Crucially, we also need to distinguish both of those from the hybrid and new. It should be ok to have ketchup with your fried Chinese dumplings, or put ‘Western’ ingredients in sushi or mix clothes from different traditions on your person or use Chinese watercolour techniques in non-traditional ways, or practise yoga purely for fitness and relaxation — and talk about all of that openly — whatever your background.
Cultural Appropriation: Whose culture is it anyway, and what about hybridity?
Sonny Hallett
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Interesting point, thank you! I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Do you think there’s a difference between creatively mixing cultures to create a unique recipe for your own enjoyment vs. teaching or selling this unique recipe to others? I think this is where I’m having trouble drawing the line.

For example, I have no issue with my friends learning yoga and mixing it with zumba and pilates. But, to teach this to others as a yoga instructor feels different. First, this may become the public’s idea of yoga. Second, Indian yoga instructors may run out of business, unable to compete with it’s newer forms. Scariest of all, original Indian forms of yoga may be erased. This is really tough for me to think about because creativity and experimentation are so important. At the same time, it hurts to see a culture get erased and it’s indigenous people lose voice.

I’ve been struggling with this question for some time. What are your thoughts?

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