Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hitler restaurant in Bombay

This story, about a Bombay restauranteur who wanted to name his establishment "Hitler's Cross", and decorated it with swastikas and Nazi memorabilia, seems to have resolved itself. He's going to rename it "The Cross Cafe" (hopefully not "The Iron Cross Cafe").

The owner claimed that there were lots of things named after Hitler, and he was being unfairly picked on. No examples were given, and I have to say that this seems pretty far-fetched to me. I don't remember any Hitler-themed places when I lived there, and nobody has come up with any during this fracas. I suspect the guy was referring to things like "Golden Eagle" beer - well, yeah, Hitler did use eagles, but it's hardly an exclusive Nazi thing.

That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't some strange cultural differences between India and the West. Dean saved this interesting ad from the Hindustan Times of February 22, 1994:

The text is a little hard to read, so I'll type it out:
Heil Hitler!
This would have been the salutation across the globe. But for the lack of sophisticated communication arsenal in the dicator's [sic] forte.
Fortunately today, corporate wars can be won in a matter of seconds.
It does not call for Patriot or Scud Missiles. All that is required is KILBURN FAX to complete the mission.

As I recall, this caused a fair bit of controversy and scandal at the time, so it's not as if people in India love Hitler or anything. There's just a different point of view there, and Hitler was never THEIR demon the way he was ours, so you can sometimes get these rather...weird...incidents.


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