Globalization has offered many benefits. One benefit being that we are more accepting of that which is different. People in our society are being exposed to so many cultures beyond our local cultures. They are readily adopting different cultures for more explorative and playful reasons.
Language, culture and race are becoming grey areas. Not specific to one place but easily adopted in various ways across the world, transcending its place of origin.
The culture a person grows up with helps them organize information about their world. However, as they get older they pursue other cultures to broaden their perspective on their world. To see things in a new way. People are intrigued not by what they have known their whole lives but want to acquire new and different knowledge. This means that the way people organize their worlds are becoming way more complicated because of the exposure to so many different cultural influences.
This is when people start to lack appreciation for their own culture, especially if it has become monochromatic to them. Human beings want excitement.
Mixed races are a result of a desire to pursue something or someone different than yourself. Travel is often a desire for a different culture beyond our borders. To go in search of the unknown, to discover something new and see something different.
On a food level, people want to try food that is different to what they consume daily. Restaurants like Salsa offer Mexican food (prepared by South Africans). In terms of bringing another culture into local celebrations, I saw a bridal shower that had a Hawaiian theme. This is an important and personal celebration with a not so personal connection to the heritage.
Celebrating another culture can have a personal meaning to a person but for the most part it is just for show and good times. Unless someone tries to understand the culture, they won’t understand the implications or meaning behind what they are wearing or even eating for that matter. Cultural appropriation gets thrown out for the sake of something exciting, fun and picture-worthy.
This insight ought to be brought to life beyond the restaurant industry. Also, it’s an opportunity for South African brands to align with the times. Helping your consumers see and appreciate South African cultures in new ways. While helping them understand cultural significance in the process through enlightening education.