Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

To the Indian mind, accustomed as it is to the colors and festivities that characterize Hindu traditions, Christianity must seem like a dry, bland, and uninteresting religion.

Fortunately, Christians in India have an excellent solution: copy Hinduism. reports on a tradition of Gujarati Christians who have appropriated the Hindu tradition of garba, commonly performed during Navarātrī, for performance during Christmas.

Obviously, Hindu songs about heathen deities will not due for “Christian garba,” so Christians composed new songs whose lyrics are devoted to Jesus Christ. As reports:

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Note the not-so-subtle prejudice underlying the Christian appropriation of garba: Christians cannot dance to musical songs devoted to Vedic deities, because that is “idol worship.” For those who do not understand the sense of the word “idol,” it refers in its original usage to a false image.

So to be clear, Christians consider dancing to garba songs devoted to Kṛṣṇa or Rāma to be the worship of false deities, but have no such objection employing the same tradition to dance to Jesus.

Though they may routinely spew condescending and hateful remarks in the direction of Hindus, one thing remains clear. It is Christianity which must copy the traditions of the heathen Hindus in order to stay relevant and interesting to the Indian Christian population. Their imitation of Hindu traditions speaks volumes about the silent regard they have for its culture but cannot acknowledge due to purely sectarian reasons.