AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
RIHANNA has been called out by the Hindu community online over an image that the singer posted on Instagram, which shows her culturally appropriating a sacred Hindu god.
Rihanna posted a topless image of herself wearing silk shorts from her Savage x Fenty lingerie line and jewellery which included a beaded necklace that falls between her bust, showing the small sculpture of the elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings, Lord Ganesha (also called Ganesh).
As a caption, she wrote: “when @popcaanmusic said ‘me nuh wan ya wear no lingerie tonight fa me girl’ @savagexfenty.”
While many of her fans praised and complimented the singer’s physique, many users on both Instagram and Twitter called out the singer over the use of the sacred Hindu figure in a disrespectful manner.
“i read appreciate and love you, but the necklace you wearing is totally not okay, stop using our religion and culture for your aesthetics, its very sad and disappointing”, commented @azuremyg on Twitter.
Another user, Ayushi, commented on why they thought someone who wasn’t Hindu would wear a necklace with religious significance to the religious Hindu community.
“But.. What’s the point in using a Ganesha necklace in such a photo?And that too by someone who is not even a Hindu!! I don’t object if she uses it, it’s her choice… But still I can’t understand the logic behind using it”, they said.
There were fans that tried to defend the singer’s usage of the necklace as harmless, but the outcry was quite loud among the online community, to which Rihanna has not yet responded to.
“Ganesha never said you can only believe in me if you’re hindu!”, user Arjun defended.
However, @dhara16 responded, “”Well surely he never said that and any religion or human can worship ganesha but for someone who doesn’t understand the religious sentiments of wearing a ganesha necklace, @rihanna wearing it is cultural appropriation!”
On Instagram, one user wrote: “Riri girl I love you but wearing Ganesha, A prime Hindu deity, as a necklace is not it. Please understand. This hurts the sentiment of all Indians.”
Fans commenting on Rihanna’s controversial post. Picture: Instagram/badgalriri
Rihanna has faced the wrath of religious communities in the past. The singer was called out over the mis-use of an electronic song by British artist , which contained sacred Islamic text that was used at the singer’s second Savage x Fenty fashion show.
The ‘Work’ singer sent out apologies on both her personal social pages as well as on the social pages of Savage x Fenty, explainng that while they had no knowledge of the text’s inclusion in the song, it was a oversight on their part to which Rihanna took accountability and apologised unreservedly.