Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Do you ever wonder how the pages of National Geographic get littered with photos of children wearing Calvin Klein and Nike T-shirts? Have you ever wondered what happens to all the old T-shirts hauled away to the Salvation Army and other thrift stores? One question answers the other.

They get compressed in bails and sent to the third world where they are sold to clothe the world's poor and put an end to the making and wearing of indigenous clothing. A documentary film, T-Shirt Travels explains it. It is one of the sad things about globalism. It destroys what is unique and interesting in the world's cultures.

You may have read about the struggle for Indian independence from England. Ghandi saw the forces of British colonialism played out through the import of manufactured western goods, and in resistance, he encouraged his followers in the making and wearing of homespun cloth using portable spinning machines called "charkas". The word charka is related to the word "chakra," which describes the spinning energy centers of the human form. A photo of a charka is shown below.

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