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Old 03-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Lost1 View Post
Thank you for your words OlChemist. It has been a very awkward subject for me to address. Unfortunately, I believe I may be fighting a losing battle in this regard.

Some of these people normally do medieval recreation and 'just want to do something different' for a change. From what I can tell, this event seems to be for the most part the 'ethnic drag act' unfortunately. It sounds more the Ren Faire, as opposed to the Colonial Williamsburg. I suppose that the wish to educate is perhaps coming solely from my own self, because when I hear some of the things planned for this event... I'm at a loss (I'd prefer the living history museum reenacting/interpretation over Ren Faire if you know what I mean). If I told you the reactions to when I told my concerns about the event, well, all I can say is that I had to do several face-palms. However, judging by what I know of them, I could pretty much guarantee that if I were to put on a trade wool dress, with my hair in braids and speak to them about modern issues, cultural appropriation (using my dress as an example), they'd listen politely, yet continue to do what they're going to do. "Because we're just doing it for fun, it's not meant with any bad intent, lighten up " etc etc. And it's just me, versus the whole lot of them. They want to learn, but it seems they want historical stereotypes, or language (Lakota) lessons. And so on. Well, at least they'd listen a bit.

You're absolutely right about dealing with a completely different fundamental worldview.

I can take for example the Dutch with Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day). You'll see thousands of people putting on Ren Faire type costumes and then putting on blackface (Zwart Piet). Every year someone points out that it's racist, and every year, the Dutch smile and nod and say 'but this is something cultural for us, so we're just going to do it anyways' They don't see it as racist. Then comes Carnival. Everything is considered fair game to be used as a costume. You'll see the Germans wearing their lederhosen & dirndls for Oktoberfest. However, for all of these events, you'll see many other people from other nationalities & cultures also wearing lederhosen & dirndls. You'll see Frenchmen or even Chinese men wearing Scottish kilts, etc. Goodness knows, but the Scots do take their regional attire seriously, as do the Germans.

However, in general, people seem to think nothing of it over here (I could be wrong about the kilts for example). If I were to participate in any of these, I'd just get a smile & nod and a comment that they're happy I'm 'integrating' and participating even though it's not necessarily 'my culture' (even if it may be part of my ancestry) And yes, there are integration classes I was required to take, so in that sense, I can indeed understand certain issues (not all) with assimilation into another culture, and loss of one's own. It's definitely not easy even if on the surface the cultures may appear similar.

Explaining what a person goes through is most often lost on those of the 'host culture' (trying to think of a better term for it) as they just do not have the same reference, nor know what it is to experience that loss of their own past, the disassociation as you call it. Anyone who goes through culture shock in any country experiences it to some degree or another. I've experienced it to a degree myself. I'm not American enough for the Americans anymore, yet not European enough for the Europeans. I can go to the town I grew up in, and folks will ask me "You're not from around here are you?" If I try to eat or drink something typically American (go to McDonald's for example), wear something that is distinctly American while over here in Europe? Oh, I'm just falling into a stereotype. And believe it or not, I've gotten harassed about it over here. Ouch. Passing along these kinds of lessons? Again, not easy, and not exactly a desirable lesson so to speak. However, I know it's not on the same level as an entire society going through it.

So, even with starting with sacred & intellectual property (definitely an idea worth exploring), how to explain to someone that it is considered disrespectful to wear another person's cultural attire when it just isn't viewed that way over here? I'd probably be pointed at the carnival goers wearing priest & nun's robes and asked about that. Anyways, trying to cross these fundamentally different worldviews is definitely a challenge to say the least. Wish me luck?



(lol, I guess once I opened my mouth, a lot came out, and certainly not in any structured sense. My apologies if I've offended anyone with these posts. And my thanks again for letting me sound off a bit, it's handy to have another viewpoint on these things to help give perspective)
Sounds like you wrote this small book with the intentions of doing it anyway, having people come up to you, asking a million questions and you answering in your own 'modest' voice because you want no one to 'perceive' you as a culture vulture.

Well, that's what I get out of what you wrote.

Turn a blind eye and stay ethnic white.

I'm just saying.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
Sounds like you wrote this small book with the intentions of doing it anyway, having people come up to you, asking a million questions and you answering in your own 'modest' voice because you want no one to 'perceive' you as a culture vulture.

Well, that's what I get out of what you wrote.

Turn a blind eye and stay ethnic white.

I'm just saying.
The painful thing about this is the fact that there are so many (myself included) who have to move heaven and earth to find the truth about their own inheritance due to domestic problems in the family. It's as if the bloodline hangs on by a thread, and folks like this come along and use it for a profit.

Culture vulture is a perfect likening of what goes on here. I agree with Joe's dad.

It's hard enough for Indians to represent their own cultures in such a way as to not feel like a slut at the end of the day.

If so many of us refrain, what about you? I don't care what is socially acceptable. Child trafficking is socially acceptable in some places. There is right and there is wrong. This is wrong. There are full bloods who never get into this arena. They, if anyone at all, should go first.

Last edited by gilisi; 03-06-2014 at 01:10 AM..
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