Updated: Feb 8
It's the first week of October. And with the month of October comes the thoughts of Halloween Costumes. And with Halloween Costumes, some turn to other cultures for inspiration and costuming ideas. I wish to make this very clear: The intent of my blog, website and adjacent pages is to help in APPRECIATING CULTURES around the globe. NOT to demoralize, degrade, or disrespect ANY cultures, peoples, or cultural fashions ANYWHERE in the world.
I am a firm believer in the rights for all people. All persons, everywhere, have a right to live their best life they choose. I believe all people are equal in the sight of God, and therefore, all people are created equal in God's eyes. As a Christian myself, I strive my very best to offer the same opportunity and rights to all people I meet. I understand people are born into different circumstances and situations. I grieve for those whose lives are hard, trying and difficult. As a Christian, I pray for all people to find love, peace, and joy in their lives -- in what ever way they see love, peace and joy. Now, the way I see love, peace and joy may be different than the way someone else sees love, peace and joy. It does not mean "my way" is better than "their way." It simply means, how I view love, peace and joy may be different. And different does NOT by any ways, mean better. It is simply, different.
When we can appreciate the beautiful "differences" in the world and beautiful "differences" in people throughout the world, we can then appreciate people, and cultures, AS THEY STAND, in their place in the world. They are beautiful in their right. In their place, and as they are -- each culture is equal in importance and right as to the next culture. There is no place in this world for one culture to purposefully and meaningfully stand dominant or overpowering to another race or culture. There is no room for degrading or demeaning other people.
My goal is to help people see the beauty in cultural differences and to appreciate the beauty in our differences.
In matters of cultural appropriation, if it doesn't feel right to wear any certain item, then DON'T. Do not make fun of other cultures. Research if it is even appropriate for you to wear a certain fashion item from another culture. There are many cultural fashion items where, if you are NOT of that race or culture or background, you do not just "have the right" to wear it simply because you "want" to wear it. However, some items are okay to wear -- even encouraged to wear. And if this be the case, be sure you wear it appropriately. Do not demean or mock any person, race, or culture. There's just too much beauty and joy in this life to entertain such poor behavior.
For more references on Cultural Appropriation, please refer to the links below, as the authors of these articles talk about cultural appropriation way better than I could say it myself.
And friends, please. Be kind. Be respectful. Be thoughtful. Share love, peace, and joy in your conversations and in your lives. Keep away from anything that is NOT kind, respectful, or thoughtful. Look for, find, and offer beauty to the world and the people around you. You will be so greatly blessed when you do.
* A Culture, Not a Costume, The Washington Post
* Cultures aren't Costumes, AP News
* Cultural Appropriation: Culture is Not a Costume, University of Northern Colorado