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Cultural appropriation

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Hmmmm. Shiny - please believe me when I say that I like you and really do not want to be offending you.

 

But.

 

I'm looking at the picture you've just posted, and many of the items in that 'outfit' are the kind of things the average woman has in her wardrobe. The only thing that wouldn't be would be the specific style of shirt with the slit sleeve - although the peasant top mentioned by St. Jimmy is, again, something that most people would have in their wardrobes.

 

Now if you were objecting to *any* wearing of these items I might be more sympathetic. But it seems like you are happy for people to wear them unless they put them together in a certain way, and call themselves a certain thing. And I'm afraid, to my mind, that makes the line one hell of a lot more blurry. Most of the objection I've seen people raise in this thread have been to the wearing/use of the kind of things that people would specifically have to go out and get, as an 'unusual' item linked with that culture. In this case.... a lot of this stuff is everyday pieces of clothes. Long, flowy skirts, and blouses of St Jimmy's 'peasant type' have been worn across Europe for centuries.

 

I know what you are objecting to is hurtful stereotypeing. I get that. But I'm not sure in this case that it's really cultural appropriation when we're talking about items that no one would think twice about people owning.

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Ah wears what I wants. Clothes are clothes, sorry if you can't get over the fact that some people just want to wear what they like.

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Hmmmm. Shiny - please believe me when I say that I like you and really do not want to be offending you.

 

But.

 

I'm looking at the picture you've just posted, and many of the items in that 'outfit' are the kind of things the average woman has in her wardrobe. The only thing that wouldn't be would be the specific style of shirt with the slit sleeve - although the peasant top mentioned by St. Jimmy is, again, something that most people would have in their wardrobes.

 

Now if you were objecting to *any* wearing of these items I might be more sympathetic. But it seems like you are happy for people to wear them unless they put them together in a certain way, and call themselves a certain thing. And I'm afraid, to my mind, that makes the line one hell of a lot more blurry. Most of the objection I've seen people raise in this thread have been to the wearing/use of the kind of things that people would specifically have to go out and get, as an 'unusual' item linked with that culture. In this case.... a lot of this stuff is everyday pieces of clothes. Long, flowy skirts, and blouses of St Jimmy's 'peasant type' have been worn across Europe for centuries.

 

I know what you are objecting to is hurtful stereotypeing. I get that. But I'm not sure in this case that it's really cultural appropriation when we're talking about items that no one would think twice about people owning.

You're not offending me, Tiki.

 

It's more like I have to strike a balance, if that makes sense? I am fully aware that long "flowy" skirts and such are common. I'm not saying people shouldn't wear them, I don't have an issue with that, per se.

 

That's why I specifically brought up the galbi and the diklo, because those are things that people have to try to mess up. Things like the side scarf, on the hips -- all of these have very precise meanings in the culture.

 

To bring up the rosary idea again -- anyone can have a rosary -- but people have already stated that people wearing them as necklaces bothers them. It's sort of the same thing.

 

Part of the reason no one thinks twice about owning or even calling them "g*psy skirts" is because culture has made it okay. It's become "boho chic," even if the entire idea that "G*psy" is "boho" comes from the black legions exterminating hundreds of Romani women, and how they "realised" who were Romani were the side shawls and the skirts.

 

Am I making sense?

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You're not offending me, Tiki.

 

It's more like I have to strike a balance, if that makes sense? I am fully aware that long "flowy" skirts and such are common. I'm not saying people shouldn't wear them, I don't have an issue with that, per se.

 

That's why I specifically brought up the galbi and the diklo, because those are things that people have to try to mess up. Things like the side scarf, on the hips -- all of these have very precise meanings in the culture.

 

To bring up the rosary idea again -- anyone can have a rosary -- but people have already stated that people wearing them as necklaces bothers them. It's sort of the same thing.

 

Part of the reason no one thinks twice about owning or even calling them "g*psy skirts" is because culture has made it okay. It's become "boho chic," even if the entire idea that "G*psy" is "boho" comes from the black legions exterminating hundreds of Romani women, and how they "realised" who were Romani were the side shawls and the skirts.

 

Am I making sense?

I get it more if you're just talking one or two items that, when worn as part of the outfit, have specific cultural meaning. Saying 'please don't wear this necklace, or tie a shawl this way' makes more sense to me that 'not this outfit' in this particular case.

