Buddha statue at Wat Muang in Angthong, Thailand, for Macha Bucha Day ceremonies.
(DAVID LONGSTREATH / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVE - ACCOMPANYING PHOTO FROM ARTICLE
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Have you heard about the Buddha Bar?
According to an ad in the Free Press, people who patronize Winnipeg's newest drinking establishment can expect to find "chic interiors" and "exotic electronic beats" to go along with the usual cocktail, beer and wine specials.
Winnipeg's Buddha Bar is just one more example of what has come to be called "Dharma Burgers," a phrase made popular by Rod Meade Sperry of the Buddhist pop and culture website The Worst Horse. According to Perry, it refers to "any example of Buddhist ideas or imagery in the marketing or production of (usually non-Buddhist) services and consumables."
How do Buddhists feel about "Dharma Burgers"-- seeing their religion used to sell stuff? I posed that question to Sensei Fredrich Ulrich of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. "Most Buddhists don't relish them, but seldom take offence," he says.
He did draw the line a few years ago when Victoria's Secret introduced a "Buddha bikini," with an image of a Buddha-like figure on the crotch.
"Using the Buddha to sell erotic garments is a misuse of the Buddha image," Ulrich states.
As for all the other "Dharma Burgers," Ulrich is resigned to seeing more businesses using his religion to make money. "As Buddhism becomes more popular, such things will become more numerous," he says.
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