Strange Sightings on Vancouver Busses

While waiting to catch a bus downtown from my folks place in North Vancouver yesterday, a bus passed going the other way with a billboard ad on the side reading something like, "Etälä Suomen Lääni". It took a few moments for me to remember that I was actually no longer in Finland, so seeing Finnish text on the side of a bus should be rather unusual, to say the least. Marjo helped me track a version of the ad down, which is part of Diesel's rather questionable 'global warming' campaign. While Diesel's online content seems to show them wanting to promote awareness about global climate change, the underlying message in the ads seems to be "instead of trying to stop global warming, just go with it because the future will be hotter and sexier." This seems to be exactly the critique of Climate Change Denial, where we found this image. Then while on my way downtown, I noticed that a woman in front of me had a tattoo across the back of her neck in Inuktitut syllabics. Is this the successor trend to the cultural appropriations of tribal, Celtic, and the omnipresent Chinese characters by people with zero connection or actual awareness of the original cultures and contexts? In the wake of the near universalization of the Inukshuk in Canada, such as in the Vancouver 2010 logo Inuit culture seems to be wide-open for appropriation (no doubt going back to soap stone carvings and beyond). While it is possible that this woman was actually a pale Inuit, somehow I doubt it. It looks like "jiasika" to me. Any of my Inuktitut speaking friends care to translate for me?

Posted on July 13, 2007 and filed under Canada, Finland, North, Travel.