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Cultural / traditional clothing: questions


MercyA
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Spin off of Scarlett's thread. I am having a hard time understanding 1. when it is okay to depict a person in a traditional costume from their country and 2. when it is okay to use traditional clothing as inspiration for modern day clothing. Examples:

1. A "Jesus loves the children" bulletin board with a German boy wearing a suspenders and hat with a feather, an Indian girl wearing a sari, etc. Probably the best and easiest choice would be to instead use pictures of kids in their every day clothing. But is depicting them in traditional clothing from their country offensive? Sometimes? Why?

2. Costumes: I understand why changing one's skin color with makeup to resemble another race is offensive. I also understand why Native American garb can be problematic. But what about a little girl wearing a kimono, for example? Is that a no go? Why? 

3. Americans wearing clothes inspired by other cultures. When it is cultural appropriation and when is it not? 

I am not trying to be obtuse; I really want to understand these issues.

Thanks! 

ETA: If you want to say, just Google it, Mercy, that is fine. 😉 But some of you have a talent for explaining these things in simple and memorable ways. 

Edited by MercyA
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It’s a pretty hot topic that I’ve found interesting to explore. But I’ve got to ask, are there many little boys running around Germany today in suspenders and feathered hats?

At it’s core, appropriation is generally about profits. Beyond that, I’ve seen all sorts of opinions. 

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I think what will end up happen g it it will speed up distruction if any traditional culture. 

Will they also try stopping people learning traditional hanguages as they are not from that culture?  I mean like a school teaching an  indiginous language to non indigenous people. It would be the exact oppisete of what use to happen by not letting indigenous people speek their own language, but gave the same result,... Destruction of any culture different from the conquerors 

 

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1) does not depict the “Jesus loves the little children of the world” well. Also traditional clothing doesn’t make sense here. Everyday clothing would be better.

2&3) I have no issues with people of all ages wearing a kimono or a Chinese cheongsam as long as it’s not an elaborate one. I don’t think anyone wearing a daily wear kimono is culturally appropriating. 
However I would find it weird (not offensive) for someone to be in traditional wedding attire or traditional imperial court attire that is not related to themselves or their spouses.

The only time I am doll up in traditional attire is for weddings, as bride and as guest, because I was born an aunt and aunts rank and up are supposed to dress more formally. 
 

Also the event matters. Dressing in kimono as a presenter for an Ikebana festival or cherry blossom festival is just dressing for the occasion. My kids attend Saturday German school. If they dress in traditional German attire for a German event because their classmates are similarly dressed, no one would think it weird. 
 

The Chinese mandarin collar style has been used by many designers. It doesn’t bother me. They can design pretty well sewn cheongsam and I would consider buying.

I do agree somewhat with this interpretation 

https://blogs.brown.edu/amst-1905l-s01-spring-2017/cheongsam-then-and-now/“What I interpret this as is that appropriation doesn’t apply when it’s someone learning the culture and taking inspiration from that, but when it’s someone taking a cultural phenomenon and using it to give life to and perpetuate stereotypes tied to that culture for unethical reasons.”

Edited by Arcadia
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Huh. My dd's dress up rack contains an Indian sari, Spanish flaminco dress, and an Elizabethan dress. Hubby actually bought the sari while on a business trip to India. I never thought about it possibly being culturally insensitive, I was just trying to avoid the Disney princess thing!

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I agree that it's a difficult topic.  When my husband and I lived in Turkey for awhile (a long time ago!), many people wore Turkish pants and they were sold everywhere.  I bought some at the market because they seemed to make sense:  airy yet modest.  Also, it's just what was widely available!

If I were to draw a scene of people there at that time, it definitely would have included people wearing Turkish pants.  I don't recall what the children wore.

Maybe it depends on whether it's really normal clothing worn from day to day, or traditional clothing that perhaps represents the country but more for special occasions?  

 

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

It’s a pretty hot topic that I’ve found interesting to explore. But I’ve got to ask, are there many little boys running around Germany today in suspenders and feathered hats?

At it’s core, appropriation is generally about profits. Beyond that, I’ve seen all sorts of opinions. 

