Cultural Appropriation and Commodification

“I would feel shame. And for what? For being different. As Jaya points out, we are “perpetual immigrants” when we decide to don our Indian attire and bindis. We are treated as odd or different but when Selena Gomez wore bindis, it was cool! So this is the problem: when a Western public figure does the same thing as a typical Indo-American, but it is treated differently. One is given veneration and the latter – alienation.

So I speak for myself and I will not take it upon myself to speak for others, but as an Indian – please don’t disrespect where I’ve come from. My “elephant god” is not something cool to be tattooed on your calf, my bindi is not to be worn to your Billboard Awards and Indians are from India – Native Americans are not Indians.”

Truth Be Told

selena-gomez-dance-2  <—Check out this link

This post is a tribute to a Facebook rant I had a couple of weeks ago about Western celebrities donning bindis.

Cultural appropriation – def: the borrowing of another culture’s elements such as dress, practices, language or mannerisms.

It sounds like a good thing, right? It seems like a the right thing to do – putting yourself in another’s shoes. However – it becomes more of a Halloween parade with Native American headdresses, Japanese kimonos, and North Indian lehengas. (I thought American Halloween is about being scary? – Freddy Krueger and Scream masks. I don’t know why dressing in cultural clothing gets mixed in the jumble but that’s for a more dense topic which I’ll probably write more in depth about in October).

I just got back from a yoga class (hot vinyasa yoga- Try it! It’s amazing) and I had a flashback from a…

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Do you 🙂

Rad Amy

Earlier this week I was in the city looking for a place to eat and I saw a cute Vietnamese restaurant tucked away in a corner. I was so excited. If you’ve ever had an iced Vietnamese coffee with crème then you know what I’m talking about. I was alone but I wanted to treat myself to something nice. I entered the restaurant and was directed to a table near a window. I went to sit down only to find that I literally had to wedge my fat ass into the chair.

Oh, the bad feelings.

I quickly looked around to find a different chair that I could trade this one for but they were all the same. This was a restaurant designed (unintentionally) for skinny people. I was so upset! I felt like they should just put a sign on the door that says ‘No Fatties Allowed!’ Of course…

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Why I Want to Learn Spanish

The issue translates cross-culturally and I apply it directly to my relationship with the Hindi language.

Nuestra Vida, Nuestra Voz

Post By Valentina Forte-Hernandez

I don’t speak Spanish fluently. I have felt a lot of embarrassment in my life because of it, but that is the truth plain and simple. Because I am a white Latina who does not speak Spanish, I have been disregarded as a Latina countless times in my life. I am sick and tired of people acting like there are some sort of requirements you have to meet to be Latina. Being Latina is not about meeting some mythical standard, it’s not about having certain skills or traits. I am Latina because I was born that way, because of my childhood, because of the way I feel. Being Latina is something no one can take away from me. Yes, I do want to learn Spanish, but learning Spanish will not make me anymore of a Latina than I am already.

I am biracial, I am white…

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Cultural Appropriation and Yoga

Akhanda Yoga Blog

I went to a talk last night by Nisha Ahuja at Kula Yoga about cultural appropriation and yoga. It was a really helpful evening for making us more aware of the continuing effects of colonization, how this manifests in some of the ways we approach yoga in the West, and how to minimize this appropriation.

Firstly, I thought it was really helpful to name the forces of colonialism: denial, destruction, eradication, surface accommodation and tokenism. In yoga this may manifest as the denial of the rich heritage of yoga, or even the denial of its origins in South Asia. Destruction and eradication began during the colonial regimes that disallowed and suppressed the practice of the wisdom tradition and other linguistic and cultural aspects. If we teach yoga asana without mentioning or giving some access to students of the rich, plethora of yoga practices, giving some context to the heritage of…

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Parenting through obesity panic

“I am afraid that fat or thin my daughter will fail to grasp how much her vitality and pluck, her bold voice, the poignant beauty of her young skin, adds to the world. I am afraid that she will feel the need to make herself small — physically, or otherwise. Girls, after all, are not meant to take up too much space.”

Exotification – I’m Not Your Pretty Little Lotus Flower

Media Diversified

Rowena’s Story

I love Asian women!” “Asian women are so hot.” “Japan, Korea, China?” “Asian women know how to treat a man!”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar to you? If they do, congratulations. You’ve come across (or you are) a man — probably white — with so-called “Yellow Fever”.

As an Asian woman living in a country full of white men, I meet these guysa lot. You know, the ones who blurt out all of the above, who try to guess what “type” of Asian I am, whose favourite actresses are Gong Li, Lucy Liu and Zhang Ziyi, who insist on discussing Korean/Japanese/Chinese dramas with me despite me not having seen the series in question, who tell me about all the other Asian women they’ve dated, who complain about how ugly white women are and why Asian women are so much better, and who try to get…

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Gold Dipped Champagne Flutes

The champagne glasses are from Goodwill- 99 cents for 3 glasses. The third was chipped so you can see I used it for practice. This was my first successful craft using spray paint. Don’t ask about the other one-


This was my practice flute, which I used to experiment with the spray paint coating.


Once I understood how to spray lightly and evenly and allow for drying between coats, I was good to go!

This was maybe 3-5 coats in. I sprayed very lightly. And you can see I used a plastic bag to cover up the areas I did not want to spray. The painters tape was good for peeling and re-sticking. It took me a while to get the placement of the curves right.


This is probably closer to 10 coats in.

I let the paint sit for 2 days because I’m usually too antsy for the reveal. This is me peeling of the painters tape!

A piece of painters tape on the bottom keeps the lines clean.

The bottom looks neat without it being painted gold too.


Easy as pie!



NOTE: Be sure to cover all surfaces before you spray paint. Don’t forget the ground surface. I like newspaper and old cardboard boxes to stand behind the spray.





“I wanted to prove to others who are looking for answers that no one is more spiritual than anyone else. That spiritual leaders are just illusions. And we are the ones who decide who and what is real.”