In todays society there are many different cultures that individuals identify with. Culture is very important to many people and is something that helps define who we are. When different cultures are respected and appreciated it is a beautiful thing, it can bring individuals in society closer to one another. Ideally this understanding of one another’s cultures can lead to multiculturalism. If the appreciation for different cultures is not done correctly it can seem to be cultural appropriation. Any piece of a culture can be stolen, mocked, and disrespected, from music, clothing, food, etc. As a society with such a vast amount of cultures it is important to know the difference between multiculturalism and cultural appropriation.
We can unknowingly steal or disrespect another culture all while thinking we are appreciating the culture. For instance, the popular Middle Eastern scarf called “hatta” or “keffiyeh” is widely used as a fashion accessory today by many people who are not of Middle East decent. Many people sporting the keffiyeh have no knowledge of the scarfs history, and what it has meant to so many individuals who identify with the Arab culture.
Both of my grandfathers had worn this article of clothing, held in place on their heads by a black rope - the 'aqal '. Before the 1930s, the keffiyeh had been commonly used by men like my grandfathers in the villages to protect from the sun while in the fields. Men in the city had very little use for the keffiyeh until a fateful mixing of resistance and unity. In 1936, villagers and peasants held the Arab Revolt against British colonialism. Their use of the keffiyeh had easily distinguished them from the city people. In order to pr...
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...ce and to secure one 's own position in turbulent environments (Gilroy, 430).
If more people were able to learn from the multiculturalism in EDM festival culture and apply the same techniques to everyday life, our world would be a much better place with much more understanding and respect between individuals and cultures.
The portrayal of different cultures is a vast spectrum, from cultural appropriation to multiculturalism. Using a culture for profits or misinterpreting a culture without knowing the significance of that culture is an easy way to end up culturally appropriating. This is simply distasteful and abuse of a different culture. We must check ourselves in order to not commit this act and to remain respectful of different cultures. On the other end of the spectrum, multiculturalism is the proper way of bringing cultures together and helps to unify society.
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