In Austria, the children that DD has au paired for--the boys have worn lederhosen and traditional caps, the girls have worn dirndls (the parents would also).  In one area where she worked,  there are some specific clog shoes and the producer of the shoes will not even sell the certain styles to you if you are not a local.  

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7 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

In Austria, the children that DD has au paired for--the boys have worn lederhosen and traditional caps, the girls have worn dirndls (the parents would also).  In one area where she worked,  there are some specific clog shoes and the producer of the shoes will not even sell the certain styles to you if you are not a local.  

I never would have guessed that! Thanks for sharing.

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4 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I have a beautiful sari that was given to me by a sweet Indian friend who lives in Tamil Nadu. Can I ever wear it? When is it appropriate? I am clearly not from India. 

Why not if you want to. I would be more worried about damaging it because I have BTDT to lots of delicate clothing. 
 

Here it isn’t uncommon to see non-Indians in saris or Punjabi suits. Some are married to Indians, some just like the attire. 

The red dot on the forehead would feel like cultural appropriation to me but I have Indian ex-classmates who won’t mind.
 

https://www.hinduamerican.org/blog/the-purpose-of-the-bindi/
“This evokes the question of cultural appropriation, as many Hollywood celebrities (Vanessa Hudgens, Gwen Stefani, Selena Gomez) have began wearing the bindi as a fashion statement. While some individuals with traditional bindi-wearing cultures criticize this act, there are others who view it simply as an attempt to embrace Indian culture. 

My belief is this: if you turn up to Coachella with a jeweled bindi on your forehead along with a profound knowledge about the religious and cultural meaning behind the ornament, then by all means, go flaunt that bindi! But if you do not know the symbolism behind the dot or don’t care to learn about it, then there’s no reason for you to wear it. As proven, the bindi is more than just a red dot.“

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1. I agree with others that everyday clothing depicts the message so much better. In terms of whether it's offensive, I think in the context of showing a wide variety of peoples in different clothes, it could be okay - a crowd of Indians that include people in more traditional clothes like saris and modern clothes, for example. But when you're constantly associating a group with one traditional look, that's when it gets to be a bigger and bigger issue.

2. I think context matters. In some situations, Westerners are invited by people of the culture to don traditional clothes for various events. I mean, if you're at a wedding and you're the minority and you're invited by the majority culture to put on cultural clothes, then that might be one example. But it shouldn't be a decision by a white person to just wear the clothes as a costume for fun. I used to feel a little differently about this... I mean, I think play and dress up are part of how kids learn and that in and of itself it would be fine. But the associations and uses of this have been too harmful. There's nothing inherently wrong with... say... a cartoon character in white gloves. But when you examine the history, it can become like, oh, this has harmful roots. It's better just to move away from that.

3. This is where I don't feel like I have the answer at all. "Inspired by" covers a heck of a lot. There are definitely ways in which it can be tone deaf at the absolute minimum - especially when the designer, wearer, and seller are all disconnected from the communities that inspired the design. But there are ways that I think it's clearly fine - like POC designers who are inspired by their own cultures and actively trying to sell to a diverse marketplace. In the middle... yeah. This is an area where I try to listen but I don't feel like there's a lot of clear lines or agreement about the boundaries. 

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38 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I’m glad you asked, Mercy. I have a beautiful sari that was given to me by a sweet Indian friend who lives in Tamil Nadu. Can I ever wear it? When is it appropriate? I am clearly not from India. 

But your friend who is from India gave it to you, presumably for you to wear. Surely she would not have done that if she were going to be offended if you actually, you know, wore it.

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It depends on the context, and different groups of people have different ideas about what contexts it's okay for Other Folks to wear their traditional garb. You, unfortunately, need to run this question by people of each various group.

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54 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I’m glad you asked, Mercy. I have a beautiful sari that was given to me by a sweet Indian friend who lives in Tamil Nadu. Can I ever wear it? When is it appropriate? I am clearly not from India. 

I don't have a full answer, but I suggest learning all the intricacies of how she would wear it (I gather there are some regional differences), have someone take a nice picture of you wearing it with your best attempt at following those directions, and sending the pic to her. I bet she'd be thrilled. ETA: thrilled that you took the time do wear it correctly, ask her about it, etc. since she sent it you. 

