Why so serious!?
Being an active element in the social media world of tweets and facebook and all that has meant constantly bumping into constant debates about right, wrong, acceptable and not acceptable.
The recent one being the 'Oh lord, Hollywood celebs are wearing the bindis. Tsk tsk how dare they.. so offensive' debacle.
Maybe it's because of the assimilated background that I grew up in, the exposure I got from coming in contact with diverse people, but I fail to understand what the big debate is about..
The bindi, in its traditional form, as far as I know, is limited to the red dot kind, signifying marriage and thus being strictly a Hindu custom.
But when the decorative forms have been used by people of all walks of life, all religions even in India, what is the big deal in people of other countries doing so?
Isnt it a form of appreciation towards our rich culture and heritage?
Cultural appropriation they say?
This particular paragraph in a blog post on the issue got me saying Eh!?
"What makes the non-South Asian person’s use of the bindi problematic is the fact that a pop star like Selena Gomez wearing one is guaranteed to be better received than I would if I were to step out of the house rocking a dot on my forehead. On her, it’s a bold new look; on me, it’s a symbol of my failure to assimilate. On her, it’s unquestionably cool; on me, it’s yet another marker of my Otherness, another thing that makes me different from other American girls. If the use of the bindi by mainstream pop stars made it easier for South Asian women to wear it, I’d be all for its proliferation — but it doesn’t. They lend the bindi an aura of cool that a desi woman simply can’t compete with, often with the privilege of automatic acceptance in a society when many non-white women must fight for it.
I understand being a little flummoxed at the rage that the bindi issue inspires in our community. The anger always seems disproportionate to the crime. But will I celebrate the “mainstreaming” of a South Asian fashion item? Nope. Not when the mainstream doesn’t accept the people who created it."
We live in a globalised world, the 21st century where more and more people are learning to co-exist with each other with a feeling of oneness. No, I am not delusional enough to think that now people of all races can live together, all sorts of the evil -isms aside.. but to assume now that the Bindis worn by South Asian women are still frowned upon by all outside the subcontinent?
Things have changed. Just look outside, and you would see.
The Mainstream as the above article calls the people, have been more accepting of diversity than ever before, and to still compartmentalise traditions and cultures as 'ours only, not for them' is dangerous for the cohesion the world so needs.
As long as the intentions stay true, as long as the bindis and all that arent worn in a way to insult us and our culture, I say, let it be.
P.S I am aware of the racial issues that still exist, of the narrow-mindedness of some.. but the sharing and embracing of culture should cease to be an issue to occupy countless tweets over.
P.P.S the world's a better place when you sit back, chill, not get your panties in a twist, and take life so seriously. The world's not out to annihilate us, not just yet anyway.