Is throwing a party specific to another culture, a bad idea?

Is throwing a party specific to another culture, a bad idea?
One of my aunt's friends is getting ready to have a birthday, and she wants the party to be Mexican themed... except she's not Mexican. Some of her guests will be, but she is not. According to my aunt she wants to wear traditional dress and have her closest friends do the same, put flowers in their hair, decorate the party space with Mexican decor, serve Mexican food, have a Mariachi, etc. Some of my aunt's friends heard the idea and were a little appalled by it because she isn't Mexican and according to aunt, the friends feel it's wrong to use their culture, "as a theme."

Do the friends have a point, or are they making a bigger deal out of it, than it should be?

  • Bad idea. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
    27% (9)21% (6)24% (15)Vote
  • Sounds okay, but she should proceed with caution. She should not get carried away.
    39% (13)31% (9)35% (22)Vote
  • She should go all out, it's her party, guests will have to deal.
    34% (11)48% (14)41% (25)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Mexican here: white people who blow this ridiculous crap out of all proportion are the real racists. There's nothing more racist in the world than some white person using inauthentic anti-racism to self-aggrandize and make themselves the center of attention. Not only are they crying wolf, they're treating Mexicans like babies. We don't need college-educated white people to come along and tell us when to be offended and when we're being insulted. THAT is the real insult. They're also being racist by trying to mold some phony consensus, trying to say, "ALL Mexicans are offended by X," so I guess if I'm not offended, I'm an Uncle Tomas? I don't count, because all Mexicans are supposed to believe one way, whatever way the white college kids tell us? That to me is literally a thousand times more racist and dehumanizing than eating Mexican food and hiring Mariachi. In fact, there's nothing about your mom's party as you've explained it that is remotely racist against Mexican culture in any way. And guess what, if your mom's party is inauthentic or incorrect in any way, that's not racist either, it's just kind of funny. Anybody offended by this, why don't you go look up what's on Wikileaks and get offended by some real shit, you little dweeb? Somebody oughta slap you for getting so upset over such childish crap. Grow up.

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    • 1mo

      I'm Hispanic, not Mexican, but I can assure you that real Mexicans don't give a crap what

    • 1mo

      white people think or do. But most will appreciate the respect of their culture.

Most Helpful Girl

  • No lol seriously I'm Arab and wouldn't give a fuuu if someone decides to throw a 1001 nights themed party or Jasmine/Alladin party lol. GOsh what's wrong with appreciating elements from other people's cultures? People need to chill -_-
    www.newyorksocialdiary.com/.../LFNJY-gala2006.jpg

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What Guys Said 13

  • There is nothing wrong with it. If I was Mexican, I'd feel proud that she is using my culture for the party. It shows she likes the culture and, of course, the food is fantastic. Even if you don't like the food, it doesn't change what I said above. The PC people can only see negative in anything like this. They are so clouded in their thoughts that they can't see this as a positive. Everyone has to be a victim and anything to do with race or culture can only be a negative. If you buy into their PC ways, you are lost.

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  • I don't really see a problem. If she can, she should try to avoid unnecessarily cliché-stuff that would make the party cringeworthy but other than that, it's totally unproblematic in my opinion. Considering some of her friends are Mexican, she can actually ask them for advice of what to include and what to possibly leave away.
    Speaking of cliché-stuff... there should definitely be a guy with an acoustic guitar singing a song for the honorable cartel ;-)

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    • 1mo

      the only thing I can think is her Mexican friends fear it will be some horrible possibly racist style cliche of a party, otherwise, I thought the idea was nice because I guess from the sounds of what my aunt told me, her friend just (clearly) likes the beauty of the colors, culture, music, food, etc. I don't know any of these people, so it would have to be my aunt telling them.

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    • 1mo

      Well, i don't actually know what their specific problem is, that's just my guessing, because otherwise I can't see why it would be a problem myself.

    • 1mo

      I know, I'm just saying ;-)

  • Celebrating someone's culture is now considered offensive... unless it's not from a minority.
    So yeah, liking a different culture, being attracted to it, and then want to appreciate it with a party, is offensive nowadays.

    I personally think it's completely ok, but considering that everyone wants to be hurt in today's society, she's gonna have to deal with the babies complaining about it.

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    • 1mo

      I don't know these women, so I'm just speaking for myself here, but to me it truly boils down to how it's done. Some people's ideas of celebrating another culture are horribly racist, inauthentic, and demeaning, and then you have others who really do appreciate and have learned about a culture, maybe visited and such and they try their best to do what honors that culture. It will be interesting to see, if she does go through with it, what it turns out to be.

  • So i've been to two of these debacles and it can get out of hand. I mean big straw hats, pin the tail on the Donkey (but with tail already fixed), shitty' Mexican food w/ too much sour cream etc... It can turn into a huge racist joke fast. The other one was a G's and Hos' party, that one was bad.

    Ill help you out here. Scratch the Mariachi band and the themed clothing. The image above represents a very tasteful interpretation. Make sure you get a good Mexican food place to cater it and that's it. The food authenticity is what will get you in trouble here. You go to a Mexican restaurant for the food and not the shitty ambiance.

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    • 1mo

      Lol, I don't personally know this lady or her friends, but I'll tell my aunt to pass along the message. This is kind of what I figured was the reason behind them not wanting her to possibly throw that type of party. I mean I've seen so called "ghetto parties," and from that I can understand where these women may be coming from. It will be interesting which version of the party I turn up and get to see... the wonderful celebration of another culture, or some horrific racist thing that she'll probably need to "explain."

