wait…am i missing something here? are people getting upset because white people are throwing colored powder at each other? so what? so what if they find another culture’s tradition inspiring? isn’t that the sort of positive sharing that should be encouraged? spreading customs instead of criticizing them?
my college campus in pittsburgh hosts this same sort of holi-inspired event every year, and people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures are invited to participate. it’s about community and celebration, and i don’t understand what’s offensive about that.
I’ve got shit to do, so I don’t have time to really get into this.
- Holi (Hindi: होली), is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. It is primarily observed in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal,  and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. It is also known as Festival of Colours, or as Doḷajāta in Orissa and Dol Jatra or Basantotsav (“spring festival”) in West Bengal. The most celebrated Holi is in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi. Large parts of South India, however, do not celebrate Holi with the same fervour.
- The main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi), after which holika dahan prayers are said and praise is offered. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in South India.
- The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.
- In other words: It’s the oppression, stupid.
- A Japanese teen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of a big American company is not the same as Madonna sporting a bindi as part of her latest reinvention. The difference is history and power. Colonization has made Western Anglo culture supreme–powerful and coveted. It is understood in its diversity and nuance as other cultures can only hope to be. Ignorance of culture that is a burden to Asians, African and indigenous peoples, is unknown to most European descendants or at least lacks the same negative impact.
- It matters who is doing the appropriating. If a dominant culture fancies some random element (a mode of dress, a manner of speaking, a style of music) of my culture interesting or exotic, but otherwise disdains my being and seeks to marginalize me, it is surely an insult.
- Cultural Appropriation: The unhealthy aspect of multiculti, where a more powerful culture raids a less powerful neighboring culture … and appropriates aspects of that culture without proper acknowledgment of the “home culture” or understanding the cultural context from which these aspects spring. Examples: yoga, Buddhism, hip hop and ebonics-derived slang, graffiti art, etc.
My Culture is Not a Trend. (Regarding appropriation of Native American culture, but still relevant to the discussion. There are many people who think they’re just “honouring” someone else’s culture too, when they’re not, they’re just being offensive and oppressive).
yes to the smackdown/good information on cultural appropriation, no to the woefully oversimplified & ignorant “people are mad that white ppl are throwing colored powder at each-other”? comment.
NO ASSHOLE, WE’RE MAD THAT YOU’RE NOT DOING IT IN THE CRATER OF AN ACTIVE VOLCANO
get it right.