining which rank a mech occupied in gatherings, his ritual status in the Mythos, what jobs he could do, the level of education to which he was entitled to, which people he could talk to with which level of [in]formality and what pronoun groups he was referred to by.

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silver-millennial  asked:

Hi, Can you do a casting of Peanuts [With an emphasis on Christmas] for Sailor Moon. Also please consider my suggested casting, I'd like to see where your opinions differ.

OF COURSE I CAN because “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is my favorite piece of animation of all time

Charlie Brown: Usagi (she believes in that small little tree SO MUCH well after everyone else had lost faith in it but in the end her optimism brings it a second chance at redemption and I’m not crying you’re crying)

Linus: Mamoru (patron saint of pep talks; the main emotional support to everything Usagi does)

Sally: Minako (constantly gets proverbs mixed up and would probably write a letter to Santa asking for straight-up cash)

Lucy: Rei (Rei would have a psychiatric advice booth. Rei would ask for real estate for Christmas. Rei would cast herself as the Christmas Queen.)

Schroeder: Michiru (snarky passive-aggressive musician)

Patty: Haruka (the strongest opposing voice against the sad little christmas tree, and yet at the end still shows up to sing carols with the rest)

Violet: Chibiusa (intentionally spurns ever single thing Usagi says, but secretly, she really does care)

Shermy: Pluto (“every year it’s the same; I always end up playing the shepherd”)

Pigpen and Frieda: Umino and Naru (Usagi accidentally pairs them up as the innkeepers despite their initial aversion to one another once again showing that everything she does brings love into the lives of others)

Snoopy: Artemis (i don’t even know but you know what even cats can inadvertently buy into the commercialization of Christmas)

And, though they don’t appear in this special, I like Mako and Ami as Peppermint Patty and Marcie, and Miss Haruna as Disembodied Muted Trombone Noise.

ninjaxenomorph  asked:

I've been working on a character recently. She is an Indian biologist and genetic engineer. She was born in India in the 1950s with a host of congenital disorders. Her (Hindu) family immigrated to the US to seek better opportunities, where her extreme aptitude was discovered. I'm having trouble with her name. There is a history of names being somewhat meaningful in the work (a US Marine named Murphy, for example). I've worked out her given name as Bhawani, but haven't moved far from there.

Indian Surname to Reflect a Biologist/Engineer 

So you’d like to give this Indian character a surname that reflects her work as a biologist/engineer, but you would also like to be accurate to Hindu naming convention?

It’s not really as simple as just giving you a few suitable names to choose from, because Hindu naming conventions are hugely variable based on time period, region, family history, religious sub-group identification, etc.  Plus, the 1950s in particular were a period of huge flux in naming conventions, for various reasons, and you had different groups adopting different conventions, and sometimes ever different members of the same family adopting different conventions.

Traditionally there are a few options for a full name.  They all revolve around a <given name> + <group identifier> formula, and over time what I’m terming the “group identifier” usually morphed into something resembling a surname.  This usually started similarly to some last names in the west, as a marker of occupation (Patel, Deshmukh, etc.), religious sect or caste identification (Iyengar, Shastri, Acharya, Menon, etc.), place of origin (Mehwala, Kanchi, etc.), or other semi-random identifiers (Thampi, for instance, just means “little brother” and referred to the younger brother of a king, and later, his descendants).  Sometimes some ancestor’s given name ends up as a descendant’s family name (this is the case with mine, actually—my last name is so because it was my paternal grandfather’s given name).  Additionally, the core name formula can acquire various accoutrements, such as father’s given name, town of ancestral origin, etc.  Sometimes the group identifiers can fall before the given name.  Sometimes multiple group identifiers fall in various places in the name.  I had a great-grandfather called Sarukkai (ancestral village, even thought I don’t think he was born there) Gopal (father’s given name) Srinivasa (given name) Acharya (religious/scholarly marker).

Basically it’s a huge crapshoot.  You need to know your character’s regional background and religious and status ancestry to some extent, in order to come up with a realistic name.  This Wiki page is an okay place to start, but needs cleanup and won’t give you many name meanings.

