Having done some more reading about cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation after last week’s Cultural Appreciation vs. Cultural Appropriation, I see a wonderful minefield.
Some people have a very good point about cultural misappropriation, but others have a very good point about how participating in other culture’s activities can be educational and enlightening and lots of fun.
My favourite part of the minefield is at Wikipedia’s Cultural Appropriation article, this paragraph: ‘While nearly all Native Americans and their tribes object to depictions as sports mascots, only one tribe explicitly approves of such representations. The Florida State Seminoles, which uses the iconography of the Seminole tribe and whose mascots are Osceola and Renegade, a depiction of the Seminole chief Osceola and his Appaloosa horse. After the NCAA attempted to ban the use of Native American names and iconography in college sports in 2005, the Seminole Tribe of Florida passed a resolution offering explicit support for FSU’s use of Seminole culture and Osceola as a mascot; the university was granted a waiver, citing the close relationship with and consultation between the team and the tribe. In 2013, the tribe’s chairman objected to outsiders meddling in tribal approval, stating that the FSU mascot and use of Seminole iconography “represents the courage of the people who were here and are still here, known as the Unconquered Seminoles.” Conversely, in 2013, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma expressed disapproval of “the use of all American Indian sports-team mascots in the public school system, by college and university level and by professional sports teams”, and not all members of the tribe’s Florida branch are supportive of its stance.’
You just can not win if you always want everyone to approve of what you do, can you?
I have decided that I am not going to worry about it. If I see an activity that interests me, I may get involved regardless of the culture. I do try to be sensitive to others, but I might miss. Apologies are easy if one did not intend to offend in the first place. I will correct and carry on and understand somewhat better.