To me, it sounds like a desperate effort on the part of those with barely any roots to lay claim to a culture that they don’t understand, will probably never fully appreciate, will subscribe to selectively, and are using it purely as a tool to establish some sort of elitism because they lack any credibility elsewhere in their lives.
Imitation is supposed to be the best compliment, so next time you see someone appropriating your culture, thank them. Their efforts will probably contribute more to the preservation of your cultural roots than your efforts to claim guardianship over something you probably had nothing to do with regarding its establishment.
Of course, if someone is actively trying to alter the truth about the roots of a specific cultural practice, by all means correct them. But more often than not, the debates around this on Tumblr is about others practising some elements of a different culture that they don’t naturally belong to, and that is then misconstrued as appropriation. It’s not. It’s imitation or adoption, but not appropriation.
In my mind, the Europeans going into Eastern lands, colonising it, destroying its historical records and recreating a new adulterated view about the sources of the knowledge and culture that they now claim to own, is cultural appropriation. Seems like most don’t understand the difference between imitation and appropriation.
- The action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.
- The artistic practice or technique of reworking images from well-known paintings, photographs, etc., in one’s own work.
This entire debate about cultural appropriation, especially within the context of this wonderful global village that everyone is always happy to celebrate and be a part of, is superfluous.