 

Edited by kbutton
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My avatar is of me in a kimono when I was 3 years old.  But it was for New Years - a culturally appropriate event to wear a kimono.  I also wore it with the appropriate undergarments and accessories.  And I was invited specifically to my neighbor's house to celebrate.  They too wore kimonos.  It would have been weird to wear them every day.  So for me, wearing traditional dress does depend a bit on location and occasion. 

As for Jesus loving all the children of the world, it would be easy to put up a map or a picture of earth with everyday pictures of kids from various places.  I don't know that it would be "wrong" per se to show people in traditional clothing but I think that it's lazy a bit and can contribute to stereotypes especially for children who may never think of kids from these other places as dressing the same as them. 

 

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Cultural appropriation is a tricky subject to navigate.  Partly because the ground is shifting under our feet - this is a concept that is still evolving.

My 0.02:

Using a sacred object for profit or fashion?  Appropriation, no question.

Invited to participate by the cultural group (ie wearing cultural clothing to a wedding because you've been invited to do so)?  Not appropriation.

Wearing cultural clothing to dress up as a generic *insert culture* person?  Offensive

Wearing very same clothing to dress up as a particular historical figure?  Might be OK, so long as not a caricature, but still a risky thing to do.  Depends on the history (was this person oppressed by someone from your own cultural/racial group? - then probably not OK).

Everything else is a judgement call.

Some things do get assimilated, evolve into their own thing, and become mainstream.  Usually things that are utilitarian.  Moccasin-style slippers, for example. 

Re bulletin board:  If the reason for depicting children in their cultural clothes is to emphasize their foreign-ness/otherness, then problematic.  If the reason is to depict children the way they actually look (clothes that they would actually wear in the context that's depicted), then you're good, I think.

 

 

 

 

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I am a bit confused by the use of the terms of culture, country, and race when used to describe clothing.  One country can have mulitple cultures and races.  Some cultures (and dress within that culture) has nothing to do with racial categories.  

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Cultural appropriation - making a profit through presenting the traditions of another culture as one's own. For example, creating and selling 'Indigenous art' as a non-Indigenous artist without explicit permission from a particular Indigenous group. To me, it's more about how someone markets a product. 

Cultural exchange - learning about, taking part in aspects of other cultures. Cooking Japanese style food, wearing the sari your Indian friend bought you...

 

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I was thinking maybe it would make sense if we think of it in terms of our own cultures.  For example, I wouldn’t find it offensive as an Australian if someone wanted to wear an Akubra or ugg boots and pretend to be an Australian but if I was part of a church with traditional ceremonial dress I’d probably find it offensive if someone dresses up like that for a costume.  We don’t think it’s offensive if our kids dress up as police officers or firefighters or soldiers but if they started adding specific stripes, insignias or medals that are given as an honorary thing we would find that offensive.  

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When we lived in China, the children wore traditional Chinese clothing when all the other children were doing so, for traditional celebrations.  It would have felt strange for them to do so on other days.  We adults did not wear traditional clothing, but would have done so if asked.  Similarly, after we moved to Scotland, the children had kilts that they wore for ceremonial occasions, for example in Scouts.  We are not Scottish, but this was encouraged by the Scots running the programme.

On the other hand, I have a Chinese-style jacket, bought in Hong Kong, which I wear as evening wear over a plain top and trousers.  I'd be happy to hear whether that seems appropriate.  It's similar to this: https://www.shanghaitang.com/en-us/women/coats-jackets/velvet-tang-jacket-with-chinoiserie-silk-lining-black-V2WRJ11342AN

Edited by Laura Corin
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As someone with ties to many countries, I have felt honored to wear clothing with roots in those countries. My experience has been that people often want to share their culture with others who appreciate it. My first yukata was given to me by a friend in Japan. In Austria, an older woman gave me her first dirndl because it no longer fit her. 

I think clothing worn with love and respect for the culture that produced it is usually appropriate.

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Many people around the world these days have adopted clothing based on European/American styles for everyday wear. Traditional clothing most often makes an appearance for special occasions.

 

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I would just say that my friends from other cultures have always been happy to see others enjoy their customs, whether clothing, foods, dances, language, medicine, pretty much anything they themselves view as a positive of their culture.

