Canada is a multicultural society that began with the rich, vibrant culture of Indigenous people. With multiculturalism at its highest in Canadian History, how is your Cultural Appreciation Awareness? Are you a leader, good citizen or getting culture wrong?
Based on academic and reliable-sourced articles, here are 14 questions to help self-assess where you are at on your learning and development relating to Cultural Appreciation for Latin Culture. Of course you can replace “Latin culture” with any culture (i.e. Indigenous, Italian or East Indian etc.) or research on your own for more in-depth information. To assist, we have also listed some of our sources below in case you would like to learn more.
Where does your level of cultural awareness and appreciation stand? Answer the following 14 questions to self-assess where you stand.
- Do you often or always network with the Latin community and find ways to buy from Latin owned restaurants, businesses, dance instructors or Latin event or festival organizers?
- Do you often or always think about ways that you might be misrepresenting Latin culture to change your behaviours to be culturally appreciating?
- Do you often or always support Latinos/Latinx by hiring them for Latin dance lessons, cater Latin food, perform or DJ Latin music at parties or help manage social media for Latin events etc.?
- Do you often or always bring structural equity and social empowerment to benefit people in the Latin community and bring as many Latinos/Latinos as possible in positions of management, decision making and control in Latin cultural aspects?
- Do you often or always increase opportunities and space for integrating Latinos/Latinx and non-Latinos in Latin events and festivals and engage in important cultural conversations?
- Do non-Latinos/Latinx involved in aspects of Latin culture often or always recognize and emphasize they are not an authority on Latin culture and avoid taking away space from members of the Latin-Canadian community?
- As a Non-Latinos/Latinx participating in aspects of Latin culture, do you often or always take any initiative to move towards deeply understanding Latin people and culture? For example, do you understand the origins, history, meaning or symbolization of the various types of Latin dances and Latin songs?
- Are you non-Latin but enjoy Latin culture (i.e. as a hobby or interest) and connect with Latin Culture such as socialize with Latinos/Latinx, buying from Latin owned businesses or taking the time to learn and explore and understand all aspects of Latin culture?
- Do you guide, educate or help others increase their cultural appreciation and awareness?
- At any time do you use Latin culture, music and dance inappropriately or that may be perceived as a shallow aestetic borrowing that is disconnected from the origins of Latin roots, culture and community or that perpetuates negative stereotypes?
- Do you pick and chose parts of Latin culture you want to enjoy or participate?
- Do you ever do something that offends those who belong to the Latin community or do Latinos/Latinx not feel welcomed or comfortable in a Latin cultural event, business or space?
- Do you create or participate in a fad or trend that devalues or demeans Latin culture or history, or assigns a new meaning to cultural markers?
- Do you exploit Latin professionals by expecting services for free or do you share Latin culture with others for a profit / income but were not born or haven’t lived in a Latin country and haven’t gone through extensive training by Latin American schools and Latin professionals with credentials?
Answers to Questions 1 to 9 - If you answered yes to all, congratulations, you are truly appreciating Latin culture. Thank you for your support, appreciation and being a part of the Latin community. :) Answers to Questions 10 to 13 - If you answered yes to any or all, you have some room and opportunity for personal growth and development on the topic of cultural appreciation vs. appropriation. Feel free to read the articles below and then reach out to us or the Latin community to increase your understanding. Answer to Question 14 - According to the academic articles, this is the highest form of cultural exploitation and should be stopped immediately.
Here below are some links to articles on Cultural Appreciation Awareness and cultural appropriation, if you would like to understand more. If you are interested in attending information sessions led by experts, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for appreciating, supporting, promoting and being part of Latin culture!
- What’s in a name? https://archives.dance/2013/02/written-by-david-outevsky-whats-in-a-name/