  • Being Mexican, the appropriation of non Mexican peoples take to justify my heritage to be used as a theme has been bothering me more and more over the years. I guess it's a budding awareness for the growing ethnical divide brought on by the discrimination of minorities/Trump. Things feel as though it is a constant struggle between getting along and being an us-vs-them situation.

    Anyway, the thing people get wrong when throwing a party such as this is that they're basically using elements they think are wholly representative of a culture. Like dressing up in traditional dresses and having a mariachi band. Basically putting on a cheesy portrayal of my People's festive nature. It can only be imitated, not reproduced by non Mexicans. And when you say some of her Mexican friends find it offensive, it's true because the person throwing it is like a parrot repeating what it hears instead of being genuine.

    So try as she might to not be offensive or insensitive, she's still being that way.

    In the end, the decision is hers to carry out this theme or not. But perhaps it would be better if her Mexican friends planned it for her. Because Mexican parties, if you ever been to one, are best left to the professionals.

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    • 1mo

      I'm a photographer, and I actually just went to a Mexican Birthday party in an actual hacienda of all things, which was so incredible, I have no words... but it was thrown by Mexicans, for Mexicans. For all the events I do, if they are cultural in nature, it is always people of that culture. The furthest off that track has been like a couple in a wedding from two different cultures, but one was always of the culture.

      I don't know this woman or her friends, so I can't speak to who she is or why she's going this route, but it does seem a little if not a lot odd to me. It's hard to say if someone truly genuinely loves and appreciates another culture, that they shouldn't find a way to celebrate it, but then it turn into, is it yours to define if you're not of that culture, and the answer is of course no. This whole thing has reminded of a video I saw a while back kind of dealing with what people do with these types of celebrations...

      https://youtu.be/9p43hyyfQNU

  • Normally, I'd say "go for it", but in this age of hypersensitivity and bitching about cultural appropriation by whiny Sudanese Muslim Australian holier-than-thou hypocritical SJWs like *cough* Yassmin Abdel-Magied *cough*, it's better safe than sorry, so be boring.

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  • I love Mexican food and culture. The people are great as well. Very kind and genuine. So why not? I think it would be a really fun party to go to. Better than just chips and dip and the "USUAL" blah.

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  • i mean i guess at some point you could cross some lines but on the surface this seems perfectly fine

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  • If they have a lot of SJWs at their workplace they shouldn't do it. The SJWs will call for their head ifthey hear about the party.

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  • She should send invites out to all her SJW friends as 'Mexican Cultural Appropriation Party, catering by Taco Bell'.

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  • Whyyyyyy

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  • As long as it's done tastefully go for it

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  • This exact problem as stirred up shit in certain circles of the media before, there are some stupid people that have a problem with this. Mostly sensitive white folk scared about anything remotely hinting at "cultural appropriation" or racism if you ask me. But screw them, go for it.

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What Girls Said 12

  • I'm Hispanic and it's not offensive to me but I would be lying if I said it wouldn't make be feel awkward on the inside. I don't celebrate my heritage like that, I don't even own a Mexican dress. I just can't imagine wanting to have a German themed birthday party and asking people to wear lederhosens and dirndls. It'd make me feel rather silly. I can see it be appropriate for 5 de Mayo or for Oktoberfest, it's kind of fun to dress up, but not a birthday party.

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  • If she does it authentically, I see it as appreciating the culture. If she does it tacky, it will be tacky. ex) sombreros, mariachi band, margaritas, americanized tacos...

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  • Do you live near the border? Do you guys speak Spanish? Are you having authentic Mexican food? Mexican parties are awesome but I've never been to one not given by Mexicans. Someone may get offended or find it strange but these are her friends so they must fancy the culture to begin with?

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  • It's not a goddamn bad idea. People need to stop being offended by everything. If anything, it is proof of how passionate the person is about another culture. Sure, they may not get everything right the 1st time, but that is what her Mexican friends are there for - to teach her about something she is interested in, while keeping a positive attitude. Not to invoke the 'cultural appropriation' argument. Bleah.

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  • It kind of sounds like a bad idea.

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  • I'm Mexican and I'm so offended!!!

    Just kidding.

    No really, this sounds super fun, and I don't see why there is a problem. If she's criticized for wanting a Mexican themed party, it makes me think what they would say if it was Hawaiian themed.

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  • I think it sounds like a lot of fun. If you like the culture what's wrong with spotlighting it?

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  • Everyone is sooo damn sensitive these days, it's just a party geez shouldn't be worried about offending someone

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  • why would it offend anyone?
    imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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  • I think it's pretty cool. Culture appreciation

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    • 1mo

      appropriation not appreciation

    • 1mo

      Unless her aunt is using the Mexican theme to look cool and actually doesn't care about the Mexican culture, then it's appropriation. Appreciation is taking the time to engage and learn about a culture that is not yours and enjoying it because you like it and want to show respect to that culture.

  • White people are known for stealing land, lives, and culture being that we have a history to that. Sad but true. In this case it sounds like she's stealing their culture. I thinks it's a bad idea. She could try actually coming up with her own ideas.

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    • 1mo

      "White people are known for stealing land, lives, and culture..." white people are known for doing best what everyone has been doing since forever.
      XD

  • No big deal.
    If they know what it's all about, either they like it with a taco or lump it and stay home and eat squat.
    Throw some chicken wings in to compromise.

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