Mookychick Messageboard  
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Chatbox
Please log in to join the chat!
Post Info TOPIC: Cultural Appropriation and School


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 2182
Date:
Cultural Appropriation and School


Inspired by the discussions about Colour Runs and cultural appropriation, I've been thinking:

How much stuff that's a bit (or a lot) questionable wouldn't get to be popular if people were better equipped with knowledge about other cultures/religions/traditions in school? Because, honestly, it never occurred to me that Colour Runs were based on anything but the strange notion that people like to be sweaty and messy. If I had been told, in school, that it was a tradition in Hinduism then I would have realised when I first read about them that it was paying to cherry pick from another culture. A lot of the things the stereotypical white folks do that are massively disrespectful are partly to do with lack of any conception that X belongs to Y culture, especially when it has been sanitised to the point where it's almost unrecognisable from the original that it tramples on. And why, if kids have to do RE (in the UK at least) aren't they learning stuff that will help them understand things later in life? I'm not saying that a lack of formal education excuses ignorance (not at all, five minutes on the internet filled me in on the basics I didn't understand about Holi) but it seems an impossible task to learn about every culture that it outside ones own with no idea of where to start.

What does everyone else think? Could/should school do more (it especially seems to me in America, schools could do with pointing out important things from Native cultures in the hope that people don't stomp all over those traditions later in life)? What could other people do to increase their knowledge of diverse cultures and avoid stepping on something sacred to others?



__________________

Life Is A Mystery x Death Is Not = Angels and Eyeliner going to Hell hand in hand...

Mooky's Resident Cardinal of Awesomeness

 Don't make me take the shades off...



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 3426
Date:

I don't really have an answer just now but I don't want the topic getting lost on the recent posts page. I don't even remember how I knew about Holi in the first place to make the connection with the colour runs. Probably one of those Visit India type adverts on telly...

__________________


High Mookish Shaman

Status: Offline
Posts: 741
Date:

I think I might have learned a little bit about it in RE at primary school....maybe. But I agree that more education is needed really. I think it's ok to say that formal education doesn't excuse ignorance but if someone sees a colour run for example and just thinks they look cool, and has no idea that something like Holi even exixts then it isn't really their fault that they don't understand why people might be getting up in arms about it. Take Rachels headchain. If I'd seen one in the shops somewhere I probably wouldn't have though "oooh will I offend someone", I'd probably just have thought "oooh pretty" because I was unaware that the headchains worn by brides in weddings had any significance other than as decoration - a bit like the tiaras and headpieces worn by Christian brides. If someone had then pointed it out to me I would have looked it up and stopped wearing the headchain as well as apologising to anyone who might have been offended. If that's just me being ignorant partially due to my christian upbringing then I'm really sorry, but I don't see how anyone can be expected to know everything about other cultures and what may or may not be appropriation.

That really didn't mean to come over as confrontational as it maybe reads, but I can't work out another way to say it. I think the essesnce of it is, ignorance in my opinion isn't the lack of knowledge necessarily, it's avoiding the opportunity to be educated. So if someone continues to do something after they've been told it's not really appropriate for X reason thats more ignorant than someone who just picks up a packet of bindis in the store and wears them because they look pretty and they are completely unaware that they are worn to signify something in the culture they originated in, rather than just as decoration.

__________________

He'll always be there singing songs in my head.

I believe in Sherlock Holmes.



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1293
Date:

I think it'd be great to teach that sort of thing in school. You touch upon things like significant days in other cultures in RE, so it would be pretty easy to start explaining cultural appropriation from there.

I agree that a lot of the offensive things white people do in regards to cultural appropriation are because they don't know any better, but there are a whooole lot of people who continue on with something after being told it's offensive (and why), even if it's coming from a person from the culture that's being affected. It doesn't all come down to a lack of education about cultural appropriation. That said, maybe if people were taught at an early age WHY cultural appropriation is harmful, it might have more of an effect? I also think it's something you constantly have to look out for though, you've got to watch your actions and it helps having friends who will also hold you accountable. So lessons would help I think, but ultimately there are people who just aren't open to learning about things that don't affect them.

__________________

Harlan :-)

("they" pronouns please, mookyfolk)



Runic Mook of the North (mod)

Status: Offline
Posts: 2641
Date:

I think perhaps being taught about the history of minority cultures and their relation with the majority culture might help? I must admit that I'm a lot more vary of what I do in relation to ethnic minorities like Sami and Romani, who have been opressed by the majority ethnic group I belong to.

On a related note: Peyton, I don't want to come across as having a dig at you and I apologise if I express myself clumsily, but I'm a bit uncomfortable with the term "white people" being used as a synonym for majority ethnic group. I feel that it disregards white ethnic groups like the Sami and the Romani. I have people in my extended family who have family members who among other forms of abuse were forcibly sterilized by the Norwegian government. It happened up until the seventies, and discrimination and agression towards towards Sami and Romani people are still present.


__________________

"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1293
Date:

^Totally valid point Irilar, my family and I are (ethnically, some religiously) Jewish, so I can definitely see how, in the things you mentioned, ethnicity can be as major a factor as race. I don't experience the sort of cultural appropriation that Romani people will face either so it was insensitive phrasing considering the topic. Sorry, in a wobbly headspace so might also be expressing myself poorly here. Just wanted to explain I kind of lazily used "white people" in that post because I was thinking more of the Colour Run debate at the start of the thread and the headchain Lu mentioned, and because of that started thinking more about race than ethnicity. It was lazy of me though for sure, sorry about that.

__________________

Harlan :-)

("they" pronouns please, mookyfolk)

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us