This Article First Appeared In The Hindu On June 09, 2023
Recently, while attending an event in Mallorca, Spain, I spotted a foreigner wearing a tulsi bead necklace. When I commented on how ‘Indian’ it looks, he immediately apologised to me and said that he didn’t mean to appropriate it. I told him, “Absolutely not. It’s just a bead. It’s not made exclusively for Indians, and you are wearing it beautifully.” Sadly, that’s what’s happening in today’s woke culture — people are afraid to touch a garment like a sari because they think they’ll be labelled as cultural appropriators. But if the motives are right, and it’s not used to insult anyone, I would rather call it cultural appreciation.