Cultural Appropriation And The Appropriation Of A Culture Essay

Cultural Appropriation And The Appropriation Of A Culture Essay

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When I was 12 years old I dressed up as a gypsy; traditional dress, dark eyeshadow, rosy pink cheeks, black eyeliner, and gold jewelry everywhere. Naively my intention was to dress up in a costume that was fun to wear and also made me feel as free as a “wanderlust gypsy”. It was only years later that I came to realize how little I knew about the actual hardships my costume represented. Gypsies were not filled with a great desire to travel, rather they had no choice but to move in constant attempts to flee for their lives. I was representing nothing but a bedazzled form of disregard to the appropriating culture. People think that cultural appropriation is harmless but in fact it is deeply disrespectful. The difference between the appreciation of a culture and the appropriation of a culture is a mutual understandment and respect. American society is made up of multiple cultural make-ups, with this association comes America’s recognition as a melting pot and, more recently, as a salad bowl. When hundreds of diverse backgrounds form the nation’s population, it’s not unusual for cultural groups to rub off each other. This holds especially true for people who grow up in vastly integrated communities and along the way begin to uphold up the customs, religious traditions, and language of the cultural groups which surround them. When it comes to cultural appropriation however, it is often the exploited and oppressed minority group that becomes the community’s source, not because a lack of exposure or familiarity, but because of mere curiosity. Unfortunately, it is during this time that the diminishing of a culture to something that can be used as one’s own without permission most often appears. This can include unapproved use of anothe...


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...otypes, which is a right often denied to members of minority groups.
One cannot restrict people to simply live only their own culture, especially, in a salad bowl country that was built on a vast variety of cultures. Cultural Appropriation is not only undeniable but also unavoidable in a mixing bowl society. Yet, though one cannot help but be intrigued by other cultures, it is important for one to realize that when one “borrows” cultural aspects without proper representation and/or permission is not a form of appreciation but rather appropriation. For this reason, it is not only suggested but required for people in a salad bowl society to learn the difference between borrowing and taking. Just as you would want your image to be respected and properly acknowledge, one must make it a personal duty, to never for this reason, misrepresent or disregard another’s culture.

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Cultural Appropriation And The Appropriation Of A Culture Essay

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