Sunday, February 21, 2010

Journal 8: Culture as Entertainment by Tien Dang

In the "Henna and Hip Hop: The Politics of Cultural Production and the Work of Cultural Studies" article, it discussed how Mehndi Night was produced. It's very similar to the Vietnamese Student Associations that I've always been a part of. Now that I think about it, I feel like these "cultural nights" promotes cultural preservation, but it's always a reproduced culture. On page 272, it discusses the "cultural commodification built into the event." It shows how it's commercialized to market towards a broader audience. Does this commodification then lessen the culture into something totally new and different from the culture?

I think culture is different towards a group of people. Diasporic communities attempt to hold on to what they consider to be cultural and tradition and reproduce those practices wherever it is they are currently. Since it isn't exactly practiced to where it originally developed, it's always going to be changed and commodified. Therefore, it is always going to be culture to them. If they are considered to be falsified celebrations, then basically my community's celebration of Tet was not real. On the Lien Hoi Nguoi Viet Quoc Gia Vietnam's website, they annually hold a Tet festival. ( Of course, because this is not in Vietnam, it's not the same exact type of celebration. So does that make the celebration a fake and uncultured celebration? Of course not. Hoi Cho Tet is hosted by a group of people who believe in practicing and celebrating Tet in their own way, thus portraying a perhaps different, but a culture nonetheless.

Article: Sunaina Maira- Henna and Hip Hop: The Politics of Cultural Production and the Work of Cultural Studies.

-Slap Bet Out

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