To come up with a “meaningful” name (aren’t all names meaningful?—I guess you’re kind of going with a common conceit here, of having a character’s name just coincidentally reflective of their life choices; nothing wrong with that, I guess), the problem is that most Sanskrit words related to biology or engineering don’t make good family names.  Sanskrit for “biologist” is jīvaśāstri.  Shastri (< śāstri) is a good last name.  Jīvaśāstri is not, kind of like how “Smith” or even “Silversmith” or “Goldsmith” are fairly common English last names, but “blacksmith” is not.  The word for “engineer” is yantri but that is also not used as a last name.  In fact, if you look up Sanskrit terms for various sciences, you’ll find that Indians are naming their tech startups after these things, not their children.  Similar problems arise even with more generic terms.  “Malin” comes from mālī, which means “gardener” (sort of a biologist, I guess), but that’s not a common last name (“Mali” can be a caste surname but that’s a place-of-origin name and doesn’t come from the word for “gardener”).  I’m afraid you may be setting yourself up for a lot of extra work.

You could use the onomastic chaos of the 1950s to your advantage.  This is a time when parents’ given names were becoming children’s last names, especially among families moving to the west, and while it would be kind of weird, it wouldn’t be unheard of for a family to name their son Yantri or Jantar or something, and this could conceivably pass into use as a last name among that person’s children.  I guess.  Keep in mind, this relies on a plot device in which parents literally name their child “Engineer”.  Be prepared to explain yourself, which will be more research to do the explanation correctly.

If you search “Sanskrit word for X” you’re very likely to end up at a site called spokensanskrit.de.  This is a decent source, but do not trust the romanization.  It is meant for people who already know how to read Devanagari script, so learn to read Devanagari first, and that will tell you how to pronounce the results you get, and thus how to transliterate them into something readable for English speakers.

“Bhawani” is a good name.  It means “creator.”  What does this character create to warrant that meaningful name?  (Something biotech-y, I’m assuming.  I don’t expect you to message back and answer this; it’s just something you should be thinking about if this character is going to have this name.)

-Mod Nikhil

notyourexrotic  asked:

As an Asian who is currently living in an Asian country as a minority: can Western diaspora Asians stop assuming that Asians are somehow "safe" in Asia? Racism is still a MAJOR PROBLEM here even when the oppressor class is not White. And there's all sorts of caste and religious and sectarian etc etc violence.

I agree that racism is totally a thing in Asia and I agree that there are all kinds of caste, ethnic and religious oppressions going on. I’ve never heard of a western diaspora Asian who’s said that kind of thing but they’re wrong. What confuses me here is how there can be a race-based oppressor class that isn’t white people. Unless you’re talking about like…shadeism or something from light skin Asians toward darker skin ones? Which can obviously tie into ethnic based oppressions and such…

Mod W

The Taiping Rebellion, Part I — Hong Xiquan, Brother of Jesus

The Taiping Rebellion was one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, yet it is a forgotten war remembered by few.  While certainly everyone knows about World War I and World War II, few people outside of China know anything about a war that cost the lives of over 20 million people. Furthermore the Taiping Rebellion would help form modern China, as it would expose the weakness of the old imperial system, and introduce China to radical rebellion and revolution.

In 1836 a Chinese man named Hong Xiquan was traveling to the city of Guangzhou to take the civil service examinations.  Hong Xiquan was not a poor peasant yet not a member of the nobility, but rather someone of the middling sort. He was certainly no revolutionary, since he was taking the civil service examination to become a government official, which would earn him wealth and power.  On his way to Guangzhou he stopped to listen to the ministry of a group of Christian missionaries.  He absorbed the teaching of Christ, but thought little of it.

Hong Xiquan failed the Imperial Examinations, as he had failed them several times before.  Becoming a part of the nobility was extremely difficult as the pass rate was only 1%.  The next year Hong Xiquan tried again, but once again failed.  The stress and pressure of failure caused Xiquan to have a mental breakdown.  During the breakdown he had several dreams and visions which would change his life and the destiny of China forever.  

