Do you know of any ancient cultures outside of Roman and Greek (and not European obviously) with myths about humans becoming immortal? I'm trying to do character building for a story about immortals in the modern world and I want to have as much diversity as possible (aka NOT just Romans and Greeks), but I haven't found much yet and also don't want to bend other cultures' myths to fit my ideas, either. Anyway, I think your blog is great and thanks for the help.
Immortality and the origin of death is one of the most popular topics of stories from around the world, actually. Often immortality is or can be conferred on average humans by eating or drinking a rare and special kind of food or beverage.
In the Islamic world you have the four immortals, including Khidir, the Green Man, who drank from the water of life and became immortal. Khidir’s tale shares some factors in common with the story of The Wandering Jew. You can read more about him and the other immortals here.
In China you have the Covert Eight Immortals:
- Immortal Woman He (He Xiangu),
- Royal Uncle Cao (Cao Guojiu),
- Iron-Crutch Li (Tieguai Li),
- Lan Caihe,
- Lü Dongbin, leader;
- Philosopher Han Xiang (Han Xiang Zi),
- Elder Zhang Guo (Zhang Guo Lao), and
- Han Zhongli (Zhongli Quan).
whose power can be transferred to tools an used to destroy evil ro bestow life; as well as the Eight Immortal Scholars of Huainan, or the Eight Gentlemen, who aren’t deified or made supernatural in any way, as their “immortality” is a metaphor but I think that’s a fun play for fiction. As well as Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who famously spent much of his life searching for an elixir of immortality.
There are a fair amount of Native American tales that deal with this topic, too. The Boy Who Would Be Immortal is a Hočąk story, with analogues in Macmac, Menominee, and Potawotami, with their theme of fasting. If you plan to include immortals that blend with supernatural tales, Wendigo are certainly immortal (humans become Wendigo by breaking taboos or committing terrible crimes), as are Skin Walkers in Navajo legend.
In Vietnam, Hang Nga and Hau Nghe are made immortal by eating a special type of grass. Separate from this, you have the Vietnamese Four Immortals: the giant boy Thánh Gióng, mountain god Tản Viên Sơn Thánh,Chử Đồng Tử the marsh boy, and the princess Liễu Hạnh.
In both Hindu and Buddhist tales, the elixir of immortality is guarded jealously by the gods and Garuda, the mythological bird person, plays a very important role in these kind of stories in Southeast Asia.
There’s a Yoruban tale about Oba Koso or Shango, who was forced to commit suicide by political intrigue but did not hang; The demigod Maui has many stories his quests involving immortality for himself and others in Tonga, New Zealand, Samoa, and many other Pacific Islands.
Also keep in mind, even if you’re going to allow Greek or Roman immortals to dominate your story-not all Greek or Roman immortals were white people. A notable exception is Memnon, an African (Ethiopian and/or Sudanese) king, who was killed by Achilles and mourned so deeply by Eos, his mother, that Zeus was moved to grant him immortality.
I highly encourage anyone else to add their favorite stories about immortality to this post!!!
OMG Laverne Cox is here!!!!!! AND Cece Mcdonald! I’M going to cry
Janet Mock is here talking at my college XD so excited to hear her speak!
Chinese Windows by Tomi Chiu
i really want ‘white science’ to be a tag.
i’d like scientists and science majors of colour to flood the tag w artifacts and continuing effects of white science.
supposedly good contributions by racist whites. eugenics, experimentation on poc (particularly black folk), etc.
getting rid of this fantasy that science is universal and unbiased and not used at all for oppressive purposes.
it’s not enough to bring poc contributions to light but to also scrutinize white ones as well.
this needs to be a thing, please and thankyou
studio ghibli concept art
I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…
When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. All I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist was hands down the path of most resistance through the forces of society.
Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.
Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.
…My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today.
So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.
"What’s up with chicks and science?"
Are there genetic differences between men and women, explain why more men are in science.
Team Ear just uploaded the newest official video fom Cheer Chen's Songs of Transience. This song is called Home.
Many scenes of Cheer recording audio at various locations, while the song plays.
At the end of the clip, you actually hear some of the natural & human sounds she was recording, and finally, you see the goddess walking away, with her Gibson acoustic slung over her back shoulder. Perfect!!
Pinkwashing and homonationalism are not practices that are exclusive to Israel, however this is a post to explain how pinkwashing and homonationalism manifest to promote the Israeli occupation.
What is pinkwashing?
According to Queers against Israeli apartheid, “Israel is cultivating an image of itself as an oasis of gay tolerance in the Middle East, a practice that is called pinkwashing”. In other terms, it uses the image of a “LGBTQ-tolerant society” to pinkwash its human rights abuses. According to Jasbir Puar, “Pinkwashing has become a commonly used tag for the cynical promotion of LGBT bodies as a representative of Israeli democracy..”
What is homonationalism?
Homonationalism is the alleged support of LGBTQ peoples to promote a nationalistic ideology. According to Scott Lauria Morgensen, “Israeli homonationalism – whether promoted by Israeli LGBTQ people or by the state – recapitulates accounts of Palestinians as a queered, racialised group that remains colonised due to its primitive endangerment of the sexual, racial, and national modernity that Israelis embody and enjoy.”
