Cultural Appropriation Vs Appreciation


Kesha Palmer, Opinion Editor

Halloween is a favorite “holiday” for many however, finding a costume can be a big dilemma. Some people plan their costumes months ahead while some just find whatever they can in their closet and hope people understand their ensemble. If they try to or not many costumes can come off offensive and cause major uproar all over the media. While these topics are addressed the main solution is to simply avoid inappropriate attire. 

This past Halloween The Leap, East High’s broadcasting system, addressed the topic of cultural appropriation and what it is however, only for a brief moment. Cultural appropriation is taking elements from a culture that isn’t yours. Many people try to say ”it’s just a Halloween costume” and these people are typically the people found wearing offensive costumes. For many people their culture and religion is everything and just because Halloween is one night doesn’t make it right. If a culture is just a costume then people wear these costumes everyday the only difference is they wear theirs with pride. Culture isn’t just a lifestyle,for many it’s life. A majority of people take pride in their heritage and for you to just come along and steal a culture’s identity without even knowing anything about it is absurd. You may know the stereotypes but, do you really think that’s going to help you in this situation? Stereotypes are a form of judgment and many stereotypes come from negative titles that most don’t find amusing. 


However, people often misinterpret cultural appreciation as a form of cultural misappropriation. Cultural appreciation is respecting and honoring another culture and it’s practices to either gain or understand such culture. A youtuber, Nas Daily, travels the world and among his side is his girlfriend Alyne. In 2018 he went to India and as he fell in love with their culture he took a particular liking to their weddings and decided to throw a fake indian wedding himself. They wore proper attire, got henna, a boat, a horse, and even used their music. However this backfired due to people saying things like “You stole their culture,” and “you are so disrespectful.” He then states that he is angry and goes on to say that his wedding was the exact opposite of cultural appropriation. Many people like to get defensive over their culture and what’s theirs is theirs. However, this wedding was thoroughly thought through and was a way to show the love and respect that this youtuber and his girlfriend has for India. In the beginning he states that he was a tourist in India and he fell in love with the country and the culture the longer he stayed. 


 He received all this backlash for what? Not understanding the culture that he was praising? He stayed and studied the culture before he tried to participate in the festivities. But finding a poncho and sombrero hat and claiming that you’re in the right all because you’re wearing it for a few hours makes it right? The amount of effort that is put into both these scenarios don’t have the same outcome. Next time you don’t know what to be for Halloween go buy some ears from the dollar store or target and play it safe. Appreciate your own culture before you misinterpret someone else’s.