Do you ever think about space man that shit is so fucking gnarly it’s unbelievable
Stumbled onto my brother smoking in secret
I only wish I was doin the same
A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?
The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.
Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.
We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.
Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.
The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.
And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.
So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too.
There’s little need to be wary of a nighttime stroll though a park in Cambridge, England. During the day, particles in the surface of the path absorb UV light. In the evening, they release that energy again. The result is a beautiful effect that its creators call “Starpath.”
A Most Unusual Gun Battle in Kentucky, 1955
On the night of August 21st, 1955 a man named Billy Ray Taylor was visiting his friends, the Sutton family, on their family farm near Kelly, Kentucky. A large farming family, the Sutton household that night consisted of eleven members including widowed family matriarch Glennie Lankford (50); her children, Lonnie (12), Charlton (10), and Mary (7); two sons from her previous marriage, Elmer “Lucky” Sutton (25) and John Charley “J.C.” Sutton (21), and their respective wives, Vera (29) and Alene (27); Alene’s brother, O.P. Baker (30 or 35); and a Pennsylvania couple, Billy Ray Taylor (21) and June Taylor (18).
At around 7:00 pm Billy Ray went to fetch water from the well when a bright light streaked over the sky, landing in the distance near the treeline. An hour later several strange creatures approached, described as four feet tall and were said to have large pointed ears, clawlike hands (with talons at the fingers’ ends), and eyes that glowed yellow. Billy Ray and Elmer “Lucky” Sutton member fetched a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun. When the creatures approached to within 20 ft of the house, they opened fire.
When shot the strange creatures were knocked to the ground with a metallic thud, but not harmed. The men shot at the creatures in the trees and even on the house as they crawled on the roof. At one point one of the creatures was able to grab Taylor by the hair and lift him off of the ground. The men barricaded themselves within the cabin with their family and friends. However the creatures would peer into the windows, trying to find a way in. When they did so Taylor or Elmer Sutton would open fire, knocking the creature to the ground and causing it to scamper away into the forest.
After three hours a there was a lull in the fighting and the Sutton’s quickly piled into their cars and headed to the local police station. An hour later dozens of officers from the local and state police swarmed the area. They found a barricaded cabin riddled with bullet holes but no sign of the strange creatures. The Sutton’s were not the only ones to witness strange things that night, dozens of people, including police officers sighted strange lights, flying saucers, and strange sounds throughout the night. However, it is unknown whether the battle at the Sutton farm was an elaborate hoax or the truth.
If 1991 was the year punk broke, 1994 was the year it went for a little nap. While the originators of punk were losing interest, a legion of inferior second-wave grunge bands invaded the charts (hey there, Gavin Rossdale and Scott Weiland! Hiya, Collective Soul!). Just like virtually every counterculture movement, grunge was over as a creative force by the time it went mainstream.
"The consensus today seems to be that Green Day were fine until they started trying to be U2. They weren’t. They were never fine.”
but it was a great year for movies