My culture is not your costume
Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, October 23, 2018
My Culture is Not Your Costume is a collaborative effort on behalf of the Black Student Association, Latino Student Alliance, Asian American Association, Native American Student Association of Notre Dame, African Student Association and Dome-ish. These groups started this event last year as a response to the abundance of cultural appropriation, insensitive costumes and inappropriate events that arise around Halloween. To facilitate dialogue among Notre Dame Students about how to properly dress and approach their Halloween festivities, we purposefully hosted this event before Oct. 31.
“NASAND hopes to inform those who are unfamiliar with native culture about how dressing in native regalia can be disrespectful.”
— Marcus Winchester-Jones, NASAND President
“We love seeing others enjoying our culture, but it becomes a problem when things get exaggerated to the point of overgeneralization. If one doesn’t know the culture, people need to remember it is best not to assume and it’s certainly not appropriate to express in a costume.”
— Jinelfy Rodriquez, Latino Student Alliance, President
In response to this event we held, there was a “Death to Halloween” protest held by another student group that claimed we were ruining the fun in celebrating Halloween — that was not our intent nor our end goal. The end goal is to educate and inform people on how to celebrate Halloween properly by appreciating, and not disrespecting other people’s cultures. While we had a great turnout in 2017, our goal this year is to attract more students and organizations that are not part of the minority, as well as more educated opinions from faculty and staff at Notre Dame.
With these ideas in mind, we’d love for you all to attend our event this year and be fearless in letting your voice be heard. This event is not exclusive to minority organizations on this campus — it is designed for the entire student body. Our event this year will be even bigger, as there will be diverse roundtable discussions, a reverse panel by experts, halloween prizes and free food!
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.