Tomorrow is National Aboriginal Day, according to my calendars both at work and at home. I didn’t realize that this was a thing until maybe 3 months ago. I’ve never celebrated it, or even acknowledged it before.
Well, so happy National Aboriginal Day everyone. May it be the start of an upwards spiral of happiness and well-being.
I’ve been thinking a lot about culture and appropriation. I read this very thoughtful post on just that subject. It’s written to non-native people wearing headdresses.
An Open Letter to Non-Natives in Headdresses
…I see you are confused about what constitutes cultural appropriation. I would like to provide you with resources and information on the subject so that you can better understand what our concerns are.
I’m going to first note that I’ve never worn a headdress. I’ve worn plenty of hats. As a child, if I found a seagull feather on the ground, I might put it behind my ear. That’s about where my experience with headdresses ends.
I’m not guilty of this offense. And yet… on the first read-through, I felt super defensive. I was being told that I could not do something and I didn’t like it.
In the article, she references Cultural Appropriation Bingo. Basically, you read the statements, and if you identify with them, you might part of the Cultural Appropriation problem.
Out of 24 statements, I identified with 24. All of them. That’s, like, a super bingo with a capital everything.
I’m a seething mass of cultural appropriation that’s oozing down the street appropriating cultures with every step.
(I’m going to pause and appreciate the image in my mind of me lurching around the world as personified cultures run screaming. I am the Incredible Hulk crossed with Godzilla crossed with the Loch Ness Monster of cultural appropriation. And no, that’s not going on my resume.)
It’s uncomfortable to stare that in the face. It makes my brain try to flee when I try to focus on it too much. But it left an impression, and the thoughts keep swirling.