Pharrell Williams’ pictures of him celebrating Holi with the Bollywood stars with deadpan and confused expressions were viral last week, with many taking digs at how glum the ‘Happy’ singer looked.
The Holi party was organised by sportswear brand Adidas to launch Pharrell’s new collection ‘Hu Holi’, which is a tribute to the Indian festival of colours. However, Pharrell’s collection sparked debate on the cultural appropriation with people accusing the brand of commercialising a much loved Hindu festival and tradition to sell shoes.
Something about Adidas’ new collection screams cultural appropriation… using our festival to sell a brand, and it’s shoes on top of it all, which Hindus would easily take offense too..and there’s not even an Indian celeb at the face of it @HYPEBEAST @adidasoriginals @HuffPost https://t.co/eNJSlSGWzQ
— prarthana iyer (@prarthanaiyer) March 2, 2018
The fact that a German company was using an American celebrity to sell $250 shoes did not go down too well with many.
A European company getting an American musician to market a line of apparel/footwear inspired by an Indian festival ?
— Ishita Trivedi (@Ishita_Trivedi) March 2, 2018
Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman and president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, has called for Williams and Adidas to apologise for the same and rename the collection. He says this collection trivialises traditions, concepts, symbols and beliefs of Hinduism. Saying that they should have done their homework before taking Hindu concepts frivolously, Zed said this attempt of trivialising may hurt the followers.