Who were the hippies and exactly what was the hippie movement?
One can trace the origin of the word hippie back to the 1940s. Harry Gibson created a song titled “Harry the Hipster”. In it, he referred to beatniks, known for their anti-conformist beliefs, as hipsters.
A mention of hipster was also made by the novelist, Normal Mailer, in 1957. Mailer described hipsters as those who “believed in a carefree, spontaneous, cool lifestyle”. Those distinguishing themselves with their use of narcotics and their manner of speaking.
Journalist Michael Fallon first converted the word hipster into “hippie”. In an article for the Blue Unicorn Coffeehouse, he talked about beatniks who had moved from North Beach to San Francisco. The exact date when this article appeared in print was September 5, 1965.
Earlier in Germany, non-conformist attitudes and liberalized concepts of life had taken roots. This was with the youth movement known as Wandervogel. The movement translates as ‘migratory birds.”
The youth opposed the rapid urbanization in Germany between 1896 and 1908. They yearned for a simplistic and natural way of life. They did this through music, creative ways of dressing, and camping.
The German youth later moved to the United States. They opened numerous organic health food stores on the West Coast. The health movement caught on in the US, and many Americans later followed suit.
The song recorded by Nat King Cole in 1948, “The Nature Boy”, talks about the Wandervogel way of life. The author of the song, George McGrew started out as a piano player in a cafe owned by Wandervogel followers or “nature boys”. McGrew himself adopted the hippie look with a long beard and hair and lived in a cave while he composed the song.
The ideology of the hippie movement took roots and bore branches in the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco.
It was at this time that the hippie culture of yoga, organic food, and simplistic livingbecame popular throughout the US.
The hippie movement drew inspiration from many places. It was greatly influenced byeastern spirituality. The European social movements in the early 19th centuries were a catalyst for them. The Bohemian culture in the 20th century was also their muse.
A 1967 article claimed the hippie movement was a statement against Greek culture. Hippies found inspiration through the teachings of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Gandhi, and St. Francis of Assisi.
Asian spirituality figures strongly in some of the hippie movement themes. For example, Yoga has “karma”, which symbolizes the accountability for past mistakes. It also has “nirvana”, referring to the attainment of absolute spiritual heights.
In contrast, author Marty Jezer describes the hipster movement as one without any definite ideology. In his words, the hippie movement was just a way of “being” and not about attitudes or explanations.
Jezer states that the ambiguous language the hippies used such as “cool” could mean contradictory things. Hippies, as per the author, could not construct coherent sentences. The word “like” was always a preface to any sentence.
The Hippie Movement
The hippies described themselves as “hip”. This was a level of consciousness. Not really having anything to do with political or spiritual beliefs, according to Jezer.
The “hip” attitude was in direct contrast to the “squares”. The squares were those who were conformists to the political, to existential beliefs and those who sought security.
Continue via… Source: Surprising Facts About Hippie Movement – OMG News Today