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13 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

As for Jesus loving all the children of the world, it would be easy to put up a map or a picture of earth with everyday pictures of kids from various places.  I don't know that it would be "wrong" per se to show people in traditional clothing but I think that it's lazy a bit and can contribute to stereotypes especially for children who may never think of kids from these other places as dressing the same as them. 

Excellent point.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I was thinking maybe it would make sense if we think of it in terms of our own cultures.  For example, I wouldn’t find it offensive as an Australian if someone wanted to wear an Akubra or ugg boots and pretend to be an Australian but if I was part of a church with traditional ceremonial dress I’d probably find it offensive if someone dresses up like that for a costume.  We don’t think it’s offensive if our kids dress up as police officers or firefighters or soldiers but if they started adding specific stripes, insignias or medals that are given as an honorary thing we would find that offensive.  

Yes, when I was young I saw some trick or treaters dressed up like Amish people. I found that horribly disrespectful even then. I would not have had the same reaction to a someone wearing a similarly styled pioneer type dress and sunbonnet. 

ETA: Obviously not exactly the same as ceremonial clothing, since Amish people wear those clothes every day--but they do it for religious reasons.

Edited by MercyA
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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

This really only works if you (general you) are the sort of person who finds things like that offensive.  For me, genuinely, the only kids Halloween costumes I personally find offensive are the gross and/or sexually explicit ones.   I wouldn't find it offensive for a kid to include, for example, a purple heart medal (signifies being wounded or killed while serving.)  I can see how such a thing might offend someone else, particularly a veteran who has earned a purple heart.  But I wouldn't find that offensive in a Halloween costume.

 

NOW.....an adult wearing a military uniform, and especially including something like a purple heart, in an attempt to pretend he or she was a soldier who was wounded, for personal gain (such as to get some sort of special treatment or discount.) that's offensive.  In the US there's a term called "stolen valor" that would apply.   The key I think is pretending to have earned something the person really didn't....that's where the offense comes in.  For kids going trick or treating, I don't think there's any such fraud involved.  

I always thought kids dressing up and pretending to be someone else other than they were was another way of "putting themselves in another's shoes"

 

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4 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Completely agree with it.

Most people who make the effort to do so actually put in a lot of effort. I always say you can never hate a culture whose food you like. well mostly. 

K-dramas or Korean dramas are addicting. I fell down that rabbit hole a few years ago. So many people from around the world did and the net result of that is many of them learn the language, some volunteer to caption and translate K-drama in their language for those who do not know Korean. I have seen everything from Arabic to Estonian to Czech to Hindi in addition to English, French, Spanish. It is amazing to see. K-drama and K-pop are one of the biggest exports of Korea and contributes to their GDP. 

I agree.  Can't wait to see what happens at the Grammys!

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15 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Why not if you want to. I would be more worried about damaging it because I have BTDT to lots of delicate clothing. 
 

Here it isn’t uncommon to see non-Indians in saris or Punjabi suits. Some are married to Indians, some just like the attire. 

The red dot on the forehead would feel like cultural appropriation to me but I have Indian ex-classmates who won’t mind.
 

https://www.hinduamerican.org/blog/the-purpose-of-the-bindi/
“This evokes the question of cultural appropriation, as many Hollywood celebrities (Vanessa Hudgens, Gwen Stefani, Selena Gomez) have began wearing the bindi as a fashion statement. While some individuals with traditional bindi-wearing cultures criticize this act, there are others who view it simply as an attempt to embrace Indian culture. 

My belief is this: if you turn up to Coachella with a jeweled bindi on your forehead along with a profound knowledge about the religious and cultural meaning behind the ornament, then by all means, go flaunt that bindi! But if you do not know the symbolism behind the dot or don’t care to learn about it, then there’s no reason for you to wear it. As proven, the bindi is more than just a red dot.“

My Indian friends have put Bindis on me on various occasions.  In the temple I feel like it's disrespectful to remove a bindi should someone put it on me.

I don't even like make-up, so I am not really into bindi wearing, but I will wear one to please those who like to see me wear one.  I am not worried about offending since it is traditional Indians who suggest it in the first place.

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6 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

ARMY member I take it ?? 😁

I am way too old to call myself an ARMY since the Y stands for youth.  I can call myself an ARMY mom.  But I am a fan/stan in my own right.  My bias is V.

