As the Independent reported late last week, “five tattoo parlours in Scotland will be offering free swastika tattoos [today] as part of a global event to ‘reclaim’ the symbol.” But this movement isn’t limited to Scotland — rather, it’s part of a “worldwide initiative” called “Learn to Love the Swastika,” and is being done in part to honor late Canadian artist ManWoman, who had swastika tattoos and had written a book called Gentle Swastika: Reclaiming the Innocence. (Click here to read an interview with ManWoman as conducted by VICE, and to see some of his many swastika tattoos.)
Of course, while the swastika goes back far before its appropriation by Hitler and the Nazis, and was a peace symbol among various peoples including practitioners of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, not everyone is pleased by this effort; the symbol is forever tainted as a symbol of the Aryan Race, they argue.
You can read the Independent’s full story here. Or, for more information about Learn to Love the Swastika, visit the movement’s Facebook page. And for lots more of our ongoing looks at Buddhist practice and tattooing, click here.