Once Xiquan arose from his affliction, he explained to his brother the visions that he had.  According to Xiquan, he was contacted by Jesus, who explained the he was his brother.  As the brother of Jesus, Xiquan was invested with a holy crusade to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and install a heavenly Christian kingdom in China.  Hong Xiquan at first preached to his family, then his community. His followers grew and grew, mainly because the area he lived in was predominantly Hakka, a small minority in Southern China who were disgruntled with the Manchu ruled Qing Dynasty.  Xiquan’s movement began at just the right time.  The 19th century saw the gradual weakening of the Chinese Empire due to political corruption, attacks by foreign colonial powers, a stagnating economy, social upheaval, and a terribly uneven distribution of wealth and power.  There were many people in China who wanted a drastic change.  Xiquan preached the overthrow of the corrupt Chinese Empire, an end to ancient Chinese religious and social traditions, as well as a redistribution and sharing of wealth.  To many of those disgruntled with the Qing Emperor, the teachings of Hong Xiqaun were very attractive.

Over the next decade Hong Xiqaun’s movement would grow with the help of an American Baptist preacher named Issacar Roberts.  The followers of Xiquan, known as “The God Worshipers” soon became a local power to be reckoned with.  At first The God Worshipers were welcomed by Chinese officials, as they cleared the countryside of bandits and pirates, broke up gangs and mafia’s, and worked to help the poor.  But soon it became obvious that the intentions of The God Worshipers went far beyond that.  As they grew in power The God Worshipers tried to fundamentally transform the communities they controlled.  They destroyed Buddhist and Confucian religious symbols and literature, cast out local religious and political leaders, and supplanted Qing rule with a religious theocracy headed by Hong Xiqaun himself.

By 1850 Hong Xiqaun had over 30,000 followers and dominated the town of Jiantin.  Xiqaun’s rebellion soon gained notice of of the Chinese Imperial Government, who grew alarmed at the growth of his movement and the drastic actions they took.  The Chinese Government ordered the local magistrate to snuff out the Xiqaun movement immediately.  In 1851 the local magistrate assembled an army of 7,000 Imperial troops to crush the rebellion, and end Hong Xiquan’s movement forever.

To be Continued…

The basic milestones of the Cybertronian vorn; events which the great majority of the population would recognise. Also includes the basic regular Rites and a few notes on the Cybertronian week.

+ DISCLAIMER: This is a headcanon for my TF:P-based AU project Book of Hours. Due to lack of canon elaboration on the topic at hand, I’ve had to make shit up. I had a great deal of fun doing so. Don’t take it too seriously.

>> See also: 

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anonymous asked:

white people doing yoga hurts no one. so quit spewing your bullshit to others to make south asians feel "empowered" about stopping white people doing a practice from your motherland. as you stated, you've never actually seen or practiced yoga in south asia and as a result your uninformed opinions are hurting everyone in the process. you don't personally get a wound everytime someone who isn't south asian does yoga.

I never said that I get a wound when non-desis do yoga. There are other forms of cultural appropriation and colonization that can be far more harmful. The harm that I speak of has to do with representation of my culture. My family, friends, and I have been mocked and discriminated against because of our culture and religion - our symbols, clothing, diet, rituals, and language. But then I turn around and see white people doing the same things and being rewarded for it. So while I don’t get physical wounds, I resent the fact that everything my people do has to be filtered and diluted through white people before it becomes acceptable. I’m sorry if you don’t think that’s harmful.

I understand that the history of yoga in South Asia is complicated. There are several layers of colonialism & religious and caste discrimination that intersect with the history of yoga. Who does yoga even belong to? Brahmins, Hindus, all South Asians? What about South Asian Muslims? Well in the US, it seems to belong to skinny, upper/middle class, white women. While I am not able to speak extensively on yoga in South Asia, I understand that yoga in the US, similar to South Asia, has a complicated relationship with class/race/religion/etc.

I know that bhakti (edit: I meant hatha) yoga is going to continue thrive as a billion dollar industry in the US, and there’s not much turning back (until Americans find a new fad). I know that my white neighbor doing her asanas isn’t threatening my physical safety. However, I know that yoga can’t be separated from a history of colonialism, and the inability for Americans to realize that is harmful.

