swastika

Nazi Bling

I rarely voice my anger in public. I was walking past a stall near Varketili Metro (Tbilisi, Georgia) and I noticed among the “fashion jewelry” a wrist band with a swastika symbol. I know the swastika predates Nazi Germany, being an ancient Hindu symbol, but to my mind I see it as the emblem of Nazi Germany. Anyone who would wear such a symbol is to my mind seeking to provoke a reaction (like when some British punks used Swastika armbands in 1976 and 1977) or they are sympathetic to the ideology of the Nazis and their leader Adolf Hitler.

The sales assistant told me off for taking a picture, I reacted by saying angrily “What the fuck is that?” (pointing at the swastika). This is very uncharacteristic, I often feel anger but rarely voice it. The sales assistant just glared at me. I walked off. I’m not a brave person and tend to avoid conflict where possible.

I posted the picture on Facebook and had various comments, now I’m posting here.

nazi-fashion-jewellery

Swastika Fashion Jewelry

It is ironic that the neighbouring bracelet has the word “FREEDOM”….

Since posting I have seen more examples of “Nazi Bling” around Tbilisi.

nazi-bling

a strange swastika inspired creation in a shop called “Underground” in the subway by Freedom Square

Swastikas and Poppies

The swastika is an ancient symbol which in the west now symbolises the Nazi atrocities of the Second World war. To the Jewish People it symbolises fear, oppression and extermination.

The word swastika comes from Sanskrit meaning well-being. It has been in use for thousands of years, particularly by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists as an auspicious sign which is part of everyday life. For some it is a symbol of love. In India it is often found painted over doorways or on motor vehicles.

The poppy has been used since the 1920s in Canada, Britain, Australia and some other countries as a symbol of remembrance for the soldiers who died in the war. The poppy was chosen because it was found to grow well on former battlefields, the destruction of battle caused calcium to leach into the soils and made them attractive for poppies. Also the poppy is red a reminder of the blood shed by those soldiers for our freedom.

Remembrance Day is on 11 November, known by many as Poppy Day in Britain. Unfortunately the poppy has been used (hijacked) by far right groups in the UK like Britain First (an offshoot of the BNP) to promote their agenda of Islamophobia and racial hatred.

poppy and swastika

poppy and swastika

For some in Ireland the poppy is seem as a symbol of British Militarism and is for them more offensive than the swastika. It is rare to see Poppy wearers in Dublin around Remembrance Day.

1909 notecard

1909 notecard with poppies and swastikas in the corners for good luck