‘Cultural Appropriation!’ Mom Shamed For Giving Daughter Traditional Japanese Tea Party For Her BIrthday

A mom who decided to throw her daughter a Japanese tea party is being accused of “cultural appropriation” because the little girl is not Japanese.

It was in a post several years old on The Gala Gals where one mom described her attempts to throw a traditional Japanese tea party for her daughter’s birthday.

The post details al the efforts the mom went through to be as authentic as possible, down to the “Asian-style seating” and the kimonos and traditional Japanese makeup worn by women.

The table had branches with pink “flowers” made out of tissue paper, origami art, and tea with chopsticks and little pieces of cake. It was all very cute.

Except the little girl was white. And that was enough to sound the Social Media Warrior™ alarms.

For some reason, the post got re-posted on the social media site Tumblr, Babble writes, and one user wrote:

The makeup is clearly reflective of traditional Geisha makeup which is yellow face and therefore racist. Furthermore the girl is wearing a kimono, a garment that has for ages carried cultural significance. Assuming that she is white how you can you think this ok? What rock do you live under? I suggest you educate yourself on the differences between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.

 

Other users – many who were Japanese – came to the defense of this mom.

“I am Japanese. In Japan in Japan at this very moment. The only people who think culture shouldn’t be shared are racists like you. A vast majority of Japanese people actually enjoy other people making an effort to spread and enjoy Japanese culture, and encourage it … A common omiage (gift) for foreigners from Japanese people is traditional Japanese things such as kimonos, tea sets, shisa dog statues, etc.”

 

Of course, these parents weren’t disrespecting or even mocking another culture. They went out of their way to authentically and respectfully present a unique cultural tradition.

Gala Gals co-founder Heidi Maloy told Babble that despite some negative comments, they have been mostly positive.

“While there have been a handful of negative comments from people offended for various reasons, many more have been complimentary of our creative and fun attempt to appreciate another culture,” she shared.

Heidi also tells Babble that she thinks there’s a definite distinction between cultural appropriation, cultural appreciation, and even cultural insensitivity.

“I also think by misunderstanding, ‘cultural appropriation’ becomes ‘cultural segregation’ and I believe that is a dangerous step,” she continues. “Cultures have been sharing, borrowing, and appreciating each other’s art, architecture, food, skills, goods, traditions, fashion, etc. for millennia. I don’t like the idea that we have to ‘stay in our lanes.’ I think it’s more dangerous to teach this ‘segregated’ cultural identity to our children than to try and share various ideas with them.”

The trope of “cultural appropriation” might be the biggest bunch of nonsense that the left throws out there. Every culture “appropriates” or it dies from within. We wouldn’t have the number zero without Western culture “appropriating” it from the Muslims, who “appropriated” it from the Indians (there is no “zero” in Roman numerals, remember).

This kind of nonsense pops up on social media and in pop culture from time to time, and it needs to be tamped down quickly before it becomes acceptable to shame little girls who just want to have a birthday party.

Robert Gehl

About Robert Gehl

Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.