God, Patsy Mount, and the excitement of a Gay-nglican CTM fan

Given how much we have left to go in the fourth season of Call the Midwife it feels a bit premature for me to be writing this. After all how many TV shows (Call the Midwife sometimes included) have introduced characters or plotlines early in a series only to squander them down the road? (a problem especially prevalent where queer people are concerned.) Realistic expectations of television aside, nothing changes the fact that after this week’s episode I have butterflies in my stomach and I can’t stop grinning so you’re getting this freak out anyway.

After this week’s episode it is hard to dispute that one Patsy Mount, Nonnatus’s no nonsense, tall, posh, redhead is a lesbian. What had been the speculation of fans based on subtle but pointed hints was confirmed when we saw her gallivanting about adorably with a “friend” from her days on male surgery, Delia. Not only that but it seems, at least for the moment, that Patsy is in a relationship that is both queer and healthy. And all of this is happening on Call the Midwife. Which, let me tell you, is a REALLY BIG DEAL. Why? Because queer representation is important? Of course. Because CTM is a period drama and its shockingly rare that we see queer people acknowledged before the 1980’s? Totally. But I think there’s one vitally important reason that this particularly program not only has a queer character, but a queer character whose queerness is framed as a good, even healthy thing.

Call the Midwife is a religious show.

Keep reading

Three Wise Men, A TFA Meta

This meta is to be read from a cultural aspect, religion is not required at all! ;) Also, it is  not meant to be offensive on any level (I myself am a practicing Christian).

Let’s begin! 

The parallel between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Biblical story of Christ and the three Magi can be drawn in two ways. Whether this is intentional, or a form of cryptomnesia or it simply has something to do with the, as Carl Jung would put it, collective unconscious is up to debate!

First version:

Adoration of the Magi, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

So, let’s refresh our memory of the story about the Three Wise Men.

The Magi - popularly referred to as wise men and kings a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In The Force Awakens, the three men are central to Rey’s plot. I would like to draw attention to the point that Rey means “king” in Spanish and Occitan - derived from Latin rex. Jesus was prophesied to become the “king of of the Jews” - Matthew 2:1-12. Rey was “born” in a desert (well, alright - left there at the age of 5), on Jakku, just like Jesus was born in a desert, in Bethlehem of Judea.

It is important to underline that the birth of Christ was prophesied, just like, in Star Wars, the One to bring balance to the Force was prophesied. Could the One be Rey?

-Once again - I am by no means attempting to be blasphemous, and I know that no one is like Christ or God, this meta has been written solely around common tropes and storytelling, and in an attempt to spread culture-

The three wise men followed a star, that now goes under the name of Star of Bethlehem, in order to find baby Christ, which led to an assumption that the three men might have been astrologists. The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος magos, itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e., the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born. As part of their religion, the priestly caste - Zorostrians paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology - at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general (and led to the English term magic), although Zoroastrianism was in fact strongly opposed to sorcery. In the case of TFA, all three men are Force sensitive. Furthermore, Finn “falls” from the sky and sets on to protect a map of the skies, contained in BB-8, Kylo flies around looking for the very same map, and Luke can only be found using the intricate map made up of many stars and planets (I will return to his in the second part of this meta).

Here’s another parallel - at the time around the birth of Jesus Christ, upon hearing about the prophecy of the “new King”, the then Emperor Herod ordered a massacre of all children under the age of 2, known as the Massacre of the Innocents, fearing that he might fall from power. This leads to an assumption that it might not have been Kylo Ren/Ben Solo who massacred the Padawans, but that it was done by people who feared the power the Jedi might wield (described in a bit more detail in these two lovely metas - not mine - http://reylo-in-the-stars.tumblr.com/post/140760503346/kylo-rens-past-and-reys-future by @reylo-in-the-stars and http://loveyournightmare.tumblr.com/post/138637116879/reys-production-name-snow by @loveyournightmare ) .


The three Magi developed distinct characteristics in Christian tradition, so that, between them, they represented the three ages of (adult) man, three geographical and cultural areas. In the normal Western account, reflected in art by the 14th century (for example in the Arena Chapel by Giotto in 1305) Caspar is old, normally with a white beard, and gives the gift of gold; he is “King of Tarsus, land of merchants” on the Mediterranean coast of modern Turkey, and is first in line to kneel to Christ. Melchior is middle-aged, giving frankincense from his native Arabia, and Balthazar is a young man, very often and increasingly black-skinned (this has been subject of considerable recent scholarly attention; in art it is found mostly in northern Europe, beginning from the 12th century), with myrrh from Saba (modern south Yemen). Their ages were often given as 60, 40 and 20 respectively (coarsely the different ages Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren and Finn represent), and their geographical origins were rather variable, with Balthazar increasingly coming from Ethiopia or other parts of Africa, and being represented accordingly.

