July 28th, 2014: Out and about in New York City
im gonna fuckin throw up
Okay, okay calm down, people.
While you are all losing your mind over ‘cultural appropriation” of an Indian dress, nobody actually consulted THE INDIANS.
In our country, if a foreigner wears an Indian saree, we actually appreciate it. It shows that the foreigner respects us enough to try our clothes. And the saree, mind you, is not a religious thing. Hindus can wear sarees, Muslims can wear sarees, Sikh’s can wear sarees, Jain’s can wear sarees and so on.
Like Americans have short dresses, compare that with sarees. Going to a party? Saree. Going to temple? Saree, and so on.
Some Indians wear it, some don’t. Some hate it and think its oppressing, some love embracing the unique style.
Point is, don’t hate on her for wearing this. Don’t hate on anyone for wearing sarees or any variations of sarees. We love to see others embracing our culture. Why do you think we open our gates to allow everyone to practice yoga and find spiritual meaning?
Culture is not meant to be kept within four walls, it should be spread.
I did not know this. That is really interesting to find out. Thanks for the information.
"Culture is not meant to be kept within four walls, it should be spread."
In all honestly this is more a conversation about globalization than it is about cultural appropriation.
I am multiethnic, and I have to deal with people looking at me as an appropriator a lot - because I like a very wide variety of things due to my multicultural background (such as growing up eating empanadas and potato chowder or my preference of whipped cream instead of icing on cakes).
So, if I taught a Ukrainian friends to make empanadas or tamales or crepes or blintzes or tres leches or fucking deep fried macaroni and cheese and he kept making it for his Ukranian friends and maybe one day opened a restaurant, that is not cultural appropriation regardless of whether or not you have that context in mind when you see him making the food. Yes there is a lot of shittiness that goes into cultural appropriation, but the line to cross is whether or not the meaning was intentionally ignored by the user when information was readily available.
If a person outside of the culture is willfully choosing to ignore historical context or refusing to seek out information about the object they so brazenly use, then that is cultural appropriation and I will be offended. But I will not be offended a moment before I know for a fact that they made the choice not to learn about what they’re wearing.
I understand the fear and annoyance of having one’s culture trivialized. But with the freedom of information in this day and age, contact is inevitable. Globalization is inevitable.
Instead of trying to shame or invalidate those who branch out into other cultures and choose to embrace it, I’d really rather we all just chill the fuck out and have fun conversations about the way we were raised and acknowledge that our differences are intrinsic but that they really don’t have to be.
And hey, if you see an interview with Gaga where she discusses this outfit and is clearly ignorant of it’s meaning, then by all means, get pissed. But if you continue to insist that she’s appropriating a culture for profit then you’d better not rest until every Taco Bell in the world is shut down, you can’t wear cotton anymore unless you’re Egyptian and Europeans can’t eat tomatos or corn anymore or else I will fucking CALL you on hypocrisy.
PS - Notice how long we’ve had this so-called “cultural appropriation”? Notice how it’s all tied in with trade routes? Now please, just reflect on how much easier it is for lay people to get their hands on the history of all of the things I just mentioned than it was when those things first started to appear on the world market and tell me just how often you’ve participated in the cultural appropriation of the tomato? Mhm. Thought so.
PPS - I’d like for you all to know that globalization can be a very good thing when facilitated properly and I really hope schools start teaching Sociology at a much younger age. Most especially I’d like you all to pay more attention to the economic impact of globalization in poorer countries, mkay? THAT merits much more of your attention and energy than what Gaga wore to hold some dude’s trumpet. Just saying.
PPPS - I was real grump when I wrote this and I still am and probably will be for about an hour but I might eventually revise it so that it makes more sense.
Get educated, get interested, and share that shit with the world. It’s VERY important.