DJ Carly O: An open letter to the Hindu community

Dj Carly O in her photoshoot styled as the Hindu goddess Kali.

The furore over DJ Carly O and her goddess Kali outfit has reached new levels of insanity as the DJ and her family are now being harassed.

#DURBAN: In an effort to create understanding amongst the South African community the deejay has penned an open letter addressed to the South African Hindu community.

Read DJ Carly O’s letter below.

Dear Outranged Hindu community,

I am sorry that I have sparked fury across the board with my choice of dressing. Please accept my apology as it is all I have to give to you that you may understand in your time of grief.

I will not proceed to comment in-depth as to why I did what I did, because regardless of what I say, many of you have created your own version of it and convinced yourself that my actions were to mock, spite and ridicule your beautiful culture.

Yes yes I know, “If you loved it you would respect it and not dress as our Gods do, you would not dress as our God on the devils day, you cannot dress as a God, you are not worthy, you don’t have the creative license, you are Christian, you can’t decide when to be Hindu, etc etc. I have heard it all, now hear me out, I AM SORRY.

You have judged me by everything except my pure intentions, expect my utmost respect for Kali, because it wasn’t displayed the way you would have displayed it, and that is a hole I can never 100 percent dig myself out of. To behave like that towards me tells me that you feel a lot of pain, and I know what thats like, I have been hurt before and found it impossible to forgive, in fact my reasons for channeling strength through Kali and to dress in her empowering manner stems from pain that I felt when I was victimized by a man for standing up for women’s rights on social media. I understand the pain, and for that pain caused, again I am sorry.

I feel like many of you have also directed your outrage that surfaced around the Diwali racism, at me as well, since it’s been mentioned in so many comments, articles and now I see in print too mentioning that my dress choice was too soon after the racism. I feel that this has had a hand to play in many of the insulting, racial and abusive comments that have been thrown my way. I do feel for you during this time and I apologize to you for my hand played in it.

To the person in particular that said “shoot her and get done with it” , I have nothing to say to you.


Dear outraged Hindu community turned friends

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and your apologies. I’m well aware as hundreds of apologies pour in, that initially, you were manipulated at the face value of my image, to report my account and subject me to mass bullying, without actually visiting my page and seeing things for yourself, in the respectful manner in which I attempted to depict them in. I am also sorry if initially you were hurt. It wasn’t my intention as you have now realized. I’m beyond ecstatic that you were able to see my attention to detail, my love and my passion shown towards Mother Kali, the time I put into honoring her look and I would like to point out that it has been so motivating for me to see those that were once against me, stand with me. For me that is a sign that I can change the world some day, and as a activist & artist, that is a sign that the world could some day accept me for me, that’s all I hope to be.


To the Hindu community that stood with me from the beginning and celebrated my art,


I am so beyond words with the amount of support I have received. I am beyond thrilled that you loved my interpretation of Mother Kali. It was an honor to not only dress as her and feel empowered, but to also see you celebrate it the way I as an artist wanted to celebrate it, although it may be different to how you would have done it, your open mindedness to what I knew was a massive risk, is rewarding.


To all Hindu people,

Your culture is beautiful. As a kid, I remember the remarks from other children “Hindus pray to stone” “they are wrong they have more than one God” etc etc, but I have always been fascinated with it.

So my forbidden art, what is it in its entirety you may ask? This is me, as a half white half Indian Christian, as a mixed race woman, as an outsider to your culture, saying to the world “I APPRECIATE AND I RESPECT YOUR CULTURE SO MUCH SO THAT I WILL EMBRACE IT PUBLICLY FOR THE WORLD TO SEE THAT DJ CARLY O, BORN CHRISTIAN AND PART WHITE, IS A PROUD BELIEVER IN MOTHER KALI!


To Mother Kali,

I have had a relationship with you for a long time, a beautiful one, maybe not as long as most that believe in you, but beautiful non the less. I’m proud to love and support you publicly so I want to thank you for receiving my offering in the manner in which it was meant and for feeling the love and admiration I have for you. I want to thank you for the strength that it gave me and for that empowerment you allowed me to feel. I know you received it in the manner it was intended because I am standing strong despite all the backlash, where as a situation far less serious would have sent me spiraling back into the grey gloomy abyss that I call my anxiety. For those that are unaware, I do battle with anxiety, I think a lot of us do living during these stressful times, and I’m not ashamed of that. My anxiety is a dark place that I found myself in before I put on this outfit in your honor, a place where something as small as being ridiculed on social media by ONE person, sent me spiraling a few days ago. This entire situation has made me an even stronger believe in you, because I have stood tall through the fear and anxiety, this is how I know you are by my side. That’s how I know you accept me and you see my rendition of you as it was meant, a compliment and with a lot of love. That, and the fact that i was able to walk into my gigs this weekend, make people dance and celebrate life regardless of the fact that so many people hate me. I was afraid to walk out and be me, I was afraid to Dj, my hands were shaking and I kept justifying it by saying it’s really cold outside, but it was fear. You allowed me to get over that and press forward, you protected me 3 times during my set during my blurry anxiety filled confusion, when I went to hit the wrong cue button 3 times and almost switched off the music. I felt that.

I will continue to celebrate you, and celebrate my spirituality through art, music and creativity, for it is all that I am and through it I am able to feel close to you. Creativity is the most valuable thing I own, so hear me when I say it’s the greatest gift I have to give.


Please give them strength as you have given me and help them to get past the pain, the hatred from Diwali and all the prejudice that has been show towards Hinduism. Forgive those attacking me through racism & sexism, forgive those for threatening my life.


A final comment to all who support me regardless of religion, in music, in art and in this situation.

My appreciation for you cannot be expressed enough. You mean so much to me, those messages, those defending comments, having my back through all this racism, sexism and dehumanizing insults and aggression, I’m so blessed to have you. I’m still going through my inbox and I will read them all, but I need you to know that you helped pull me out of a very dark place, a place that I was being forced into because of pure innocence and authentic admiration that was manipulated and misinterpreted.

I love you. Thank you for everything ❤️🙏🏼

Source: DJ Carly O

The family of DJ Carly O have taken a decision to seek assistance from the authorities and consider filing charges against certain social media users.


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