(Closed) Sister wants to wear sari for a bridesmaid dress

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 106
27 posts

Markinu :  I think one would be hardpressed to find many Indians who would be offended by this. I am African and I am always flattered by people of other cultures appreciating our clothes, music, food, language enough to embrace them.

I think at the end of the day respect is key, and what is imperative is to teach how to appreciate and embrace cultures respectfully. 

Post # 107
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Supersleuth :  Ah thanks. I don’t know why I came back to this thread but it was nice someone supported me.Happy Diwali, by the way. I’m not going to argue with anyone today- I’m in such a good mood from all our singing and sparklers and extremely fattening food last night..! Ps. Lesotho and roman centurions…..I bet that’s the first post ever to mention both of those at once.

Post # 110
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

Supersleuth : I’m hoping you were just trying to lighten the mood and aren’t seriously THAT clueless.

Just like the bee arguing that wearing clothing “culturally appropriated” from the 40’s, your post is a non-sequitur.

The Chinese aren’t the only people who drink tea, therefore, a teapot is not culturally exclusive to them, so this is NOT culturally appropriative. 

Im unsure how your kitchen could be German, unless your entire home was in Germany; however, I’m guessing you mean your appliances and perhaps cooking tools were made in Germany. Most cultures create food with the use of appliances and cutlery of all varieties, so this is NOT culturally appropriative. 

The production of your television is not specific to the Japanese and your use of it isn’t culturally specific, just like your flowers, tea lights, rugs and whatnot. 

Unless your Spanish shoes are avarcas or alpargatas, the production of them in a specific country isn’t culturally appropriative. Nike shoes are made in China – that doesn’t make them Chinese shoes.

Similarly, tiaras aren’t cultural. They indicate “royalty” which is found all over the world and in beauty pageants. There is no culture to appropriate and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’d put royalty in the “oppressed” category, despite (almost by definition) being considered a minority group.

Dressing as Cleopatra at a party IS arguably appropriative and is likely deemed by many as inappropriate because you (presumably) wore some amalgamation of kohl eyeliner, headdress, linen clothing, elaborate gold jewelry, wrist cuffs, etc. While some of those things are found in other cultures, putting them together as a costume when you are likely unaware of their historical and cultural importance to the Egyptian people IS appropriation. 

You cannot culturally appropriate anything from an animal. Animals don’t have culture, they don’t suffer from historically documented and well known subversion by another/equal culture group. I wouldn’t have responded to your comment at all until you included this incredibly dismissive and privileged line. Mocking the serious and often hurtful nature of actual cultural appropriation by saying that wearing a sweater from a goat is the same as an Anglo in blackface or a pre-teen confusing the beautiful garb of the Indian culture as appropriate attire for a wedding is horribly obtuse and offensive.   

And for the record, as an American living in Texas and having been raised on a working farm and ranch, I can assure you that you’re welcome to wear cowboy boots. You see, “cowboys” aren’t an oppressed people. If there’s any confusion though, is IS offensive if you wore a pair as part of a costume, ran around with a hayseed in your mouth and spoke in a southern draw using terminology intended specifically to indicate you were racist, unintelligent, interested in sleeping with your cousin, etc. Still not cultural appropriation – more like flat out racism. I’m guessing you wouldn’t go so far as to trivialize that though because you know better. Cultural appropriation should be given the same consideration. 

Post # 111
10 posts
  • Wedding: July 2017

I think it’s important to remind yourself that it’s your wedding.  What does your gut say?  Go with your gut.  

Post # 113
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2022

If you or your fiancé’s family are Indian then I think it won’t look weird, it might look lovely! Saris are so so beautiful.  However, I think it would be weird and inappropriate if nobody is Indian. 

For example, here in the UK an English man might want to wear a kilt because he grew up in Scotland, went to university there, or his partners family are Scottish. I would still find it very very weird if an English man just wore a kilt because he fancied it when nobody was Scottish, the wedding wasn’t in Scotland etc. 

Post # 114
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2022

busyhbee :  I think she should save it for her own wedding or to wear as a guest but I don’t think it is appropriate while standing up as a Bridesmaid or Best Man as it doesn’t really represent you or your family. 

They are really lovely though. 

Post # 115
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

sunshinenumber5 :  Perfect.