 

If I may pull up an example that originated in the UK - suits. These (once) made very, very specific statements about the social class of the person wearing them. With this example they were 'appropriated' by people of various classes the world over because they wanted some of the percieved status of the Englishmen that originally wore them (and not, as with many things, as a way of obliterating and subsuming the culture they came from - more aping in this case). However even to this day wearing a flower in the buttonhole *still* makes a very specific statement, that I am well aware may not be understood by many people.

 

So, yeah. I can make it work in my head by looking at it in a similar way to the suit/buttonhole thing. The one is okay, the other says very specific things to the culture it comes from that need to be understood if you want to consider it (although, in the case of the meaning I gather the Romani items hold, most people that understood the meaning wouldn't want to wear them anyway).

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I get it more if you're just talking one or two items that, when worn as part of the outfit, have specific cultural meaning. Saying 'please don't wear this necklace, or tie a shawl this way' makes more sense to me that 'not this outfit' in this particular case.

 

If I may pull up an example that originated in the UK - suits. These (once) made very, very specific statements about the social class of the person wearing them. With this example they were 'appropriated' by people of various classes the world over because they wanted some of the percieved status of the Englishmen that originally wore them (and not, as with many things, as a way of obliterating and subsuming the culture they came from - more aping in this case). However even to this day wearing a flower in the buttonhole *still* makes a very specific statement, that I am well aware may not be understood by many people.

 

So, yeah. I can make it work in my head by looking at it in a similar way to the suit/buttonhole thing. The one is okay, the other says very specific things to the culture it comes from that need to be understood if you want to consider it (although, in the case of the meaning I gather the Romani items hold, most people that understood the meaning wouldn't want to wear them anyway).

Right, and I was talking about the outfit in context of dressing up as a "fortune-teller." I mean, you dress like that and say fortune-teller, and you don't have to say the G word. Which is also disrespectful in general of choovihnis by taking their huge part in the community and making them just...sideshows.

 

Have I mentioned I'm really sleepy?

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Right, and I was talking about the outfit in context of dressing up as a "fortune-teller." I mean, you dress like that and say fortune-teller, and you don't have to say the G word. Which is also disrespectful in general of choovihnis by taking their huge part in the community and making them just...sideshows.

 

Have I mentioned I'm really sleepy?

*hugs* Go to bed, hun. Although I do sympathise as Neil woke me up at half 5 to deal with a water leak.

 

I think I understand a bit more now, although I hope you can see where my confusion was coming in?

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*hugs* Go to bed, hun. Although I do sympathise as Neil woke me up at half 5 to deal with a water leak.

 

I think I understand a bit more now, although I hope you can see where my confusion was coming in?

*hugs*

 

Yeah, I should. Nascha's been doing some weird night experiments this week, like the lab spots weren't open during the day and it's throwing off our entire schedule.

 

Yeah, I do. I'm just glad you could wade through that. Haha.

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Just popping in to say lurking throughout this whole discussion has been very enlightening and edifying. I've started noticing more and more of what you all are talking about, things that I wouldn't have payed any attention to before. So. Good stuff ^.^

 

*proceeds with lurking*

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Apparently I forgot to post here: but thanks to those of you who weighed in on dreadlocks. That Jezebel link actually helped, too. :3

 

~

 

I think it's rather...rude? for people to tell others they shouldn't get offended at something. Just because it doesn't offend you (especially if you aren't a part of that culture) doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't offend others. My big problem is when people get offended...that people are getting offended. o_O

If you don't understand, that's one thing, but telling someone they aren't allowed to be offended over something? 3=

Just a general comment.

 

~

 

Fuzz - while I agree it shouldn't be, from the very limited scope of conversations I've had with Germans, that doesn't mean that it is, anyway. As you said, most will bend over backwards to make sure it doesn't happen again. They're taught in school to be ashamed of it, to the point where a dragon here named "Hitler" was offensive and hurtful to them. I think the idea of being ashamed for what happened is such a visceral, integral part of their lives, much in the same way it's a visceral, integral part of Americans' lives that we are not the ones who kept slaves and therefore should not have to apologize for it, be sorry for it, or pay for it in any way.

 

I remember, I can't remember if it was middle or high school - probably high school, learning how Germans had to be ashamed of what they had done/let happen for basically forever in order to get any support from allied countries. I remember specifically thinking 'how disturbing that we would want to control people like that, to be so narcissistic to think none of them cared, to think we could control them forever because of an awful thing that happened in history' but I guess it worked, since they are taught to feel that shame today. (This was a few years ago, so I don't remember exactly what it was, but I do remember thinking that and being horrified at it.)