The age trope is a very common trope known as “The Three Faces Of Adam”.

The Allegory of Prudence (c. 1565–1570) is an oil painting attributed to the Italian artist Titian and his assistants

Apart from representing three different ages of a man, the painting has been seen as an allegory about sin and penitence.

As tropes, the three faces represent:

The Hunter (Finn): The man who thirsts to find himself by striking out into the world; is usually the youngest of the three. May be afraid of what the future has in store for him and be Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. Or, he might be ambitious with dreams that he lacks the skills and resources to fulfill. Because he has so few things he values, he will tend to take risks to get what he wants.

The Lord (Kylo Ren): The man who struggles to maintain stability against the ebb and flow of the world. In the place of naivete there is now knowledge of the world, both of its dangers and of its wonders. He has an established place in the world and a reputation to maintain, and possesses the skills and resources to keep them. He must strive to achieve a balance between fulfilling further goals without risking his losing what he already has or becoming too obsessed with what he possesses to progress forward.

The Prophet (Luke Skywalker): The man who looks back on his life; usually the oldest of the three. His knowledge and experience has grown into wisdom and he seeks to impress that wisdom on younger generations. Has either fulfilled or given up on his aspirations; if he does have any goals, they will either be fulfilled through a proxy or be a gift to the younger generation. His fears center on what will happen after he is gone, both to his legacy and to the world itself.

Usually, The Hunter is The Hero with The Prophet as his Mentor, while The Lord is the Big Bad, although there are variations.

(the descriptions of the tropes and sentence that follows them quoted from tvtropes.org)

Back to the Three Wise Men.

As mentioned earlier, each man brings a gift to baby Christ. The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.

Gold - brought by Caspar (in this case, the equivalent of Luke Skywalker) - symbolically associated with perfect or divine principles (the teaching of the ways of the Force), the wisdom of aging and fruition (self-explanatory), and, in some forms of Christianity and Judaism, gold has been associated both with holiness and evil (the duality of the Force).

Frankincense - brought by Melchior (in this case, the equivalent of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo) - I am going to quote “GOLD AND FRANKINCENSE, A Sermon by Dean Scotty McLennan (University Public Worship, Stanford Memorial Church)” :
“Second, the gift of frankincense suggests to me a new kind of spirituality that joins head and heart, biblical text and later-developing traditions, the historical and the legendary, the scientific and the poetic. Mature faith, as distinguished from the wonder of childhood, needs to make sense of all that we know in our lives and experience, rather than becoming “blind faith” or a “leap of faith.” If we grow up our faith beyond childhood and adolescence, it’s possible to find a new simplicity on the far side of complexity, as Oliver Wendell Holmes and Alfred North Whitehead both described it.” 

Frankincense was reintroduced to Europe (from Jerusalem) by Frankish Crusaders, although its name refers to its quality, not to the Franks themselves. Speaking of Crusaders - a lot of inspiration has been drawn from Templar Knights in the creation of Kylo Ren’s character.

Myrrh -  brought by Balthazar (in this case, the equivalent of Finn) - symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction. Being an embalming oil, myrrh is also a symbol of death. Whether this denotes Rey’s or Finn’s suffering and death is yet to be seen. I think that it’s not impossible that Rey will actually at some point battle Finn, as suggested in this meta - http://hello-reylo.tumblr.com/post/140596267940/now-that-makes-more-sense-yes-i-know-chewies by @hello-reylo .



The second way the parallels between the stories could be seen is through this trio (to which a lot of the aforementioned applies as well), also searching for this star-map in order to find a very special man…


Feel free to comment! ;)



Disclaimer: I own nothing, all the rights belong to Lucasfilm, and the companies and artists behind Star Wars; entertainment and educational purposes only.

Sources - wikipedia, starwars.com, tvtropes.org