Thursday, 1 June 2017

The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says

quote [ Oh, The Humanities! The author stressed he isn't claiming that eating, cooking or adapting the dish is cultural appropriation. The problem is poutine's status as 'Canadian' ]
[SFW] [food & drink] [+4]
[by arrowhen@1:06pmGMT]


mechanical contrivance said @ 3:21pm GMT on 1st Jun [Score:3 Insightful]
Why is cultural appropriation bad, anyway?
damnit said @ 3:24pm GMT on 1st Jun [Score:3]
"That ghetto ass bitch with the dreads" vs "Ooooh! I love her boxer braids."

I'll let you figure out which refers to whom and why cultural appropriation is bad.
mechanical contrivance said @ 3:54pm GMT on 1st Jun
I guess I just think differently than most people.
Kama-Kiri said @ 12:06am GMT on 2nd Jun [Score:1 Underrated]
If it's any comfort I couldn't figure it out either.
arrowhen said @ 12:16am GMT on 2nd Jun
I had to Google it.
This Hairstyle Is Not Called "Boxer Braids" and Kim Kardashian Didn't Make It Popular

Still don't know what that has to do with dreads, though.
Kama-Kiri said @ 12:53am GMT on 2nd Jun
Sometimes I feel like I'm just visiting this planet.
foobar said @ 6:04am GMT on 2nd Jun [Score:1 Funny]
I'm pretty sure it's the Cardassians that are from elsewhere.
rhesusmonkey said @ 5:03am GMT on 2nd Jun [Score:1 Interesting]
There are "legitimate" concerns where people are taking decorative headgear / hairstyles / tattoos that for the originating culture have deep spiritual or ritualistic meaning, and the appropriating culture disrespects this and potentially damages the image of this symbolism. Great example:the swastica. More recent examples, white girls dressing like Poccahontis for halloween, and asian DJs wearing feather head dress for their sets.

Then there are (IMO) "less legitimate" things, like white girls with corn rows (a staple of any spring break trip for the last 20+ years), or bulgogi street tacos (or, a variant on that theme, mexicans cooking Thai food and sushi). I think a large part of the issue stems from going beyond "borrowing" ideas from other cultures to enhance them or give them greater visibility, and more that the people who tend to do the "borrowing" don't acknowledge that they are using someone's ideas. Think of it as plagerism, although in the context "appropriation" doesn't just mean "making it your own" as much as "claiming invention for something not yours".
Cackzilla said @ 4:04pm GMT on 1st Jun
I think that some individuals believe that if other individuals adopt pieces of their culture it somehow dilutes that culture. Or maybe they think that there's only so much culture to go around and other people adopting different cultural traditions takes culture out of that fixed supply. I don't really know why so many people are so quick to object to cultural appropriation when they clearly lack and understanding of what culture is. Culture is adaptive and constantly changing. Part of this change includes adapting, or adopting/appropriating, cultural practices of other culture groups. This has been true since humans developed enough to be called humans, and will continue to be true for an obscenely long time.

There are legitimate issues with dominant (or oppressive) cultures appropriating aspects of the 'smaller' culture groups as it can result it destroying or distorting that culture. This can been seen by looking at how the appropriating of aboriginal art, and religious practices as art, by colonial cultures has affected the culture group it was appropriated from. With this in mind though I feel that to many people object to one culture adopting the practices of another to readily. They probably see it as an extension of oppression or racism and believe they are fighting against these things when they argue against culture moving between groups. Which, if true, is unfortunate as it can result in culture isolationism and insularism. Both of which has been shown to increase prejudice, racism, and oppression.
Dienes said @ 10:42pm GMT on 1st Jun [Score:3 Underrated]
The issue is that no one is using the term consistently. A lot of people use the term cultural appropriation only in the negative sense (misappropriation), when the original definition/use of the term is more generic and neutral.
mechanical contrivance said @ 1:04pm GMT on 2nd Jun
That's the missing piece right there. The belief or implication that all appropriation is misappropriation.
C18H27NO3 said[1] @ 4:09pm GMT on 2nd Jun

take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.
"his images have been appropriated by advertisers"
synonyms: seize, commandeer, expropriate, annex, arrogate, sequestrate, sequester, take over, hijack

The verb use inherently has negative connotation, so it's not a neutral or generic. Maybe the words people want to use when societies borrow culture is incorporate, absorb, integrate, assimilate, or the like. I understand words are constantly in flux in regard to meaning since much of a definition is based on context and use, but the only reason it's a source of debate is because we live in a racially charged environment, imo.

Cultural appropriation is simply taking something from another culture and claiming it to be yours or your invention without acknowledging its source. Anybody that claims cultural appropriation is when a mexican cook whips up ramen is uninformed, defensive, and protectionist with a bit of arrogant narcissistic pride sprinkled in.
mechanical contrivance said @ 4:36pm GMT on 2nd Jun
Then I guess we should start using different terms. Cultural appropriation is the bad kind and cultural incorporation can be the good or neutral kind.
damnit said @ 11:03pm GMT on 2nd Jun
It's probably better to just understand the context.

Almost all schools below college level only teach racism in the general sense (bigotry, prejudice).

In the US, racism is systemic, structural, institutional. Rooted on the oppression of a marginalized group and affects all parts of life.

