Apple: The Ninth Auspicious Symbol?
I have been meaning to write about this since coming back from Tibet in October. I first noticed the appearance of the Apple logo on Tibetan brocade when I went in 2013. I hadn't been for a few years so maybe it had appeared before then. I even saw the endless knot, one of the eight auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism, inside the Apple logo. I think it is an interesting issue when a culture appropriates a logo or symbol of a business and incorporates it into their own cultural imagery, stripping it of its original connections. I don't think that any of the people wearing this logo connect it to the computer company, they merely see it as an attractive symbol. Its simplicity works well woven into brocade.
The logo is on the brocade in a range of colours which are made up into the chuba, the traditional Tibetan robe worn by men and women, the wunju, the blouse worn by women under the sleeveless chuba and shorter Tibetan jackets.
It also seems to be very popular for chubas for children, the full sleeved fitted version. This style is a more recent development, it takes the modern tailored form of the Lhasa sleeveless chuba and adds long sleeves. Traditionally the sleeveless chuba was much more shapeless and opened and wrapped like the men's chuba. But the tailored version, with a fitted bodice and structured skirt is popular as it is more flattering, with less fabric to bulk up the figure. I spotted the little girl on her mother's back, below, and followed them trying to get a good picture of her chuba with the Apple logo. It was hard to keep up with them and get a good photo. The mother is wearing the costume from the Gongpo region of Tibet. It is quite different from the other Tibetan regional costumes.
On another note, I have noticed a couple of people wearing Disney backpacks while prostrating. I love the fact that the mega corporation is being taken on a religious ritual, maybe cleansing it of its bad karma accumulated over the years (speaking as someone who once worked with Disney)