Hindu Protest Forces Nordstrom to Pull Penis-Shaped Shiva Vase
Nordstrom's has apologized and has withdrawn an erect penis-shaped Shiva vase within five hours of a Hindu protest that found the object "highly inappropriate."
Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom, in an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed who spearheaded the protest, wrote this on the evening of Nov. 25: "Thank you for writing and bringing this matter to my attention. We certainly do not want to carry merchandise that offends anyone, especially for religious reasons. Please know that the vase has been removed from our website. I hope you will accept my apologies for any disappointment we have caused you or others."
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Nordstrom for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought associating Lord Shiva with such a product was highly insensitive.
Lord Shiva and Shivalinga were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshiped in temples or home shrines and not used as a vase for holding cut flowers, which might end up as a decoration in toilet/bathroom/etc. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
This objectionable Shiva Ceramic Vase, described on the Nordstrom website as — “this curvy, iconic vase in blush-pink ceramic makes a marvelous showcase for a spray of blooms," was priced at $600.
Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, form the great triad of Hindu deities. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Publicly traded Norstrom Inc.; with 380 stores in 49 states, Canada and Puerto Rico; and serving 96 countries online through nordstrom.com claims to be a "leading fashion retailer offering compelling clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children." Founded in 1901, it states: "Fashion changes. Shopping changes. Our commitment to happy customers doesn't."