People love to think they have all these examples that prove are not doing anything offensive or wrong and that any suggestion otherwise is over-the-top politically correct nonsense.  Why isn’t a German dishwasher appropriation? Seems pretty easy to grasp by anyone with modest intelligence. And comparing a goat to  an entire human culture just proves your ignorance, PP.

Post # 116
522 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Supersleuth :  What an awesome response…I think you ‘said it all.’

Post # 117
1125 posts
Bumble bee

leonatigra :  

THANK YOU. I don’t understand why people are so offended by this. it seems like a silly use of energy to be worried about things like that.

Post # 118
2968 posts
Sugar bee

sunshinenumber5 :  Just to clarify and give some context I went to a fiftieth birthday party where guests were meant to dress up as film stars playing their most famous role. 

My husband went as Errol Flynn playing Robin Hood.  People still talk about his green tights!  I went as Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra from the film Anthony & Cleopatra, which was of course inspired by the Shakespeare play of that name.  So, strictly speaking I was copying a film version of what Hollywood thought that Cleopatra looked like that was originally based on an Elizabethan play.

Of course in any situation context, intent and respect are essential but so is appreciation, liking and friendship. 

We need to approach other cultures in a good way.  I’m sure that whether or not the OP’s pre-teen sister wears a sari or not she will see Indian culture as something to be admired and Indian women as beautiful, graceful and elegant.  What we don’t want to do is tell the little girl she’s doing the wrong thing when all she is doing is being interested and excited by other cultures.  I’m sure that the OP is very proud of her.

As to my comments about Chinese teapots etc., we live in a world where we need to celebrate our culture and our connections.  I believe that we are part of a global family and that our humanity is strong than any cultural ties or barriers.  We can live in a world where we can enjoy all the advantages of our own cultures and traditions while reaching out a hand to other people to let them join in.

In reality, presented with lots of different scenarios, you and I would probably sit side by side approving and disapproving of the same things. I have pulled people up on culturally insensitive and blatantly racist jokes.  I can assure you that I would be the first to condemn stereotypes. I once lost a job after my boss realised I didn’t share his beliefs in racial purity.

On reflection I shouldn’t have put in the bit about the goat and the cow.  I apologize if I have offended you or indeed anyone else. It does rather lead to the question of whether culture is just a garment or fur or skin we put on, or whether culture is an intrinsic part of ourselves or whether it is somewhere inbetween. This is probably at the crux of our discussion and something that it would be interesting to explore further.

This may also be where we differ.  I am British.  Being British may be what I am and it may have influenced what I have become but it isn’t who I am. When people look at me I want them to see Supersleuth first and my Britishness second (and my Yorkshireness third).  However, I understand that not everyone feels this way particularly if they are from cultures that have faced oppression, discrimination and/or Colonialism.

We also need to consider how we are going to stop oppression/Colonialism in the future.  What we don’t want to do is stop a little girl admiring other cultures or aspiring to be part of another culture.  What we do want to do is to prevent children absorbing stereotypes or being frightened of engaging with other cultures.  And it’s the separation, the turning people into what could be described as “the others” that causes many of our problems.

I would be very interested in your thoughts on the best way forward.

Post # 119
2968 posts
Sugar bee

mimivac :  I think that you may have missed my point.  Humans are a global people.  What I buy and what I wear does not necessarily mean I have appropriated a person’s culture. 

Nor does it mean that I should buy or wear things without thought for other people’s feelings and culture.

What it probably leads to is the fact I have to balance my decisions based on what is respectful and reasonable in any given set of circumstances. 

Often what kills cultures is not cultural appropriation but destruction of a culture’s language.  Allowing more people to access a culture doesn’t weaken it but preventing people from talking about the culture does. 

Post # 120
76 posts
Worker bee

I would ask her to wear a dress that matches with the bridesmaids for the ceremony and maybe she could wear a Sari for the reception. I feel like it would bring unwanted attention during the ceremony.

To me an example of cultural appropriation would be dressing up for Halloween as an “Indian person” or a “Japanese person” and wearing a Kimono or a Sari. If it’s a culture that you admire and a garmet that you admire there shouldn’t be a problem with it as long as you are doing so respectfully. If you aren’t Hindu don’t wear a bindi, if you aren’t an actual Geisha don’t paint your face white. As long as we do so respectfully there shouldn’t be any rule that tells us we have to dress within the box of our own culture, we are all humans. If it offends anyone so be it, you know your own heart.

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