 

Here's two posts from another forum I'm on where someone was under the impression that the Holocaust was not taught in German schools. Two people from German piped up. Here's part of their posts (since both were really long):

 

Holocaust denial is prohibited by law in Germany. It's punishable.

German students are taught about it as soon as they reach a certain age / are in a certain grade. It is almost impossible to grow up and/or live here without ever being confronted with the topic.

 

   

Whoever publicly or in a meeting approves of, denies or belittles an act committed under the rule of National Socialism of the type indicated in Section 6 subsection (1) of the Code of Crimes against International Law, in a manner capable of disturbing the public peace shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine.

 

Click here and read (3) for the original

 

Several other people who posted on this thread are also Germans, so most of us who lived here for long enough will tell you the same - we're (under normal circumstances, leaving aside potential lack of education caused by absence from school or bad parenting etc.) very informed about most aspects of WW2, it's a topic that's somewhat omnipresent here, even in our everyday life and the way we perceive ourselves as a nation (for example, patriotism/nationalism not being very big in Germany thanks to that shameful history of ours).

 

So I guess this may be more societal perhaps, but it's definitely something that has become a part of them in some way.

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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Part of what's confusing (at least to me) is I go to a few things where you could say people TRY to get their culture appropriated. IE, Scots love to get people wearing their kilts. But I also suppose there might be some Scots very offended by that. The only case I can think of where it was a huge no-no was the African tribal patterns in clothing. White people not allowed to wear that. Native American, I've not seen anyone try to wear authentic clothing but there are a lot of Native American artists that sell their wares as a means of teaching about their culture. Pendleton blankets would be an example.

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AFAIK it's not appropriation if you buy it from a craftsperson belonging to that culture, because then you're supporting people of the culture, and if the native people are selling it, then chances are they want others to have it.

 

It is appropriation if you take it without asking, or buy it from Urban Outfitters or something, or take it after you've been told "that's not okay for you to wear/make/have."

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I guess I'm in the really tiny minority, here, because I don't really understand what the big deal is.

 

People, at least in America, are free to dress the way they want (except for things like school/work uniforms, etc). There are no laws/rules saying that I can't wear something just because some other culture somewhere might think it's sacred.

 

I see crosses *everywhere*. And I do mean *everywhere*. And I know for a fact that not everyone who wears a cross is Christian, or religious in any way. Is that offensive? It's a symbol that some people find attractive. Just like a heart or a smiley face.

 

If some culture somewhere started worshiping smiley faces, would we all be banned from using them?

 

I'm sorry if something I wear offends someone, but hey, all those "let God save you!" t-shirts might offend me, too. I believe people should be allowed to wear what they want.

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I guess I'm in the really tiny minority, here, because I don't really understand what the big deal is.

 

People, at least in America, are free to dress the way they want (except for things like school/work uniforms, etc). There are no laws/rules saying that I can't wear something just because some other culture somewhere might think it's sacred.

 

I see crosses *everywhere*. And I do mean *everywhere*. And I know for a fact that not everyone who wears a cross is Christian, or religious in any way. Is that offensive? It's a symbol that some people find attractive. Just like a heart or a smiley face.

 

If some culture somewhere started worshiping smiley faces, would we all be banned from using them?

 

I'm sorry if something I wear offends someone, but hey, all those "let God save you!" t-shirts might offend me, too. I believe people should be allowed to wear what they want.

The cross is a cross-cultural symbol. It's not a sacred item of any specific nationality or people group. It's not even entirely unique to a single faith system. That's a little different than me taking something sacred from an independent culture and wearing it just for kicks and giggles. Sure, you're free to dress however you want. There's no laws saying you can't wear royal Korean hairsticks or native American ceremonial regalia. There's no laws against Westboro Baptist holding up "God hates f***" signs either... but it's not very nice, is it? xd.png

 

 

 

 

I do think there's some people that are overzealous in this area though. I was told recently that white guys playing ukulele is appropriation of Hawaiian culture. Well, ignoring the fact that it's an instrument Hawaiians got from the Portuguese, are you (this guy) really saying that anyone who ISN'T one of the few hundred thousand Hawaiians of entirely native descent in the world is appropriating their culture for playing an instrument...? It's not as if the ukulele is a sacred artifact. Am I wrong in thinking that's an over-application of this "don't appropriate" principle?

