All entries for Wednesday 15 August 2007

August 15, 2007

Shopping for identity

There’s a book called Shopping for Identity by Marilyn Halter highlighting how consumerism has recently adopted a distinctively minority-oriented track with compelling facts along the lines of “in a couple of years, the concept of ‘white majority’ will evaporate and everyone will belong to a minority group (in the US)”.

Having read that, I couldn’t help but look at things around me for proof. Disturbingly, I found the proof not in the numerous ethnic restaurants operating around the UK but in the increasing number of churches catering for Asian believers. In fact, this trend started quite some time ago. I remember having door-to-door Christian preachers coming to my home in 1997 telling me and my father about the story of Jesus. At that time my dad had the time and the wit to sit down and talk to the preachers, and managed to convince them to rethink the whole idea of Jesus. I’m still proud of him for that. Back then they were already armed with monthly issues of mini magazines bearing the ‘good news’ in Traditional Chinese (more often used by Taiwanese and Hongkongnese) and a number of other languages not usually associated with Christianity.

It’s disturbing because religion is evidently being commodified and sold as a product, with a very much up-to-date marketing strategy.

August 2007

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