Indian Writer Says Beyonce’s New Video Is Cultural Appropriation
Is Coldplay and Beyonce’s new video for “Hymn For The Weekend” straddling the line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation?
Indian site Chakra News explains why Queen Bee was wrong for wearing traditional clothing and exploiting the country’s rich culture.
As for Beyoncé’s role, it was awkward and sometimes felt disrespectful. Most of the frustration came around Beyoncé’s poor and effortless attempt at learning the ancient Hindu dance style Bharatnatyam. During her camera-time mimicking a Bollywood actress (not sure why they couldn’t have an Indian play for this role in the 1st place, but thats a later argument) she twirls her wrists and hands like its some exotic ritual and actual steps of an traditional Indian dance form. On the contrary, to anyone that watched Bharatnatyam dance performances, it looks like a mockery vs. authentic amateur attempt.
To give an analogy, it’s like a Celebrity such as Beyoncé putting traditional Native headfeathers on and just hopping around in a circle. This would be borderline racism and obvious cultural appropriation; hence why the comedic attempt at Beyoncé’s Bharatnatyam (or whatever Indian dance style the choreographer thought) was disturbing.
Another problem was Beyoncé’s dress – it was a weird attempt to mimick a traditional Indian Hindu sari but fell-short of looking like a Islamic Burqa mixed with a robotic android. Let us not forget the reality of when thousands of Indians, Hindus or other cultural groups wear their native attire as it’s not uncommon for them to face racism. For example, one of the most extreme hate-groups in America during the 80’s was called the ‘dot-busters’. Members of the ‘dot-busters’ group would randomly beat up Hindus, while targeting Hindu women wearing red-dots (known as bindis)…and we all know it’s cool (now) when celebrities like Selena Gomez or Beyoncé wear such things.
Do you think Bollywood Bey was wrong for the video or nah??