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I have long hair and Sometimes i wear it High. Traditionaly only Rich Woman could Afford Long Hair and only High Born Ladies Would wear it that way. Traditionaly the Colours in a Dirndl had a meaning you wouldnt wear the Colours of somebody Else. But the meanings changed, today wearing your Hair High and wearing any Dirndl-Dress means wearing traditional clothes. A Lot of tourists buy them and Nobody Minds.

 

Buy the Way, in the alps you could wear a eagles or a hawks Feather in your braided Hair to Signal that you did Save somebodys Life or that you did something extraordinary. Seems as if the Same style is popular in at least two Independent cultures, Maybe Even the meaning is similar. But Nobody owns it.

 

A Lot of Symbols have meanings in several cultures, I am thinking about the Cross and the swastika. In Winter i often wear a scharf over my Head, its pretty comfortable. One Day a Muslim Girl complained about it, but we did Cover our Heads that Way for a Long Time. I am Not ging to stop because the Same, for me only practical style, does have a specific meaning for somebody Else. Styles and Symbols Cross cultures, they change their meanings and they mean different Things for different cultures. Its everybodies Own responsibility to decide about the significance of this.

 

Another Strange experience. I went to Neuseeland and ended up in One of These Great maori Museums. I went there to learn about a Strange Culture. The Guide explained that only maori should wear hairsticks. In fact i was wearing One and Agreed to put my Hair Down while being there. He didnt belive me that tacitus Worte about German hairsticks more than 1500 years ago, or that there are mideval hairsticks in our museums. He just thought that ist was an exklusive maori style. on the other side and that Funny he wondered about the Actual Way i Wore my Hair. This style However is considered a portugiese bun. In the end he tried to sell me beautyfull hairforg made of Bone. I often wear ist and i dont feel Bad about it.

Edited by ana3

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Well to Display Nazi Symbols is illegal in both Austria and Germany. I also hate it When People Brand me as Nazi just because i was Born Here. But the Same Symbol Reffes to the Sun in eastern cultures. The Symbol in Inseln is Not evil, but People did evil Things in its Name. Would you forbide ist in india or so?

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After thinking about it for awhile, I figured out a better way to explain why the "G***y fortuneteller" costumes are so bad. It's like showing someone who is a good Catholic, a picture of their mother in a sexy nun costume, and going "LOOK, you're Mum was a nun!"

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Thats difficult. I am no Nazi. To Display Nazi Symbols is forbidden in Austria, that dös inclusive the Main Nazi Symbol, Thats also known as Swastika. I think this is Wong, because the Swastika is Not exklusively a Nazi Symbol. Its also an important Symbol in eastern cultures.

 

The Symbol was used for Bad Things, but the Symbol in Inself is Not Bad. If you forbide ony Symbol the Nazi will just Take the next Symbol and corrupt this One.

 

I Hope this does Not insult anybody, i dont Intent to do so. I Hope that i am expressing myself exact and clear, if there are any Problematic Parts please Tell Me so.

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I'm still thinking about what to reply to the replies I received to my last post, I'm not trying to avoid it, just not finished thinking <3

 

About the German thing - I'm not sure if people in other countries really realize how much of a big deal it is here in Germany.

 

Nazi jokes in movies are edited out in German dubbing, terms like grammar Nazi left me feeling pretty shaken when I first came across them, my sister went on a student exchange thingie and when she called the first night, she was in tears because some kids thought the Nazi salute would be a funny thing to greet her with. She was twelve.

 

A German politician said in public that he was proud to be German. It caused an uproar of epic proportions, his own party didn't want to have to do anything with him anymore. (His name is Gotthard Deuse, he is a moron and there was more to the story). Flags are only ever found in government buildings and at sports events. You would receive very funny looks if you happened to just have one around. I don't know the lyrics of our national anthem and I am not alone in that.

 

People who wanted raise awareness often wore (or wear) buttons or shirts with swastikas that are crossed out or smashed by a fist. It was seriously considered to ban those, too, because they still showed the symbol in some way.

 

There is also no escaping the topic. Usually kids will have talked about it with their parents, but even if they haven't, the topic comes up in school when you're about ten.

