Coachella : 21st century’s finest example of cultural appropriation 


The recently concluded first weekend of  Coachella-an American music and arts festival- that has been the sweetspot for the young blood of Hollywood to show off their eloquency in fashion has garnered much attention from the international media this time for more wrong reasons than for right . 

This year it has been in  the limelight for being the biggest platform to showcase the most smoothest way of cultural appropriation after years of getting away with it . 

For those of you who ingest magazines like vogue and marie Claire and the lot as the Bible and have accepted Vanessa Hudgens – often touted as the queen of Coachella – as your Lord and saviour as to what to wear to the festival and  what not , this article if at all successful in conveying the essence of its very title might turn wry your other wise ardent sentiments towards the Coachella attendees . 

What Is cultural appropriation you ask ? 

The Oxford reference definition would be 

A term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one culturalgroup from another. It is in general used to describe Westernappropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance.

Simply put , you take what is appealing to you from one cultural without knowing the background of it and appropriate it into your own for your benefit .

If you think only the native American and black cultures are being appropriated intensively as always  during the course of this fest then you are wrong no regional or geographical discrimination is made when it comes to matter of appropriation thereby garnering the most likes and views on Instagram or Facebook and what have you . 

From the bindis– a regular adornment of South Asian females to distinguish the married women from the unmarried and to ward off  evil –to custom store bought recreations of tribal headgear which in tribal traditions are awarded only to the brave and noble of the lot are now being worn by every other wannabee it girl in hopes to be Instagram famous and to turn up the follower count by a few thousands . 

The use of war paint in further hopes to highlight how open you are to trying new cultures and ides and not knowing its symbolic meaning ,  converting even those kinds of tribal sentiments to make  personal fashion statements and to be the talk of the town only proves exactly how selfish and how far milleneals can go to get the look and be the next kylie or Kendall Jenner.  

A culture my dear fashion forwards, is not something that you can use and discard as easily as disposing the fall fashion line for the summer one in hope that what you are wearing is deemed fashionable and will get you in with the crowd . 

Culture infact is a  myriad of human emotions and sentiments, of traditions and of sacred rituals and most of all  the feeling of belonginess to be identified as a part of a  particular community . 

Let us not demean cultures and sentiments for a few thousand likes and popularity.

Coachella of course may not be the only platform showcasing the appropriative patterns of the privelaged class but it might be one of the many happening in many countries across the world and not just the west but as soft hegemony comes into play , whatever is going viral in the united States must go viral for the rest of the world too . 

Let us hope that all the articles written about the first weekend of Coachella are seen in time enough for the attendees to make haste and swap their costumes for something a lot more appropriate and lot less culturally appropriating or else the media and social scientists will be having a feild day.


Sitting alone in a cafe at prime time , meaning 3 to 5 , when you’re surrounded by couples and office guys strategizing marketing techniques and getting judgy looks from the guy behind the counter for your state of solidarity makes one highly aware of how lonely they might seem . 

So how come you don’t feel lonely when you travel was my first question to her , now answering through voice recording over our staple mode of communication,whatsapp . 

“See that’s the thing ” she says “you are never lonely , you’re with your thoughts and yourself even when others perceive you to be completely alone and you learn to make a bond with your soul ” . The she mentioned here is rafiya sherin a 20 year old Muslim girl ,who had intrigued from the very start when I read a piece on her by a local daily , more than her passion for travelling it was her roots that encroached me , hailing from a very rural part of malapuram district in Kerala and a member of an orthdox Muslim family , solo travel especially a girl travelling alone is unheard of in her village .