Where does come from?
The Om symbol () is an important and ancient religious sound and icon in major religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Representing a oneness with the universe, the symbol, written in Devanagari and other scripts, is inscribed on temples and in holy texts and chanted in meditation and prayer.
Many Westerners are familiar with the Om symbol through yoga and New Age spiritualism, which have helped make Om a shorthand for finding one’s inner peace or zen.
The Om symbol emoji was approved in 2015 under Unicode 7.0, appearing in white script on a purple background, like other other religious or spiritual emoji such as as the Jewish Star of David ✡️ or Islamic Star and Crescent, ☪️.
Who uses ?
The Om symbol emoji is commonly used to mark content concerning Hindu faith, culture, people, and politics. It frequently is paired with other religious emoji in sentiments of more universal ideals and values.
Westerners have co-opted the om symbol as a catch-all for feelings of peace, calm, balance, being centered, and enlightenment. As such, the om symbol emoji very widely appears in content about yoga, spiritualism, and mysticism in general, as well as alternative medicine.
Empath group admin: it’s a full moon! empaths sometimes cant sleep well when it’s a full moon. Drink chamomile tea 🕉️
Me: lol what a load of horse shit
(Tweet posted at 1:30 AM in bed wide awake)
— Sugarleria (@vawewia) March 2, 2018
Due to the Om symbol‘s popular Western associations with peace, its emoji form is sometimes used more metaphorically to convey “going with the follow” or “being chill.”
LOL this is why I stopped weaving through traffic. Don’t fight the current, just go with the flow. 🕉️ https://t.co/ED2VmOTQql
— Jaron (@jaron95) March 8, 2018
Cultural appropriation at its best.