When a white guy says a black guy is being racist towards him, it's more so prejudice and bigotry.
Dienes said @ 4:47pm GMT on 2nd Jun
Even there, there's that pesky word 'typically' that implies that it is not necessarily always negative, just mostly.

A Mexican cook making ramen because they enjoy is is not misappropriation. (This is where the Tumblr folks get confused - I think they're against globalization and cultural contact in general.)

A Mexican cook making ramen, claiming he invented the dish, and then shitting on Japanese culture saying they never make good food probably is.
maximumtodd said @ 10:31pm GMT on 1st Jun
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Dienes said @ 10:43pm GMT on 1st Jun
What about imitation while still denigrating you for doing the thing they are imitating?
maximumtodd said @ 4:16pm GMT on 3rd Jun
That is not flattery.
mechanical contrivance said @ 1:09pm GMT on 1st Jun
Quebec is part of Canada, therefore anything from Quebec is Canadian.
sanepride said @ 2:32pm GMT on 1st Jun
Officially yes, but I think there are still a lot of Quebecians who would dispute that.
mechanical contrivance said @ 2:56pm GMT on 1st Jun [Score:1 Underrated]
They would be wrong.
rhesusmonkey said @ 4:51am GMT on 2nd Jun
One could argue that this applies to aboriginals too then, and/or that "anything done in the West Bank is Israeli", etc. Yes, Quebec is the original (Lower) Canada, but they still haven't officially signed up to the current Constitution and that makes their position in Canada kind of weird. They are totally dependent though and could never actually separate (financial burden vs GDP, negotiations with aboriginals, etc), but there are still these wacko soverigntists that believe somehow if only they were free of the oppressive yoke of the Federation their lives would somehow be better. Reminds me of Trump supporters.
hellboy said[1] @ 2:57pm GMT on 1st Jun
Québé-COIS, bitchez!
sanepride said @ 3:38pm GMT on 1st Jun
rezties said @ 1:24pm GMT on 1st Jun
Give Caesar what is Caesar's, and give Canada what is Quebec...ian.
Bleb said @ 2:06pm GMT on 1st Jun
Quebec: Canada's Rachel Dolezal.
WeiYang said @ 2:47pm GMT on 1st Jun [Score:1 Underrated]
The Texas of Canada.
Jodan said @ 3:35pm GMT on 1st Jun [Score:2]
that is literally Alberta
rhesusmonkey said @ 4:45am GMT on 2nd Jun
No, more like the Oregon of Canada. Deep racist history, recently whitewashed with hipsterism. And still full of shitheads that believe immigrants will destroy their "culture" despite being immigrants themselves.

Full Disclosure: I have some anglo Quebeckers in my family tree near Hull, some franco Quebeckers too living out in Gaspe, and I went clubbing in Montreal when it was still cool (Aria, Soma).
sanepride said @ 2:30pm GMT on 1st Jun
What about pizza?
mechanical contrivance said @ 2:55pm GMT on 1st Jun
Pizza is good.
foobar said @ 3:12pm GMT on 1st Jun
A Quebecois using the term "cultural appropriation" is cultural appropriating Anglophone culture.
gendo666 said @ 5:30pm GMT on 1st Jun
The first English Governor of Quebec should have crushed the French instead of recognizing their lifestyle and language. That woudl have also stopped the FLQ crisis as well as stopping this "revenge of the cradle " bullshit as well as removing the saying "you can't see the forest for the frogs" as the French Canadians did not want to fight in an "English War" then.
Morris Forgot his Password said @ 7:13pm GMT on 1st Jun
I grew up in east end montreal (montreal nord). Never once has I heard of poutine. We had casse croutes on the corner, steamees, patates frites aux sauce, trottiers...
When I moved to Toronto, I had been here for two years and a woman says to me, do you miss poutine? I was at a loss. She described it...
I was never a fan of fries and gravy... adding cheese curds to it didn't make it sound any better.
mechanical contrivance said @ 7:34pm GMT on 1st Jun
You mean there's no poutine in Toronto?
Morris Forgot his Password said @ 7:50pm GMT on 1st Jun
Now there is...although it has been gentrified...or at least, tarted up. Pulled pork poutine...monterey jack poutine.... etc etc... But in 1985 not so much. Hell, it was barely known in Quebec.
mechanical contrivance said @ 8:00pm GMT on 1st Jun
But the woman you spoke to in Toronto knew about it.
arrowhen said @ 8:21pm GMT on 1st Jun
According to Merriam-Webster, the word "poutine" was first used in 1982, although the dish itself has been around since the 1950s. So in 1985 some people could have known the word, but it wasn't in widespread usage yet.
Morris Forgot his Password said @ 9:09pm GMT on 1st Jun
She saw it on the CBC.

The closest thing I ever had to poutine in Quebec was fries (the big fries, twice fried, not the McDonald kind) with a spicy italian meat sauce and mozzarella.

But fries and gravy (sometimes beef, sometimes chicken) were common....just not with curds.
Borris said @ 10:17pm GMT on 1st Jun
As far back as the 70s, you could find restaurants and snack-bars selling poutine here and there in Quebec. It started being "mainstream" in the early 90s, when everyone from family restaurants like Mikes to fast food chains like McDonald's tried adding it to their menus.

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