Cultural Appropriation

The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

When a person or group of people take an element from a culture or race other than their own and use it outside of its original context, or, in a way that ignores its cultural significance – that’s cultural appropriation. Elements that are often culturally appropriated include traditional dress and decoration, music, celebrations, dance, art and religion. A few examples of cultural appropriation are white people wearing black face, people of non-native American background wearing a traditional native American headdress, and people of non-Indian background wearing bindis. The best way to work out if something is cultural appropriation is to look for the voices of those from that culture and be guided by them.

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