• Jonathan Shiek

Difference Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation

Do you find yourself scrolling through Twitter or Instagram and seeing people argue over cultural appropriation but sometimes feel like, maybe they just appreciate that culture? Well there’s a fine line between both, so let’s discuss about this!

Living in a multicultural country makes it a little tough to distinguish the two, sharing culture is usually a positive thing. You’re bound to get influenced by another culture’s food, music, style, etc when you live in a country with multiple race and cultures. By having the opportunity to learn more about another culture, you tend to share yours too, which leads to better understanding of and appreciation for perspectives and traditions that are unlike yours.

Unfortunately, appropriation happens when people of another culture adopt specific aspects of a different culture without consent. Cultural appropriation leads to a narrow look at other cultures and often exploitation of that culture. Context really matters when it comes to telling appreciation and appropriation apart, when people take elements of other cultures for their own benefit, they often adopt certain aspects and reject others that don’t interest them.

In general, you are probably appreciating a culture if you:

  1. Have permission to use cultural elements

  2. Use them only as intended

  3. Share those items in order to help others learn more about that culture

  4. Emphasize that you’re not an authority of the culture

  5. Avoid taking space from members of that culture who might not otherwise be heard

  6. Try understanding a culture as a whole and not just certain aspects

Appropriating someone else’s culture includes:

  1. Give a skewed or inaccurate perspective of that culture

  2. Reinforce stereotypes

  3. Conflict with the intended use of those elements

  4. Take credit or compensate from the original creators


#cultureappreciation #cultureappropriation

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