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7 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

There is absolutely no reason on this earth why you cannot wear one. In fact I would be impressed if you can drape it well and carry it off. That part eludes me, I am not a graceful person and there are things even a sari which is supposed to make a person one, does not work with me. 

When I grew up sari was a common every day dress, now it is becoming niche that if people wear a sari to office, people ask if there is a festival. Formal office wear is a salwar or pants. 

Please wear it.

I look at saris and kimonos and think "How cool and comfy is THAT!" and wish that I could wear that in the summer time rather than typical summer wear.

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8 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

I am Still ARMY !

If my daughter has her say, my future son-in-law is Jungkook, she calls him oppa. I am part horrified and part amused. 😄

My girls' biases are Jin and RM.  Though the RM one has mostly lost interest in BTS in favor of Stray Kids and various others.  For the longest time she was gonna marry Felix, but she was afraid she might grow too tall.  (I actually think her loss of love for BTS, despite being a rabid fan earlier, was because I started liking them.  Mom likes => teen must dislike.)

PS I think Jungkook would be a terrific son-in-law!

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15 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I look at saris and kimonos and think "How cool and comfy is THAT!" and wish that I could wear that in the summer time rather than typical summer wear.

I think depends on what you think a kimono is. A true kimono is quite binding. The mincing steps taken by people wearing them are not an affectation. Your legs don’t have freedom of movement. Summer kimonos called yukata can be quite cool but still restrictive. Otherwise you would be flashing people by having the fabric come apart in front!  
 

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13 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I think depends on what you think a kimono is. A true kimono is quite binding. The mincing steps taken by people wearing them are not an affectation. Your legs don’t have freedom of movement. Summer kimonos called yukata can be quite cool but still restrictive. Otherwise you would be flashing people by having the fabric come apart in front!  
 

ahh...that's disappointing. 

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35 minutes ago, SKL said:

My Indian friends have put Bindis on me on various occasions.  In the temple I feel like it's disrespectful to remove a bindi should someone put it on me.

It’s the motive.
https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/3123091/how-bindi-dot-forehead-indian-women-became-fashion

“No culture is a costume, and no cultural marker should be used without reflection,” Manivannan says. “When contemplating any accessory that has distinct cultural connotations, it’s important that the wearer ask themselves: ‘What does this express for me beyond being cute or eye-catching, and am I diminishing someone else in any way by wearing it?’””

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50 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

ahh...that's disappointing. 

I think that's why a loose silk robe called a "kimono" (but not really authentic) was popular once upon a time.  Now I have seen people (all native born Americans whether Asian or otherwise) who protest the inauthentic co-opting of the name or even the style (wasn't there controversy once that had something to do with one of the Kardashian clothing lines?). But honestly I have never seen or heard native Japanese people be bothered by it.  In fact I've seen many riffs on kimono style or using kimono fabrics in Japan - like using kimono silk for Western style purses.  And as far as I know (which of course is probably limited since it's not like everyone in the world runs things past me!) they don't have a problem with Western designers using Japanese fabrics and loosely basing things off of Japanese styles. 

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I am German and I cringe when I see dirndl and lederhosen used as symbol for German attire. They are not. They are worn in Bavaria (and Austria),  and the inhabitants of that state consider themselves Bavarians first and Germans a distant second. 

It's stereotyping the same way you would use Cowboy boots and hats as "American " attire.

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

I am German and I cringe when I see dirndl and lederhosen used as symbol for German attire. They are not. They are worn in Bavaria (and Austria),  and the inhabitants of that state consider themselves Bavarians first and Germans a distant second. 

It's stereotyping the same way you would use Cowboy boots and hats as "American " attire.

For that matter, what would be American attire?

I am perfectly happy with people considering cowboy stuff Texan attire even though nowhere close to every Texan wears it. And there are also cowboys in other states than Texas (with similar attire)

 

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13 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

For that matter, what would be American attire?

I am perfectly happy with people considering cowboy stuff Texan attire even though nowhere close to every Texan wears it. And there are also cowboys in other states than Texas (with similar attire)

 

The name Texas is derived from the Caddo language and much of the Texas ranching style/culutre is derived from Mexican ranching systems.  Also, much of it dates to a time before Texas was part of the US; so Texan cowboty attire is not really "American" attire but has been adapted from other cultures.  