Pinkwashing is a practice employed by the Israeli government in order to paint Israel as a “gay oasis” to improve tourism and to deflect attention away from its human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories. The idea that Israel is a “gay haven” in a jungle of “backwards”, “savage” nations as Shiri Eisner puts it is an Islamophobic and anti-Arabist notion. Shiri Eisner writes that “Palestinian and Israeli LGBTQs are being cynically used by the Israeli government and Israeli propaganda in order to “pinkwash” Israel’s international public image. Israeli government, through the ministry of Tourism, makes use of the relative tolerance towards Jewish LGBTQs (especially in Tel Aviv), as a way of diverting attention from the many Israeli war crimes performed in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories, and inside Israel itself. Thus, on the backs of the Jewish and Palestinian LGBTQ communities, Israeli propaganda can market a false image of Israel as a “liberal” “progressive” “gay haven”, while demonising Arabic Middle Eastern Cultures and presenting them as inherently LGBT-phobic—an Islamophobic notion whose goal is to further justify Israeli war crimes in Gaza and the occupied territories as well as against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
In her article “Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual politics in Israel/Palestine”, Eisner also writes that due to this very PR stunt, “pinkwashing also takes it tolls on Jewish LGBTQs as incidents of violence, discrimination, harassment and mistreatment are discretely silenced so as to prevent injury of Israel’s “progressive” image.” She also writes “From a bisexual and transgender point, it’s also worth noting that the process of pinkwashing not only erases the fact that bisexuals and transgenders have no legal recognition or rights in Israel (contrary to gays and lesbians), but also erases and silences inner community violence against us — perpetuated not only for our being bisexuals and transgenders, but also for our activist communities’ extensive involvement in the struggle against the occupation.”
The experiences of Israeli and Palestinian LGBTQ people are not homogeneous, as both have nationalist attitudes attributed to them. While Palestinian queers are tied to the Palestinian struggle against the occupation and otherwise, Israeli queer experiences are co-opted to promote Zionist nationalism (although at times, homonationalism is a direct result of an Israeli queer individual).This leads to homonationalism. In fact, at times, the experiences of Palestinian LGBTQ people often go unaccounted for. In this video, Haneen Maikey, director of al-Qaws, a sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society advocacy group, talks about how during the commemorance of the Tel Aviv LGBT association shooting, Palestinian LGBTQ people went to express their solidarity as fellow LGBTQ people, however at this commemorance, they played HaTikvah, the national Israeli anthem, which Maikey says, has very nationalist attitudes, and therefore was something Palestinian queers could not identify with.
According to Gil. Z. Hochberg in Introduction, Israelis, Palestinians, Queers: Points of Departure, he writes, “the queer narrative generated at the memorial service does more than simply reinforce the idea that the nation-state provides the most appropriate frame for a gay self-narration. It further naturalizes the subjection of queer affiliations to the standards of Zionist ethnonational exclusivity, as evidenced by the noticeable absence of any Israeli Palestinian or Israeli Palestinian queer activist speakers at the event.”
The conflation of Islam and being Arab with homophobia is an orientalist practice, wherein the global West (or, in this case, Israel) projects their perception of the Middle East onto Middle Eastern people. It suggests that being homophobic is an essential and inherent part of being Arab or Muslim, effectively erasing and dismissing all queer Muslims and Arabs by suggesting that their existence is an anomaly or an impossibility.
Queers against Israeli Apartheid states “Queer Palestinians continue to face the challenge of living under occupation and apartheid, subject to Israeli state violence and control, regardless of liberal laws within Israel that allow gays to serve in the military, or recognize same sex marriage and adoption for Israeli citizens.”
Queerness is not visible like ethnicity, but it is important to note that queerness does not exist in a vacuum. The intersectional nature of being a Palestinian LGBTQ individual living inside the Occupied Territories means that queer Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories are affected by occupation, queer-phobia and institutionalised racism.
While Israeli society is diverse, Palestinian and Israeli queer experiences and people are still the subject of pinkwashing campaigns. Being queer does not also remove the power dynamic between oppressors and oppressed. In "Eight questions Palestinian queers are tired of hearing", Ghaith Hilal writes, “Pinkwashing strips away our voices, history and agency, telling the world that Israel knows what is best for us. By targeting pinkwashing we are reclaiming our agency, history, voices and bodies, telling the world what we want and how to support us.”
Palestinian LGBT+ organisations:
i’m studying globalism (with an emphasis on bolivia) right now and figured i’d share some of the resources used in my college courses. if any bolivian/south american people read this and have something to add or critique, i’d love to hear it!
also let me know if the links aren’t working!
When I see Americans cheer on their politicians, I wonder do they think of us. Do we matter at all? Does our suffering under their nation’s policies ever graze their consciousness? These are all very unfair decisions the White House has made against our people based on lies and it seems so normalized by the citizens. There aren’t many dissidents. Its just business as usual in the USA.