L'ECKLECT® Culture: Holi One Colour Fest//Johannesburg




I was going to post a lot of photographs from Holi, but then I bumped into someone who thought, "Jesus. Mos this holi one thing is an orgy fest of cultural appropriation... What a bummer." I mean I can't say I don't completely agree. Unless when you adopt cultures from anywhere you do it because it is purely out of respect and it's where you'd like to be. To this comment I replied, 
"I guess it all depends on how you take it. I'm currently following the Buddhist path and I was on a vegetarian diet for 6 months. May 1 fell just outside that six months (goal), I was in Johannesburg anyway. I was actually celebrating होली... I do read some hindi scripts//cause Hinduism and Buddhism are not that far apart. So. Justified."

Although I felt pretty good about myself for having that sort of response it didn't sit well with me. I know better but all those 1000+ people who attended Holi One, which is a great festival ( and I bet it was organised with the best intensions at heart), probably don't even know what that's all about. So then thought to myself, I should be one to speak to the people about such issues. Because I really read a lot of this kind of stuff and I know it might just be the underlying cause of other people's culture shattering to piece.

What is culture appropriation (Social Science)?

"Cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is of an oppressed people's cultural elements by members of the dominant culture. Appropriation may eventually lead to the appropriating group being seen as the new face of said cultural practices. As oppressed peoples' cultures are mimicked by the dominant culture, observers may begin to falsely associate certain cultural practices with the mimicker, and not with the people who originated them. This is often seen in the use by cultural outsiders of a minority, oppressed culture's symbols or other cultural elements, such as music, dance, spiritual ceremonies, modes of dress, speech and social behavior, among other cultural expressions."

So you see why this is a problem. Although I feel the world has become one, just so long as you adopt other group's culture's not out of disrespect...

As for the Holi festivalists, this is what you ought to know next time you go. At least it can be something of a spiritual experience for you as well...

Holi

  1. Holi (pronunciation: /ˈhoʊliː/; Sanskrit: होली Holī) is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival that normally start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colors occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw colors on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating.


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