I know I haven't been very artsy these past few weeks, but I've been doing my best to stay on top of school for the first time ever. Also, I might have gotten World of Warcraft again. I might have been playing that on and off since 2005.
Today's rant time is all about Cultural Appropriation. It's defined as:
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, specifically the use by cultural outsiders of a minority, oppressed culture's symbols or other cultural elements.
I am a member of a dying culture, sort of. As half Irish I Identify as Irish, and I practice both the dance and I'm learning the language. I'm learning it from www.duolingo.com/
which is a really amazing place to learn a bunch of languages, I've also recently started German for fun. The thing is, the Irish language is dying, the English spent a lot of years trying to stamp it out, don't believe me? Learn some Irish history. I've been taught it since I was little. They had hedgerow schools where they taught the children between hedgerows so that they wouldn't be persecuted. It's also believed by some that Irish dance started as a martial art, but when the English invaded they were forced to keep their arms at their sides so they wouldn't get caught.
Look at most European countries, they have some kind of cultural dress. The Irish? They don't, most of the cultural identity was taken from them. Really, their culture is in the death throes, but I'm not going to just give up on it, this is my culture. It's important to me.
A lot of people will complain about how, "Oh, you're stealing my culture." Mostly it's said to an American for emulating another culture's practices, or adopting elements from their culture. I found this rant on white women doing belly dancing that was really upsetting to me. There's something big about culture that the person who wrote that rant didn't seem to know: THE DEFINITION OF CULTURE.
- Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group.
You know what's key about the definition? SHARED. Culture is SHARED. I think that this post sums up everything I'm trying to say in a nutshell. It's a link to tumblr, and it's beautiful.black0eternity.tumblr.com/post…
It started out really upsetting because people were attacking her, but I don't think I could have summed it up better than: "Culture is not meant to be kept within four walls, it should be spread."
Celebrate your culture, celebrate other cultures. THAT'S THE POINT. Cultures are meant to be shared between people.
That's why my mom and I teach Irish dance to anyone who wants to learn. Go out and explore another culture, it helps you open your mind more, and help preserve culture, which is the most important thing.