 

You will go through it countless times until the very last year of school, watch countless movie (and they are scary as hell) and read countless books. That will generally happen in the following subjects:

 

German, History, Religious Education, all languages, Politics, social studies

 

All of that leaves most Germans with a feeling of guilt and slight panic: "I need to prove I'm not a Nazi"

 

That's why it irks me so when people pull the "nazi card". For us the whole topic is very serious and for most other nations it's just a convenient thought-terminating cliché when arguing with a German. It works too, hits home every time. Works on me, too, in fact.

 

To try and steer this on topic:

 

Yes, it irks me. I'm sad about it. But I don't go around, demanding that the whole world stops making nazi jokes. I have no right to do that.

 

(I still think I might get warned for off topicness for this, but I needed to say it)

 

edit: just read SPS's post. I guess mine is very much a point in case then.

Edited by blah

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I won't pretend to know how it feels to those in Germany, but I do have to say that I just don't *get* that mentality in the first place. The whole "German equal Nazi" thing. I just... It completely baffles me. That's like saying that I (and all white Americans) should be feared because we will go around killing Native Americans. I mean, it's a part of history, sure, but it's *history*. The Germans today have nothing to do with that crap. (I'm sure there's the occasional exception, but...) I just don't understand it.

 

I personally believe that a lot of people who use nazi-related jokes honestly don't have the knowledge of what it really means to Germans. We hear "Nazi" and certain things come to mind from history class, but unless you really *study* it (which a lot of history classes don't), you might not understand why it's still a sore spot for Germans.

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I personally believe that a lot of people who use nazi-related jokes honestly don't have the knowledge of what it really means to Germans. We hear "Nazi" and certain things come to mind from history class, but unless you really *study* it (which a lot of history classes don't), you might not understand why it's still a sore spot for Germans.

Complete OT here, for which I apologise, but that may just be history classes in the US. Certainly here in the UK we studied WW2 and Nazism ad nauseum. Once in basic History classes, again if you took History for GCSE, and bugger me when I started AS-level History we ended up studying it *again*.

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Complete OT here, for which I apologise, but that may just be history classes in the US. Certainly here in the UK we studied WW2 and Nazism ad nauseum. Once in basic History classes, again if you took History for GCSE, and bugger me when I started AS-level History we ended up studying it *again*.

Yes indeed. And I know MANY Germans who are proud to be German - not least for the massive efforts they have made as a nation to stamp out the nazi mentality.

 

There are nazi types in every nation in the world, sadly - but unfortunately people tend to pick on those in Germany because of history. The BNP in the UK are as bad, so are a number of redneck Texans, and a rather nasty group in Sweden. I am sure there are others. But no-one minds when English people, Swedes, Americans are proud of THEIR nationality. It is ***y unfair to Germans to expect them to be ashamed for ever of what Hitler did.

 

Up with Germans. I am going on holiday there in a couple of weeks and I shall meet lots of lovely people there. I know this.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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There are nazi types in every nation in the world, sadly - but unfortunately people tend to pick on those in Germany because of history. The BNP in the UK are as bad, so are a number of redneck Texans, and a rather nasty group in Sweden. I am sure there are others. But no-one minds when English people, Swedes, Americans are proud of THEIR nationality. It is ***y unfair to Germans to expect them to be ashamed for ever of what Hitler did.

Only one? dry.gif I can name several.

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Only one? dry.gif I can name several.

One I AM AWARE of biggrin.gif

 

I don't doubt it. I read my Mankell smile.gif

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That's why it irks me so when people pull the "nazi card". For us the whole topic is very serious and for most other nations it's just a convenient thought-terminating cliché when arguing with a German. It works too, hits home every time. Works on me, too, in fact.

 

To try and steer this on topic:

 

Yes, it irks me. I'm sad about it. But I don't go around, demanding that the whole world stops making nazi jokes. I have no right to do that.

Regarding my post, I apologize if I came off as aggressive, when that post was meant to say that - that because of that particular bit of history you're culturally ingrained to be careful about being proud to be German. I wasn't trying to demonize anybody... in fact, I come from a country whose territory was partially-or-fully, depending on which period we're talking, ruled by Germans or people of German descent for 700 years - up until end of World War I, with a threat of reoccupation during WWII (instead, the USSR took us), but I harbour no ill feelings, as it's all history - I went to a school whose primary foreign language emphasis was on German, not English, I have German friends and have lived in Bremen during a study exchange semester - doubtlessly, I wouldn't do all that, if I hated the nation. /shrugs

 

But, of course, I posted late at night like a sleepy derp lacking any kind of eloquency.

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