Archives

All posts for the month July, 2014

Episode 8: Cultural Appropriation

Published July 21, 2014 by The Forest's Edge

Hear Here!

Betwixt and Between talk with Mihika, a dear friend, scholar, practicing Hindu, and blogger behind OneHindu.net. This discussion asks what is cultural appropriation, why can it be problematic, and then turns to how to share another’s culture in a (hopefully) non-problematic way. Together they explore power dynamics and privledge, aesthetics vs. deeper cultural meanings, and the role of guilt in approaching one’s non-native culture.

Thank you again to New World Witchery, the iPod Witch, and any other podcaster or blogger who has been supporting us. What a great community this is!

Hail Saraswati!

saraswati

Yaa Kundendu tushaara haara-dhavalaa, Yaa shubhra-vastra’avritaa

Yaa veena-vara-danda-manditakara, Yaa shweta padma’asana

Yaa brahma’achyuta shankara prabhritibhir, Devai-sadaa pujitaa

Saa Maam Paatu Saraswati Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadya’apahaa.

Shuklaam Brahmavichaara Saara paramaam Aadhyaam Jagadvyapinim,

Veena Pustaka Dhaarineem Abhayadaam Jaadya’andhakaara’apahaam

Haste Sphaatika Maalikam Vidadhateem Padmasane Sansthitaam

Vande taam Parmeshwareem Bhagavateem Buddhipradaam Shardam.

(She, who is as fair as the Kunda flower, white as the moon, and a garland of Tushar flowers;and who is covered in white clothes

She, whose hands are adorned by the excellent veena, and whose seat is the pure white lotus;

She, who is praised by Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh; and prayed to by the Devas

O Mother Goddess, remove my ignorance!)

Resources that informed this show:

onehindu.net

Inciting a Riot, Episode 38: Inciting a Hindu Riot (and the latest episode, #88, is about privledge. Co-inkydink!)

Devin Hunter’s Modern Witch (Not Pagan Rapport, which is also lovely) Season 4, Episode 16: Pagans and Privilege

Lamplighter Blues, Episode 10: Baucherei (Not Pow Wow. Sheesh! Not batting 1000 here with the references…)

The Wild Hunt, “Hinduism, Indo-Paganism, and Cultural Appropriation” by Jason Pitzl-Waters

“Why I Can’t Stand White Belly Dancers” by Randa Jarrar

And special thanks to Milk and Magpie for creating some wonderful Betwixt and Between artwork for us!

Melody's B

Below is a selection from a Privilege Walk Workshop, designed to give participants a visceral experience of their own privileges in relation to others without focusing solely on race, gender, economic status, etc.  It is meant to open up dialogue and perceptions.

The Privilege Walk Workshop is designed for students in college level courses across the country that are devoted to race, diversity, and the study of whiteness. This workshop has also been designed to provide college students with an opportunity to understand the intricacies of privilege. This exercise is controversial and should be voluntary, and it is very important that all who participate in this workshop remember to keep the things which are discussed confidential.

You will need a room that is large enough for all students who are participating in this workshop to stand in a single file line, shoulder to shoulder.

The facilitator should lay masking tape in middle of the room so there is equal distance to the front and to the back. The students should stand behind the line, so when the sentences are read aloud, the students will walk forward to go over the line for the privilege walk, or stay behind the line and take steps back on the privilege walk. Each step depends on the participants responses to the sentences that are read aloud by the facilitator.

The following is a list of some statements that apply to privilege–more can be added.

Please take one-step back: If your ancestors were forced to come to the USA not by choice.

  1. Please take one-step forward: If your primary ethnic identity is American.

  2. Please take one-step back: If you were ever called names because of your race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  3. Please take one-step forward: If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners, etc.

  4. Please take one-step back: If you were ever ashamed or embarrassed of your clothes, house, car, etc.

  5. Please take one-step forward: If one or both of your parents has a college degree.

  6. Please take one-step back: If you were raised in an area, where there was prostitution, drug activity, etc.

  7. Please take one-step back: If you ever tried to change your appearance, mannerisms, or behavior to avoid being judged or ridiculed.

  8. Please take one-step forward: If you studied the culture of your ancestors in elementary school.

  9. Please take one-step back: If you went to school speaking a language other than English.

  10. Please take one-step forward: if there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up.

  11. Please take one-step back: If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up.

  12. Please take one-step back: If one of your parents was unemployed or laid off, not by choice.

  13. Please take one-step forward: If you attended private school or summer camp.

  14. Please take one-step back: If your family ever had to move because they could not afford the rent.

  15. Please take one-step back: If you were ever discouraged from academics or jobs because of race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  16. Please take one-step forward: If you were encouraged to attend college by your parents.

  17. Please take one-step back: If you were raised in a single parent household.

  18. Please take one-step forward: If your family owned the house, where you grew up.

  19. Please take one-step forward: If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member.

  20. Please take one-step back: If you were ever denied employment because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  21. Please take one-step back: If you were paid less, treated less fairly because of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  22. Please take one-step back: If you were ever accused of cheating or lying because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  23. Please take one-step forward: If you ever inherited money or property.

  24. Please take one-step back: If you had to rely primarily on public transportation.

  25. Please take one-step back: If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  26. Please take one-step back: If you were ever afraid of violence because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  27. Please take one-step back: If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation.

  28. Please take one-step back: If you were ever the victim of violence related to your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  29. Please take one-step back: If your parents did not grow up in the United States.

  30. Please take one-step forward: If your parents told you could be anything, you wanted to be.

 

 

 

Privilege Walk: