Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Culturally Sensitive

So I saw this Italian advert for Fiat cars, featuring some fashionably dressed, attractive women performing a Haka...

What right do Kiwis have to take offence to someone plundering their cultural heritage?

The same right that I have to be thoroughly pissed off at everyone who is not a Scot or related to one who wears tartan*. Including Kiwis. The same right that I have to complain that all Scots are portrayed everywhere as kilt-wearing, caber-carrying, porridge-eating, bagpipe-toting, red-haired, penny-pinching, drunkard hooligans who say nought else but "Och eye the noo". The same right that the Irish have to be pissed off that they're stereotyped as shamrock-loving, fiddle-playing, green-draped leprechauns who have nothing else to do but eat potatoes, make wise-cracks and quip "Top o' the mornin' to ya!" all day. The same right that the Italians have to be pissed off that they're stereotyped as mustachioed, portly, opera-singing, pasta-eating, womanising, pizza-tossing, Vespa-riding mafia dons who all happen to be called Luigi.

"Oh, but it was culturally insensitive!"

There's Graham Henry giving his opinion on how 'inappropriate' it was - for the Italians to have stolen his team's signature challenge. Oh boo-hoo. Who does the Haka 'belong' to? You? Me, now that I'm a Kiwi? The All Blacks?

Stop assailing others before complaining about someone else doing it to you. When the Scots, and the Irish, and the Welsh, and the Italians, French, Germans, South Africans, Australians, Chinese, Japanese and everyone else get their apologies for being treated in this racist way, then maybe I might show some sympathy.

No they didn't ask your permission: I don't remember anyone asking me if they could take the piss out of my culture. Grow a skin.

* For the information of anyone owning tartan: Officially, you are only allowed to wear a particular clan's tartan if you are a member of that clan by birth or marriage. Clans associate their tartan with their name. You wouldn't take their name because it sounded good, would you? Further, the right passes through the paternal line. Thus, even I am not allowed to wear a tartan other than a 'generic' one such as the Black Watch, despite being a Scot by birth, because of my family tree. But is this going to stop people wearing it? I doubt it. Tartan and most other things that are a part of Scots culture have been commercialised ad nauseam. So there.


Post a Comment

<< Home