Bangkok Kempinski renames bar after US Hindu protest

THE Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok renamed its bar after US Hindus protested, calling it “highly inappropriate.”

“Hanuman Bar” is now called “1897 Lounge.” A martini called the “Hanumantini” has also been renamed, the “1897tini.”

Self-described “distinguished statesman” Rajan Zed, an “acclaimed” US Hindu activist according to his website, previously led many such self-aggrandising campaigns.

In a statement Zed thanked Kempinski Hotels for understanding the concerns of the Hindu community, which he claims to represent, saying they found the name insensitive. Zed said that Hanuman was a Hindu deity, worshipped in temples and home shrines, and not for selling liquor and beef, though numerous other hanuman products are available.

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Rajan said…

“We were still waiting for a formal apology from Kempinski Hotels and its CEO Bernold Schroeder for naming a bar and a martini after a sacred Hindu deity in the first place.”

It can only be a matter of time before the Pope takes up arms against the Bloody Mary, or Pattaya legislates against Sex on the Beach.

Hinduism is the oldest and third-largest religion in the world with about 1.2 billion adherents. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed said.

In Hinduism, Hanuman is known for his incredible strength. Hanuman only adopted a devotional significance about 1,000 years after the composition of the Ramayana, in the 2nd millennium AD, after the arrival of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent

The menu of “Hanuman Bar” at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok included wagyu beef tartare, grilled beef, Angus beef burger, beef ragout, and beef Khao pad; besides various kinds of vodka, gin, tequila, whisky, rum, liqueurs, beer, brandy, etc.

Headquartered in Geneva, and Munich, Kempinski, hoteliers since 1897 with reportedly about 80 hotels around the globe, claims to be “Europe’s oldest luxury hotel company” and also claims that their bars “are the epitome of elegance.”

Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok describes itself as a “five-star luxury resort-inspired haven.”

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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