Monday, August 15

Tag: cultural appropriation

The Commercialisation of Religion
News, Opinion

The Commercialisation of Religion

Many holidays, festivities and some of our daily activities that we celebrate more secularly are rooted in religious practices, but what does this mean for its traditional and cultural origins? “Nothing without intention, do nothing without intention”, says the lady in the bottom left corner at the start of Solange Knowles’ music video for ‘Almeda’. She rubs her hands with ‘Florida water’, used in spiritual traditions to purify and cleanse, next to several amethyst crystals symbolising trust and grace. The inclusion of such practices in a music video from a well-respected pop artist could be considered a bold move. For centuries, these traditions were demonised, and practitioners persecuted as organised religion took hold. But many young people seem to view their new ‘spiritual’ practices...
The Dos and Don’ts of Halloween Costumes in 2021
Lifestyle

The Dos and Don’ts of Halloween Costumes in 2021

Ah, Halloween; a strange time of year. For some, it’s a day of celebrating old traditions, a way to honour the dead and make them immortal through our memories. For others, it’s a time where you can get discounted chocolates and binge horror movies. Regardless of how you celebrate the end of October, one thing is certain: whether they are meticulously planned or thrown together at the last minute, there will be copious numbers of chaotic costumes. However, if you don’t know where to start, here are some Dos and Don’ts to help you get your act together. DO: be sensitive to other cultures. Although we have made great strides in bringing attention to insensitive costumes, unfortunately, common Halloween attire still includes ‘Mexican’ ‘Native American’ & ‘Tribal’ outfits. These ...
Cultural Allyship: Make It Count
Opinion

Cultural Allyship: Make It Count

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of certain elements of a culture without the consent of that community nor a full understanding of why such elements are important. It has continued to make national headlines with scores of celebrities being accused of adopting cultural icons such as dreadlocks and henna without a full appreciation of their significance to communities around the globe. Much of the controversy surrounding cultural appropriation concerns the people who believe their appropriation is just a gesture of appreciation and a recognition of the beauty of such elements. Fundamentally, though, this idea is rooted in an orientalist thought process which reduces items to simply ‘beautiful’ and ‘mysterious’ objects, void of any deep sentimental or spiritual significance. So how...
Opinion

Whose Life Will You Wear?

Watch What You Wear This Halloween. It’s coming up to that time of year again, where we have an excuse to get dressed up in a range of costumes, go out, and have a great time. House parties will be thrown and alcohol will be drunk. And let’s hope that this year, no one will be offended by what you choose to wear. Cultural appropriation gets talked about more and more each year. It’s the practice of taking parts of other people’s culture, usually less privileged groups, and exploiting them. For example, the headdress has become a popular adornment to wear at festivals this year with few people understanding its significance in Native American society. The headdress is a piece of attire that men earnt throughout their life, that is restricted to people who have the honour of having ach...