What does it take to be a Hippie ?

What are the things that come to mind when you hear the word hippie? For most people who have not taken a deeper look into the hippie lifestyle, it is long hair, torn clothes, drugs and basically a lazy person who does nothing much in life. However, I beg to differ.

To me the term hippie symbolizes a person who is peace-loving, fun, free, spiritual, and creative while living life on his or her own terms. It may seem like an easy life, but it takes a lot of courage to break away from the power hungry corporate life that we as a society have created. So let’s take a brief look into what it takes to be a hippie.

To be a hippie you have to travel, at least a bit:

To travel is to explore the world and to explore the world is to explore yourself. Hippies love to travel not as tourists but in order to learn in-depth about various cultures and inculcate the best parts of them into their being. Hippies in the 60’s have travelled by buses, vans and even backpacked all the way from the U.S and Europe to Asian countries such as India, Nepal and Sri Lanka while working and earning along the way. In my books, that is definitely not easy.

You cannot be a true hippie without being sustainable:

Hippies try to be as organic and sustainable as possible. They believe that humanity should live and evolve along with the Earth rather than going against the natural course of nature. They are well aware of what they grow and eat. Today most of us buy food out of packages and have no idea what pesticides and chemicals are put into our food.

You got to love your music:

Hippies are groovy people who love their music and have created some of the most profound music of the century. They have managed to fuse various genres including rock & roll, jazz, blues and classical Indian music. The music of artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Santana, Cream, The Beatles, CSNY and The Grateful Dead live on and have influenced millions around the world. Music festivals such as Woodstock, The Monterey Pop Festival and The Newport Folk Music Festival have not been forgotten for over 40 years now.

If not a director, you could be a hippie movie buff:

Some of the most artistic, well directed and thought provoking movies of the century have been filmed by hippies during their era. Films such as Easy Rider, The Trip, Head, 200 Motels and Yellow Submarine have underlying meanings which reinforced the hippie ideology of freedom, love, peace and music.

Do you love art as much as hippies do?

Hippies were creative geniuses. Colours were radiant, bright and trippy. Psychedelic art was found not just in art galleries but also on the streets, cars, buses and even on their clothes. The reason hippies loved colors is because they represent life and life should be led in a fun and colourful way.

Back in the 60’s, a lot of hippies hardly wore any clothing because they believed in absolute freedom of body and mind and they were very comfortable in their own skin. However they did create a solid fashion statement with their tie and dye apparels, torn jeans, the Janis Joplin shades, bandanas and natural jewellery made out of crystals, beads and seashells. Check out some cool hippie clothing at https://www.facebook.com/hippiemerch.

Are you spirituality rooted?

Due to the wide use of sacred plants and entheogens, many hippies turned towards spirituality as they were trying to build a deeper connection to the Earth and all living beings around them. Many hippies turned towards the spiritual aspect of eastern practices such as Yoga, Meditation, Kundalini and Zen.

It’s important to protest peacefully when your rights are violated :

Hippies are socially motivated and strive to protect the earth and bring everyone together. They want the world to be absolutely free and when human and Earth rights are violated, peaceful protests against wars, the destruction of the environment and so on are organized. Hippies used music to bring people together. Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowing in the wind’, John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For what it’s worth’ and Neil Young’s ‘Ohio’ are a few protest songs that created mass awareness through music and without them, the world as we know it would not have been the same.

It is Fun to speak the Hippie lingo :

Hippies had a lingo of their own and often used a lot of superlatives to describe events. Words such as flower power, cool, far out, peace, chill-out, bogart, take it easy, keep on truckin’ and dig-that were used prominently by hippies in the 60’s and some of them have stuck on to this day. It’s fun to add a few hippie words to your everyday speech and watch people’s reactions.

It’s not easy to be a hippie, but there is a lot that we as a society can learn from the by-gone era. There is no doubt that change is required in our present society. However, the most important part of being a hippie, is to keep your spirits high and have a whole lot of fun because life was never made to be taken too seriously. So how hippie are you?

Here are some interesting videos about the Hippie generation ... and how it all began .... :)

Author : Shayne Reynolds

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