Cinco de Mayo was last Friday, and this brought a whole onslaught of differing opinions. “Cultural appropriation,” screamed the left. “How dare you take part in a Mexican holiday!” Meanwhile, people all over the country got drunk on tequila and margaritas, grabbed sombreros, and tried speaking to the wait staff in broken Spanish.
These are both problems, and if you don’t see that, you’re probably increasing the problem, not helping solve it.
To start, we need to stop talking about cultural appropriation. While there are some things that are genuinely unique and only practiced or held by certain cultures, the bulk of everything that makes up a culture is comprised of pieces taken from different cultures, or shared by many. Very little is completely unique.
Are you going to yell at an Englishman for drinking tea when the Chinese were the first to really love tea? Are you going to yell at South Americans who speak Portuguese when the language comes from Portugal? The one I hear frequently is that white people shouldn’t be allowed to wear dreadlocks. Why is this a problem when white people (Vikings, Celts, etc.) were some of the first to rock dreads?
Culture is diverse and comprised of many shared components; that’s beautiful, and it shouldn’t be frowned upon to enjoy and celebrate these things.
On the other hand, if you’re disrespectful toward other cultures, you need to stop. Let’s again use Cinco de Mayo as an example. If you celebrated, did you know what the holiday means to the Mexican people? Did you know how they typically celebrate? Or, did you just use a large piece of their culture as an excuse to go get drunk and act like an idiot?
Culture is an amazing thing, and we should both enjoy and celebrate it. I was raised constantly going to cultural festivals, trying new foods, and learning about different people groups (shout out to the homeschool life). Doing this as I grew up gave me a huge respect for the different cultures in question, and also allowed me to enjoy things like food and traditions with a deeper appreciation.
We shouldn’t be afraid to enjoy and celebrate different cultures, but we should be respectful while doing so. I’m Dutch-Swedish; although it may be a silly example, I don’t like people only knowing the cultures that make up my background for their tulips, windmills, and saunas. In the same way, when we take part in a celebration or enjoy a part of a different culture, we need to remember that these cultures are made up of people; they have feelings, and they’re proud of their roots-we shouldn’t reduce any part of who they are.
In conclusion, don’t let the liberal left make you afraid to enjoy different cultures. Just be respectful of the people that comprise those cultures while doing so.