Cultural appropriation is a concept originally introduced to Connor and Brigid, by God, early in the history of The Land. It stems from the fact that He introduced Connor and Brigid to various ideas from other worlds, as many other spirits would do, in the centuries to come. The majority of cultural ideas shared with Landians by God and other spirits are from Earth, which is also, according to God, the planet of origin of the concept of "cultural appropriation" itself. On Earth, unlike the Land, there are many completely different cultures, and there has often been conflict between them. Some cultures have been wiped out entirely, and many of those that continued to exist came to be dominated by or assimilated into other cultures. Eventually, all of Earth's cultures were granted equal status, and the cultures learned to live in harmony (both separately and together). The people of every culture came to fully appreciate and respect one another. However, it took a very long time for this to happen; while many of the aspects of Terran culture that shaped the early history of the Land were recorded in the Book of Connor and Brigid (the first book of the O'Gas), Earth did not truly become a united and harmonious world until some time after the deaths of Connor and Brigid, fifty-two years after their creation. (They, and the Land itself, were created in the year that on Earth was called 1997 CE. It is at present not known exactly how long after that year that true intercultural harmony was achieved, though spirits who spoke to various spirit-talkers in later centuries have alluded, in vague ways, to the establishment of such harmony.)

But it was in the Book of Connor and Brigid that God explained cultural appropriation, and what is wrong with it. To begin, He said, it doesn't mean that cultural aspects should never be shared between cultures, for it is only natural for people to appreciate and enjoy myriad types of culture, including all kinds of architecture, art, customs, fashion, food and drink, games, history, language, etc. However, on Earth (and other worlds), aspects of certain cultures have sometimes been stolen, rather than borrowed or freely shared. Credit for cultural aspects has been taken by members of cultures that dominated and oppressed the cultures that actually originated those aspects. Members of certain cultures have even been prohibited from engaging in aspects of their own culture, while members of the dominating culture have been free to use stolen cultural aspects themselves, for fun and/or profit. False negative associations (called "stereotypes") have been perpetuated about oppressed cultures. The original meanings of cultural aspects has been subverted by dominant cultures, often in offensive, deeply disrespectful ways. When God decided to share knowledge of the cultures of other worlds with Landians, He admonished Connor and Brigid to be respectful of those cultures.

However, He also said that cultural appropriation was unlikely to be an issue for Landians, since obviously no one on the Land had any part in oppressing the cultures or people of other worlds, nor has any Landian directly benefited from such oppression. But we must never forget that the cultural aspects of other worlds that have been incorporated into our own culture are actually not ours, nor has permission been given us to use those cultural aspects. Neither God Himself, nor any other spirits, are authorized to give us such permission; rather, they share things about other worlds for which they have an appreciation, and believe Landians would also appreciate. The spirits who share such knowledge don't always share with us a full understanding of the histories or meanings behind those cultural aspects, and so it is important for all Landians to be aware of our own ignorance. It is difficult, perhaps, to know how to properly respect an entire culture of people with whom we've had no contact and of which we have very limited, secondhand knowledge. But, God said, He (and later other spirits) would do their best to avoid conveying any cultural stereotypes, when they tell us of any cultural aspects they share with us, in order that we may at the very least (in addition to our lack of oppressing anyone) not perpetuate negative or erroneous beliefs about those cultures. Whether or not all Landians are always successful in avoiding actual cultural appropriation is unknown, and is perhaps unknowable, until such time as direct contact is made between the Land and any of the planets of origin of the cultural aspects that have been shared with us.

Aside from the things listed on the Terran culture page, some other off-world things that have become parts of Landian culture include various types of art, circuses, fireworks, various types of food & drink, various methods of government, holidays, language, musical genres, mythical creatures, nomenclature, printing, certain religious terminology (particularly within The Order), various sports, subwords, various Slang and Expressions, various modes of transportation, and very likely many other things, as well. However, it should be noted that any number of things that exist on both the Land and other worlds could just as well have been developed here independently of any knowledge of their prior development on other worlds. This particularly applies to recipes that exist simply because God happened to create many of the same flora and fauna here that He previously had elsewhere; and to aspects of science and technology that were discovered or invented by Landian scientists with little or no knowledge of such things on other worlds (largely due to the Prohibition of Off-world Technology).

See alsoEdit

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