Reverse Swastika lapel pin worn at work

A doctor I work with as an ER nurse has taken to wearing a reverse swastika at work. This is the original left facing emblem originating in India. This doctor is from India.

I personally understand the origins of this symbol, but I’m wondering if his lapel pin is being misinterpreted by our patients and their families, many of whom are not very educated.

What do you think? Is using this now taboo or does the public need to be educated to respect the Hindu origins of this symbol?

In that case, Honestly it ought to be that the situation needs to be explained to the patients and other doctors. The Nazis hijacked his faith’s symbol – why should he have to change?

He’s no devout Hindu. He’s meat eating, hard drinking married man who cusses like a sailor. But, I’m sure he takes pride in his origins. He’s suffered a lot of verbal abuse from ignorant (usually drunk) patients thinking he is a Muslim.

I think the doctor probably knows how to take care of explaining any issues someone has about his pin. He probably does not refer to it as a reverse swastika.

Do patients ask you to explain it to them?

The swastika has a negative meaning in the Western world and I’m pretty certain that most people don’t know it is a Hindu symbol. (Just the other day my mom who is visiting me here, told me she saw a woman wearing swastika earrings. She was absolutely shocked.) Perhaps the doctor could wear a different symbol if he wants to show what his religion is. It is unfortunate that something from his faith has been hijacked, but it is what it is. He should respect the culture he lives in now in order not to shock his patients and co-workers.

I just noticed it myself, this is new for him. This is not an area with much of a Jewish population. But, the symbol is so fraught with Nazi associations, it got me thinking.

This doctor is a character. He did his residency and early career in the Bronx, NY, so took on some of the expressive and confrontational tendencies of that region. He can go ballistic with some of our socially challenged, maladjusted clientele.:shrug::rolleyes:

My religion has a very similar-looking symbol called the fylfot, but unfortunately there’s not a chance that we’ll ever be able to use it publicly again because of the Nazis and white power movement. Even our other sun cross symbol has been used by the Klan, so you have to be careful displaying it in certain areas of the South. It really sucks that people can ruin an otherwise perfectly innocent religious symbol.

I would leave it up to the doc, personally. From what you say, he seems to already be used to dealing with conflict. If it becomes a problem, let him work it out with HR.

I was thinking something along those lines. The symbol is so associated with such negativity. :frowning:

Good point.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Actually the symbol is used often in India (but never in black color) - it is printed on wedding invitations and drawn on the floor during festivals. It is supposed to be an auspicious symbol meant to bring good luck. Swastik is actually a sanskrit word.

However, I have never seen it worn by anyone on their person. This doctor, unless he is very ignorant, is just trying to provoke and offend people. Someone should talk to him about it.

It is rather harsh to decide that he wears this only to provoke and offend people or that he is very ignorant. I’m sure the hospital officials would know if they should discuss this with him.

I don’t think it is harsh at all. Surely if you live in the west, you should know how people feel about the symbol. It is not something particularly sacred in India that it is required to be worn at any time (like a turban for a Sikh or the red dot on a woman’s forehead).

If someone complains the hospital will probably discuss this with him. But I don’t see any reason why someone can not ask him if he is aware how some people in the west may view the symbol.A physician who treats all types of people should be especially sensitive to such things.

Agreed. It is just not very professional of him. He is obviously not ignorant of the association that the symbol brings. It seems he is trying to make a point.

Just put on your “Deo Vindice”-confederate-battle-flag-you-wear-your-X-I’ll-wear-mine pin and wait for him to ask about it.

I think this is a bad idea, just like it would be a very bad idea in the USA for a parish to put on a procession like this (this too is a legitimate religious symbol that was hijacked by a completely contrary ideology):

(this is an old and legitimate Spanish custom where penitents processed during Holy Week wearing hoods to protect their anonymity and the pointed hat as a form of self-humiliation–kind of like a dunce cap).

It is a bad idea, just like wearing an ancient Indian swastika is a bad idea. Cultural literacy was once something people worried about.

I just remembered that the US Army 45th Division, which was a N.Guard division back in the 30’s also supported the swastika as their shoulder patch. They changed in the 40’s to a Thunderbird design.

I figure the Nazis simply ruined it for everyone.

Do you guys think it should be brought up to my manager. The physicians are actually employees of a company that the hospital contracts out with, this is very common. But they are very established there, and are if they are employees.

The hospital is in the process of changing ownership hands. My nurse manager would probably be the best one to bring it up to.

Yes, I’m sure the doctor is trying to make a point. He’s a feisty one, very loud and self expressive.

But he us making his point at the risk if potentially upsetting patients, and also looking fairly insensitive himself. I might ask what he actually knows about the 1940s in Germany?

But, if we try to get him to remove this pin, then he can claim that no one should wear crosses, that it offends some because of the wrongs perpetuated in the name of Christianity.

I’m sure he would make that argument.

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