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you are not desi


Cultural appropriation pisses us off, and if we see you appropriating our culture we will make you aware of it. Because you need to know you're wrong.

You cannot dissect a culture and pick out the parts you find "stylish" or "on trend" for the sake of looking "cute."

jaspinder:

gohomeluhan:

As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.

The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.

The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.

As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.

My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.

I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.

These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.

Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.

The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.

You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls

i should buy these rn for my future daughter. Why the Brazilian one have to be a light-skinned ginger tho?

(via takingbackourculture)

debeauxreve-macherie

Hey guys- I've followed you guys for a while and love the blog and something just occurred to me. I'm bengali but my whole family is muslim and so I was given an arabic name and am learning arabic in a strictly religious context. I was thinking of buying a necklace with the arabic version of my name - do you know if this would count as appropriation? I would ask thisisnotarab but they aren't around :/ (please reply in private if possible!)

no! If you’re muslim, Arabic is def part of your culture.  Go for it.

gohomeluhan:

As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.

The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.

The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.

As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.

My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.

I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.

These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.

Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.

The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.

You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls

(via kimsjongin)

flatulentmooncat

Just fyi you may want to tag posts that use the word "queer" as an umbrella term for LGBTQ+ people because not all LGBTQ+ people are comfortable being referred to as it, since it's a reclaimed slur and has been used against some people, who may or may not be triggered by uses of it. A good tag to use for that is #q slur.

Okay, we’ll remember that. Thanks for letting us know!

twerk-it-gurl

I respect Hinduism and think many material aspects of it are very beautiful hence why I choose to occasionally wear a bindi. And I have always thought that way, not just because it's fashionable. If anything white people wearing bindis and such is more of a sign of respect and acceptance rather than mockery. So perhaps you shouldn't take it so harshly and stop being a little bitch about the whole situation.

spoopylokis:

viperousromanticism:

spoopylokis:

ok listen, it doesnt fucking matter how “”“spiritual”“” and “”respectful”“you think you are, youre not part of the culture. thats it. you cant wear a bindi, there is literally nothing you’re gaining from wearing a bindi anyway. and white people wearing a bindi does jack shit. you wearing the bindi doesn’t make the people of the culture feel respected, because when you wear it? you’re seen as a fashionable white girl. when brown people wear it? they’re called fobs, told to go back to their own country, ridiculed.

as a white girl youre privileged, you get to hide behind your white skin, you get to pick and choose parts of different cultures because you think theyre pretty and cool. well guess what, me and others like me? we dont get to do that. when we practice our OWN culture, we are looked down upon, while you do the same thing, and because of your white skin, you’re praised for it. you wanna wear a bindi? fine. but make sure you take the entire religion with you. take the burden of racism and brown skin with you. take the centuries of discrimination, blood, sweat, and tears with you. then, and only then, can you wear the bindi.

So as much as you think you’re “helping”, you’re not. so shut the fuck up and just accept the fact that your bitch ass should not be wearing a bindi. also, youre a piece of shit.

So, I can’t just appreciate culture? I agree that white people wearing other cultures as a fashion statement is grotesque, but does that mean all white people are bible-thumping, gun-toting, bomb-dropping, culture-snatching, skin-shaming monsters that want to turn everything into a dollar or a magazine article?

did u even fucking read what was written or???

Rani + Sonia l Las Caletas, Puerto Vallarta from Wedding Caletas on Vimeo.

The Wedding of Rani & Sonia at Las Caletas, Jalisco. Mexico
March 14th, 2014
By: Vallarta Adventures
Cinema by: Sandra Briones

masalachannel:

beautifulsouthasianbrides:

Lesbian Indian Wedding:Rani+Sonia

Finally I come across my first ever Indian lesbian wedding. I’m super happy to be coming across this wedding. This is Epic because I’ve been getting so many asks about a Lesbian Indian wedding. So happy they got married in Mexico the location is stunning.

Video by:Wedding Caletas

Beautiful!

(via southasianalliance)

mizulily:

Hi guys, I felt like I should really share this experience with you. Recently I decided to conduct something of a…social experiment.

The first photo is of me in casual wear. It’s pretty mismatched. I was wearing my pajama top over my tee and had black pants on. My hairs messed up and everything. I look unprofessional, and it’s intended.

I took a walk through an inner city neighbourhood of Brisbane. I asked the police for directions to the library. I bought a krispy kreme doughnut from the 7 11. I went inside the mall and was asked to try free samples several times. I bought the first volume from SnK from Angus and Robert’s. I wasn’t treated any differently, the reactions were warm and friendly. My outfit didn’t effect anything at all.

The second image is me in a salwaar. The hair took effort to get into curls. (Sorry, the mirror was foggy) I had a bit of make up on. I looked good. The outfit was ironed and it looked much better than the previous one. I went to the same shops an hour later. Asked the same guard where the library was. Bought another krispy kreme.

The reactions were totally different. There were no thank you’s. No one asked me to try a sample. The guard was annoyed. When I went into the bookstore the lady at the register followed me around the whole time. When I bought a copy of ‘The storyteller’ by Jodi Picoult, she asked me if I had enough money with me before she scanned it.

I am a fourteen year old girl who has lived overseas for three years. Never have I faced such blatant discrimination.

What is this supposed to mean? You’re good to go as long as you don’t embrace your traditional values? Is this why south Asian girls are embarrassed to wear their saris and salwaars in the open? Is this why we refuse to wear our bindi and play the harmonium? Is this why we think it’s better to be well spoken in English that Bangla, Urdu, or Hindi.

When white people embrace my traditional values, they’re open minded. When I do it, I’m suddenly a nuisance. I’m automatically expected to not be well spoken. I’m automatically a suspect for shop lifting.

Think about that.

(via kimsjongin)

cats-and-cardigans:

Fiction:
Babyji by Abha Dawesar
Blue Boy, by Rakesh Satyal
Funny Boy, by Shyam Selvadurai
Ode to Lata, Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla
The Paths of Marriage, by Mala Kumar
The Pregnant King, by Devdutt Pattanaik
Quarantine, by Rahul Mehta
She of the Mountains, by Vivek Shraya
The Two Krishnas, by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla
The World Unseen, by Shamim Sarif
Non-Fiction & Anthologies:
AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India, by Amartya Sen and various authors
Because I Have A Voice: Queer Politics in India, edited by Arvind Narrain and Gautam Bhan
Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love, and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India, by Parmesh Shahani
Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures, by Gayatri Gopinath
The Invisibles, by Zia Jaffrey
A Lotus of Another Color, by Rakesh Ratti
Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West by Ruth Vanita
Made in India: Decolonializations, Queer Sexualities, Trans/National Projects, by Suparna Bhaskaran
Same-Sex Love in India, edited by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwal
Sexual Sites, Seminal Attitudes: Sexualities, Masculinities and Culture in South Asia, by Sanjay Srivastava
Shikhandi and Other Tales They Don’t Tell You, by Devdutt Pattanaik
Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics, by Naisargi Dave
Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society, by Ruth Vanita
With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India, by Gaytri Reddy

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