The Reuters story yesterday about an Israeli couple fined for kissing during their wedding ceremony in India amused me in a mean-spirited way. The couple, who as far as I can tell are not Hindu, decided they wanted a traditional Hindu wedding in Pushkar. They proceeded to embrace and kiss while the priest was chanting vedic hymns, which outraged the presiding priest and other priests as well--one called their public kissing "cultural pollution". I have no problem with PDAs, but good for him.
I don't usually go in for the lefty cries of "cultural theft" or "cultural appropriation". Healthy cultures adopt things that are useful or even just likeable from other cultures, they always have done, and no one called it theft until recently. But when Westerners decide to pick up spiritual things from other cultures because they're oh so quaint and picturesque and closer to nature than us, etc. and then do it in a shallow way that mocks the tradition, I cringe and start considering using the t word myself. The most notorious example of what I'm talking about are the people who go to a weekend workshop, come home with a certificate, and proclaim themselves "genuine Native American shamans." But I think wanting a picturesque Hindu wedding when you're not Hindu or even willing to respect the mores of the local people who are comes pretty close to the attitude.