So, in an off-blog conversation about music tastes something started to vex me. Well, not vex per se. But to prick at my thoughts a bit.
When is it okay to culturally appropriate?
For example, me. I love Russia, Russian culture, Russian movies, Russian music, the sound of the Russian language (if not the genitive plural noun case endings), etc. Is that weird? Am I appropriating a culture that is not mine? (And here's an excuse to make you all listen to this song again.)
I mean, who wouldn't like that? Although it's a ska song, which was a musical style itself appropriated from another culture, so my dilemma is furthered.
I've had this vexation before, but have always come to the conclusion that it's okay.
Another anecdote. I'm not sure how exactly I stumbled upon this, but I think I was half-assedly googling around about modest dressing with the mind of doing a post about it when I came across this website. The bonnets! The boots! The aprons! The capelets! I kind of coveted them. Really. I *almost* ordered something, but decided in the end it would be wrong to adopt someone's religious artifacts because they looked both cool and cozy.
But I have to ask, what makes religious apparel off-limits but not other aspects of a culture (as in, their pop music or food or language) okay to borrow? The other aspect being, of course, why am I, a black woman, so bothered about the thought of potentially "stealing" the culture of other white people when white culture in America has consistently and continuously "stolen" black culture?
As I said, vexing.
Hrm. Maybe I better examine my choices grumble grumble.