White people, we need to have a talk. When your kids ask you for an “Indian themed,” “Asian themed,” or something along that line party, it’s ok to tell them no. Let me repeat that, IF THEY ASK YOU FOR A PARTY BASED ON A RACIST ASS STEREOTYPE, TELL THOSE LITTLE FUCKERS NO!…
Really? This is the assumption? That every Caucasian little snot is out there to throw the most ignorant and culturally offensive known party to man? What about the ones of us who actually give a damn about the culture? For my 12th birthday I had one of these “offensive” themed parties. It was Asian themed. I called it that not because I could not differentiate the many different cultures in Eastern Asia, but because I knew I had elements from different parts of it. While it was mostly inspired by Japanese themes, I had some decorations and food that were Chinese in origin (well, as Chinese as American Chinese food is considered).
Before having this party I read up on the cultures I was using for a theme. I learned the differences between dragons in China and Japan, I learned origami and made little paper kimonos to put on my invitations. I even made little clay daruma dolls for my guests to paint the eyes on. Outside of party purposes, I learned about the schools, history, entertainment (Kabuki theater, not just J-pop), which way to properly cross a kimono and other things about these cultures. True, I learned more about Japan than China (as evident of my using mostly Japanese examples), but the research was still enlightening.
Instead of assuming that kids are just going dumbly throw a party and run around with chopsticks in their hair while squinting their eyes, maybe take into account that some kids will learn respect for these cultures, and are not trying to demonstrate their dominance over a culture rather than show how much they appreciate it and are grateful for the diversity this planet has to offer. If kids want a party like that then have them research the topic first. Learn about the cultures before hand. Learn what is or is not acceptable in those lands. This goes for anything; from an Asian party, to Oktoberfest, to a Fiesta, etc… Make people learn, not just assume before hand. I guarantee that will make the party more fun and interesting.
I’d rather everyone have an opportunity to learn and to correct poorly conceived notions rather than just sticking them in a princess dress or a cape and letting them run free. Why not learn from this unique experience that is a party? Hell, when I had my Wizard of Oz themed 8th birthday, I made sure to read the original novels and not just watch the heck out of the movie. I could quote L. Frank Baum as much as I could the movie songs. I feel it’s more mentally stimulating and memorable if you make a connection with the material before hand.
TL;DR- Racism is bad. Blindly appropriating things is bad. Research and learning are good. Do not assume before throwing any themed party. Learn why certain things mean what they do. I believe this is more valuable than just having a Hello Kitty or Superhero party (which all have their place, mind you). Give people the chance to taste the foods and experience a little bit of the culture you are portraying. Give them more than just assumptions to think by.
Can we talk about the fact that white people really think they’re doing something good when they appropriate cultures though? Like, I need someone to explain that line of thought to me. “Oh hey, I know your people were denied the right to live in peace, practice your religions, or preserve your cultural products. But I want to play in those things now & I’ll call it a learning experience so you totally shouldn’t be offended!”
“It was Asian themed. I called it that not because I could not differentiate the many different cultures in Eastern Asia, but because I knew I had elements from different parts of it. While it was mostly inspired by Japanese themes, I had some decorations and food that were Chinese in origin (well, as Chinese as American Chinese food is considered).”
Because Asia = Japan/China/East Asia
Ignorant tool, please just shut the fuck up.