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Amish Explains ‘Naga’ Origins to JK Rowling Amid Nagini Racism Row

Here’s the origin of Nagini, as explained to JK Rowling by Amish Tripathi.

Published
Cinema
2 min read
Amish tells JK Rowling a little bit more about the Nagas. 
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In the new trailer of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the creator of the Harry Potter world, JK Rowling has given fans something they didn’t expect. The origin story of Voldemort’s favourite pet, Nagini. While many are intrigued by it, more people are calling out the “racism” in the casting of Korean actor, Claudia Kim for the role.

A particularly angry fan took to Twitter and alleged that Rowling was retconning just to make up for the lack of representation in the wizarding community since the past two decades.

“Listen Joanne, we get it, you didn't include enough representation when you wrote the books. But suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage. Representation as an afterthought for more woke points is not good representation,” lashed out one Twitter user.

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JK Rowling, though, had a ready answer for her. She explained how the the name Nagini was, in fact, thought-through, well before Fantastic Beasts came into the picture.

“The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day,” she wrote.

But Indian author of ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ from his Shiva trilogy, Amish corrected Rowling about the origins of the Naga mythology.

“The Naga mythology emerged from India. It travelled to Indonesia with the Indic/Hindu empires that emerged there in the early Common Era, with the influence of Indian traders and Rishis/Rishikas who travelled there. Nagin is a Sanskrit language word,” wrote Amish.

Many are thanking (not) Rowling for whitesplaining the etymology of Nagini; by casting a Korean actor to show a character based on a myth in Indonesia, which actually originated in India.

Besides, of course, casting an Asian as yet another evil character, who went to become Voldemort’s glorified pet.

But Amish went on to add:

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the sequel to the 2016 film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film aims to serve as the second film in the Fantastic Beasts series and the tenth overall of the Wizarding World franchise, that was set in motion by the Harry Potter film series. The film is slated for released in theaters, Real D 3D and IMAX 3D on 16 November 2018.

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