To be honest, the oil being extracted from the wood there (which is still usually not the case) still doesn't make oud Arabic.
RealityCheck1 You raise some good points. I’ll try to respond as best and briefly as possible. Responses below
Oud is Arabic if the term is used polysemically. More specifically if the intended meaning is encapsulated by any of the 3 meanings I mentioned in my earlier post. It is definitely not Arabic in the sense of growing or being cultivated in Arab countries. At least as far as I know, that hasn’t happened as yet.
Again the reference is akin to Belgium chocolate which is termed as such because it's renowned. No body mentions the countries where the cocoa beans come from, whose plight is quite desperate (child labor). Also Belgium didn’t invent chocolate either.
Many shops in the Arabian Peninsula soak raw Agarwood in perfume oil and other ingredients. This then becomes a finished product.
I understand Arabs seem proud and all, whatever, but stop 'claiming' things invented or produced by or in another country or culture.
I’m sure you agree there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s culture or heritage as long as it does not lead to arrogance.
Agarwood is not an invention. It is a natural phenomenon which was discovered, the credit for which goes to the discoverer. The credit for Agarwood and all like natural phenomena goes to their creator. The kind of incense that is produced in India (as I understand it from what you mention in your post) is hardly at all used by gulf Arabs. As for distillation, it was known even to the Greeks. The Arabs may have learned it from them, but Arab chemists certainly used it in their chemical experiments early on.
And yes it's the Arabs that lead to the decline by the Assam wild agarwood forests, sooner or later there only will be none, and I mean NONE left.
I would agree with you completely if Arab ships had been marauding Assam and pillaging the local forests but that is not the case. Yes their excessive purchasing has lead to a decline in the forests just as the work done by the locals cutting down trees indiscriminately to supply it to Arabs and others has.
Ultimately the responsibility also lies with those who are in authority to check the export of products from their country, especially if they see it in such alarming numbers. A case in point being sandalwood, the exports of which are controlled.
I don't know about Cambodian but I know the Vietnamese sell, almost exclusively to the Chinese but not the Indian. Arabs love the Indian trees most apparantly.
They just burn it to fume their house and clothes, nothing too spiritual.
I don’t see anything wrong with burning Agarwood to fumigate houses or scent clothes if done moderately. I see enjoying God’s creation and being thankful for it as spiritual.
Sadly, or perhaps fortunately if looked at differently, the newer generations have moved away from the practices of those preceeding them. Agarwood was used in mosques many years ago. Nowadays it’s mainly bakhoor, even though shops still teem with Agarwood. It’s been a while since I’ve smelled the wood and the oil as I used to around me. The youth are more accustomed to western scents.
The Japanese do rename agar species, but translate and see they do in a very humble way and do not give it religious names such as Mostafa or whatever else.
That’s great if they do it with humility. A lot can be learned from them. Can you give an example of them renaming the species, for learning purposes?
Mostafa was an Indian Oud not Burmese.
Ensar’s website lists it as being sourced from a Burmese jungle. Nevertheless there are other oils sourced from India that have been named after religious figures. Have you asked him why he chooses to do that?
I'm not saying I care for Japanese style of incense burning and the koh doh "guess-what-is-the-fragrance game or ceremony". I don't like the idea of hanging your with your nose above a cup of incense.
Indians make their incense blend (I've never heard of pure agar being used) and use it to offer in religious practises then use a little of the fragrance or smoke to perfume themselves or in Ayurveda, traditional medicine. Using these products is used like this since times when agar etc. wasn't even known in Arabia and probably the rest in the world
Can you clarify what you mean by ‘never heard of pure agar being used’. Do you mean that it’s never used alone i.e. always with other ingredients as incense?
I can see that you are proud of Indian culture and heritage in this regard and that’s great! What I dislike though
is dissing or praising an entire culture or people for the acts of a few. Not all of Japan was involved in humbly renaming Agar species, nor is all of Arabia burning bucket loads of Agarwood, nor does all of India use or even know of Agarwood.