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A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?

The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.

Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.

We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.

Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.

The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.

And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.

So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too.

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Why a Bindi Is NOT an Example of Culture Appropriation 

by Anjali Joshi

(via breannekiele)

(Source: breannetakespictures)

dollysgothworld:

Vampire Hunter Kits
Usually the contents of the kit would be contained in a chest-like box with various compartments. Each kit consisted of the typical anti-vampire tools. Today these vintage vampire slaying kits are being sold for more than six-thousand pounds.

Syringe
The syringe was used to inject the vampires with liquid garlic or one of the many potions and serums included in the kit.
Hammer
The wooden hammer included in the kits was used to drive the stakes into the vampires. Some hammers had a crucifix embedded into the head. Roughly six to seven inches long (depending on the kit), the hammer was a vital tool for slaying.
Garlic
The garlic came in a variety of different consistencies and was often referred to as “Usturoi”. Either whole cloves, powder, or liquid, depending on the kit. The cloves were most likely worn by the slayer for protection. The powder was used as a mace-like substance, intended for blinding or disorienting the vampire. The liquid could be put into a syringe and injected into the vampire’s blood stream.
Stakes
The stakes were driven into the hearts of the vampires. Often vampire slaying would consist of digging up the grave of the alleged vampire and driving a stake through the corpse, pinning it to the ground. Some stakes were shaped as crosses, having a crucifix attached to the top and a point at the bottom. Others were cylindrical shaped with a point at one end and the symbol of the cross etched into the top.
Prayer Book and Bible
Mostly used for protecting the slayer, they were also used for performing exorcisms on vampires or demons.
Crucifix
The symbol of god was the slayer’s most useful tool. Often attached to a chain for ease of access, the crucifix was used mostly during prayer and exorcisms. The crucifix was usually made out of silver. This material was believed to be a extremely potent and unfavorable for the vampire.
Weapons and Ammunition
Each kit contained ranged and hand-to-hand weapons to battle the beasts.
Knives and Daggers
Various knives were included in different kits. Some were used for throwing while others were specifically used for close combat.
Revolvers and Bullets
Revolvers in the kits came with gunpowder and silver bullets. The silver in the bullets was believed to be what actually harmed the vampire.
Crossbow and Bolts
Crossbows were another useful ranged tool. The bolt’s tip was also made of silver.
Bottled Vampire Repellents
The kits also included a variety of different oils, ointments and other holy substances.
Pamant
Also known as holy soil, pamant was used for ceremonial purposes. Like holy water, it was the blessing of the soil which gave it the holy title. Pamant was either placed on the grave or body of the accused vampire.
Agheazma
Agheazma, better known as Holy Water, was also used in ceremonies. Either sprinkled on the slayer for protective purposes or used to harm the alleged vampire.
Mir
Mir is more well known for its reputation of being one of the three gifts given to the son of god. It was an anointing oil which would be placed on either the slayer or vampire.
Tamaie
Tamaie was holy incense. The distinct smell given off by the object was used in ceremony, whether it be used for protection or to ward off the evil spirit which lay in the vampire’s body.
Candles
Used for ceremonies like exorcisms, prayers, and seeing in the dark.
Metal Teeth Pliers
The metal teeth pliers were used to remove the fangs of vampires. Also known as the Dentol, this tool was between 5-8 inches long were basically a pair of metal pliers.

thecutestofthecute:

Big dogs who think they are lap dogs.


Video game store makes the most of their broken shutters. 
homoeroticllama:

loopyloopster13:

theinfamouslynotorious:

monobeartheater:

meladoodle:

this is bullshit

oh you asshole

It’s so weird how this easily pisses everyone off.

NO STOP IT

FUC K