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9 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

The name Texas is derived from the Caddo language and much of the Texas ranching style/culutre is derived from Mexican ranching systems.  Also, much of it dates to a time before Texas was part of the US; so Texan cowboty attire is not really "American" attire but has been adapted from other cultures.  

Since Texas used to be part of Mexico (And Arizona, parts of New Mexico, California, etc) It makes perfect sense that there are connections back to Mexican ranching. However, cowboy attire is strongly identified with Texas now. It continued past the point they were no longer part of Mexico and there are still ranches in Texas now. (And the major universities work on cow varieties, etc)

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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4 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

Since Texas used to be part of Mexico (And Arizona, parts of New Mexico, California, etc) It makes perfect sense that there are connections back to Mexican ranching. However, cowboy attire is strongly identified with Texas now. It continued past the point they were no longer part of Mexico and there are still ranches in Texas now. (And the major universities work on cow varieties, etc)

 

 

Yes, it is strongly identified with Texas now, but I think it points to the borrowing from and mingling of cultures (including clothing) that has occurred for centuries.  

If you look at cajun culture in south Louisiana, it is actually a blend from several different diverse cultures.  

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4 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

 K-dramas or Korean dramas are addicting. I fell down that rabbit hole a few years ago. 

They are seriously addicting. I don't watch much TV but have watched quite a few K-dramas.

One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother wrapping me in a sari she'd brought back from India, where she'd lived for years and where my dad was born. We are white. It's sad to me to think that could be considered cultural appropriation.

When I was in Bavaria I purchased a dirndl from a very kind woman who fitted me and everything; she was one of the few people I met there who didn't speak any English (I spoke enough German to get by). I'm not a local, but my heritage is German and Austrian.

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23 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Yes, it is strongly identified with Texas now, but I think it points to the borrowing from and mingling of cultures (including clothing) that has occurred for centuries.  

If you look at cajun culture in south Louisiana, it is actually a blend from several different diverse cultures.  

There's a museum exhibit at the Witte Museum down in San Antonio I remember that has artifacts like this.

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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

I am German and I cringe when I see dirndl and lederhosen used as symbol for German attire. They are not. They are worn in Bavaria (and Austria),  and the inhabitants of that state consider themselves Bavarians first and Germans a distant second. 

It's stereotyping the same way you would use Cowboy boots and hats as "American " attire.

I also cringe when Spaniards are stereotyped as bull fighters and gipsy dancers. I abhor bull fights, and they are not very common in my region of Spain. Although I don't have anything against gipsy people, the majority of Spaniards are not of gypsy decent and we don't dance Flamenco.  My traditional regional dance is "La Sardana." Each region of Spain has their own traditions (food and language), with different traditional clothing (and I have only seen them on people who participate in traditional dances during what we call "Fiestas Mayores").

Stereotyping in my opinion comes with a general ignorance about the culture being stereotyped. 

It doesn't bother me if someone wants to dress up in "traditional Spanish" attire if that  someone does it because  they like our culture. Using the attire to make fun of a group of people is a different story. 

Edited by StillStanding
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10 hours ago, regentrude said:

I am German and I cringe when I see dirndl and lederhosen used as symbol for German attire. They are not. They are worn in Bavaria (and Austria),  and the inhabitants of that state consider themselves Bavarians first and Germans a distant second. 

It's stereotyping the same way you would use Cowboy boots and hats as "American " attire.

I don't think many Americans would cringe at that. When you're picking something to represent a country in a casual way, of course you're going to be both stereotyping and missing multiple possible representations (unless it's a very small, homogenous country). I think cowboy attire is actually a great symbol to represent Americans - cowboy mythology is implanted in most American brains at birth, even the citified ones, lol. And it bangs on all cylinders as far as how Americans generally like to think of themselves as a people: strong, brave, self-sufficient, ready to take their chances and head out West 😄

 Does Germany as a whole have its version of dirndl and lederhosen, something that represents it well? For America as a whole, I think it's cowboy attire or its modern cousin - jeans and a tee shirt. Which is less than exciting, so cowboy attire it is. 

Edited by katilac
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