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Defining The Hippie Way Of Life

May 20, 2008
The hippie movement was started in the 1960's timeframe. Hippie derived from the terms hipster and hip. Hipster first referred to some beatniks who moved into the Haight-Ashbury region of San Francisco. They set up their own communities, indulged in the sexual revolution, listened to primarily psychedelic rock, and used drugs to expand their mind and conscious.

Hippie Appearances

Hippies felt that by choosing their own ways and finding new meanings to life they were freeing themselves from the restrictions of society. One form of independent expression was dressing differently from the societal norms. Hippies saw the way they dressed as a symbol of respect for individual rights, and it made it easier for them to identify each other.

Hippies, both male and female, were known to wear jeans and have long hair. Hippies generally went around barefoot or wore sandals. Most men had beards and the women didn't wear bras or much makeup, if any. Hippies liked to wear colorful clothing like tie-dyed shirts; they also liked Native American inspired clothing. Hippies preferred to buy their clothes from flea markets and second-hand shops, but some hippies made their own clothes.

Common Hippie Transportation

Hippies were known to travel by school busses, VW busses, and hitchhiking. Most hippies would paint psychedelic artwork over the original paint of school busses. They enjoyed traveling in large school busses because it enabled them to travel with a large amount of their friends. Hippies who rode around in VW busses often changed the Volkswagen symbol into a peace sign. Hippies who were more concerned about the environment hitchhiked. They also saw hitchhiking as a way to meet new people through their travels.

Hippies were fond of doing drugs. They felt that it allowed a person to enhance their spiritual being. The most common drug used by hippies was cannabis, or marijuana. Eventually hippies started adding hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin to the drugs they did. Hippies even took part in doing amphetamines and opiates. Amphetamines and opiates were often scorned even by those that used them because they felt that they were harmful and addictive.

Hippies believed in pacifistic ideals and peace. Groups of hippies participated in non-violent political demonstrations. Hippies performed protests, held anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, took part in civil rights marches, and burned draft cards. Some hippies were known for their peace demonstrations while others preferred anti-authority and street theater demonstrations. Hippies took part in political movements such as the free press movement, back to land movement, alternative energy, cooperative business enterprises, and organic farming.

Today there are still a large number of hippies. Protests and anti-war parades are still held by hippies and other people. Hippies still attend and hold festivals, some which have been around since the first hippies originated. The Starwood Festival and the Burning Man festival are two major festivals that have been held since the 1960's and still go on today. Hippie fashion from the 1960's is still being used today. Music created by and listened to by hippies is still popular in today's society. The lifestyle of the hippies is still around to this day and is likely to continue for sometime.
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