Cultural Appropriation: Cinco de May-NO!

Article by guest writer Sofia Alvarez (@itssofieeeahh)


Cinco de Mayo is widely accepted as a national day of wearing sombreros, getting smashed, and yelling “Arriba!”  Though some don’t realize that they're perpetuating racial stereotypes, behaviors like hand-picking their favorite aspects of other cultures and using these aspects to create their own altered ways of celebrating is cultural appropriation.


Those who culturally appropriate are using other cultures as means for their own entertainment without granting respect to those who are actually of and celebrate that culture. So how do we celebrate other cultures without culturally appropriating? You have a conversation!



Here are some tips and things to keep in mind next time you decide to wear a bindi to an alternative music festival or get your hair braided into cornrows, or the do’s and don’ts of embracing other cultures:



  • Make stereotypical jokes about aspects of other cultures! Yes, speaking in an accent is microagressive even though you don’t intentionally mean to be disrespectful. Think before you act when representing another culture--and if you have doubts, just don't.



  • Learn more about the culture you are going to celebrate.


  • Celebrate these cultural holidays at a local community event that is celebrating the holiday. For example, if you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, go to a local Mexican community event and learn about the holiday you wish to celebrate! 



  • Educate others on Cultural Appropriation! Some may not realize that they are being disrespectful and we should try to help each other out! 



Any more questions or concerns about cultural appropreation versus appreciation? Contact editor Skyler White ([email protected]).