The picture below addresses the real problem of cultural appropriation. Hellenes face this colonial attitude every day. In the case of paganism, for example, Hellenes are criticized for their ethos, the way they live, think and practice their ancestral religion. Pagans want us to think like them, live like them, behave like them. And if we don’t, they judge us with reference to the norms, mores and ethics of their very own culture. That is pure ethnocentrism.
We are tired of the totalitarian expectations and demands by foreigners towards Hellenism. But we are not perplexed. Paganism is an emanation of occultism, which is western Christianity’s superstition system. And where Christianity is, totalitarianism is not far away. They decide what is or rather should be important to us, what we should decide for our own culture, for us, how we should think and live our lives. It’s Christianity all over again, just in different terms. We don’t need some kind of «modernization» of our culture from the outside by strangers with no connection to our language, culture and land. «Modernization» is a cute euphemism for assimilation. And we are certainly not interested in any kind of assimilation into the west.
Let people be themselves, and if you cannot handle that, leave them alone. Stop stalking or harassing their culture for what it stands for. They have every right to be what they are, to make decisions for their own culture and defend their ways. After all, this is the meaning of sovereignty. You don’t have to understand nor like it, just accept it and let it go.
We are not here to satisfy your desires, to be your mascot or play a role in your RPG. We are here for ourselves, have our very own interests, goals, and values. If you cannot accept this, if you are not able to tolerate alterity, and you are obsessed by the idea to «correct» us into… you, stay away from us, our children and our culture.
Because, if you appropriate my ethnonym, colonize my history, commercialize my religion and deny my people’s genocide, you are my enemy, and as such I will treat you. So you better keep your ethnocentrism, racism and hate to yourself and go ahead with your life. Because if history has taught us anything, it’s that Hellenism is not a «turn the other cheek» tradition.
We survived Byzantium. We survived the Ottoman empire. We survived the Nazis. So trust me we will survive paganism too, and the same, of course, goes for all the other by-products of religious, cultural and political monotheism. You simply can’t hold us down.
#colonialism #culturalappropriation #racism #totalitarianism #ethnocentrism #paganism