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From a discussion on someone else's LJ on whether or not it is possible to belly dance without cultural appropriation; Appreciation, Appropriation, and Exploitation in Ethnic Dance

I wonder, actually, if the same examination is relevant to the martial arts - most people who study Asian MA these days are several levels of remove from the culture that spawned the art, and that culture is usually echoed in the training.

(Even more tangentially - where does that leave Brazilian Jujitsu; a Brazilian style of a Japanese martial art?)


Feb. 24th, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
That's an interesting article, indeed. There are definitely other areas where the same questions come up, and I'd agree martial arts is one.

Another that I have experience of is folk music. There are lots of people playing "Celtic"[1] music that don't have a drop of (or at best a very diluted amount of) Scots, Irish, or Breton blood in their veins. I play many tunes from those traditions, and some from other traditions including Balkan, klezmer, Bulgarian, bluegrass and old-time (which is an umbrella term itself...), and while I definitely respect the traditions, I don't revere them. I think it's great that there are people who do keep specific traditions going, and I'm more than happy to learn from them, but I also like to play in the intersections of traditions.

[1] loosely defined as tunes from Scots, Cape Breton, Irish, and perhaps Breton music traditions. The umbrella term "Celtic" is offensive to some players schooled in these traditions.

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