Home > Are Ponchos Cultural Appropriation?

Are Ponchos Cultural Appropriation?

Want to buy or wear a poncho but not sure if it is considered cultural appropriation? This post does a deep dive into the significance of ponchos.

Here is your answer to whether or not ponchos are a form of cultural appropriation:

Is It Cultural Appropriation to Wear a Poncho?

Although ponchos may not be cultural appropriation, they are still an emblematic part of South American, particularly Mexican culture – they also hold deep cultural and historical meaning to native peoples of those lands and it can be considered for non-native people to wear ponchos.

The Cultural Significance of Ponchos

It is only natural to wonder why wearing a poncho may be considered culturally insensitive. After all, isn’t this an item of clothing? What significance could it possibly have?

Well, as it turns out, ponchos have a lot more cultural significance than people realize.

Male tourist in poncho sitting

For one thing, ponchos have been around for a lot longer than many people believe. In reality, ponchos have been found in pre-Incan sites and are considered around 2500 years old!

What’s more, they have considerable significance as well. The patterns on the ponchos can have various meanings – the diamond shaped design was meant to indicate important people or leaders in the community.

In fact, ponchos were considered so important that they were actually buried with individuals. The fact that family members wanted their loved ones to have ponchos in their afterlife means a great deal.

It is due to this significance that you are better off not wearing ponchos. After all, you will simply be wearing it as a fashion statement while to the people of South America, it is far more meaningful.

Why Can Ponchos Be Problematic?

There is also the fact that ponchos can be especially problematic right now.

The people of South America, particularly Mexicans, have often had an uneasy life in the US. Many faces discrimination, harassment, and live under the constant fear of being targeted by the police, even if they are legal citizens.

For instance, in Arizona, the police were allowed to stop people solely based on their physical appearance to demand immigration papers. This law was used to excessively use individuals from South American countries.

To add to this, when Donald Trump was president, he created a law to segregate children from their families at the border. There was also an increase in raids and deportations associated with South American individuals.

In general, though, there has been a lot of mocking things said and done regarding South Americans, with a special focus on Mexicans.

Their manner of speaking and cultural emblems like the sombrero and ponchos have been worn as costumes, often in a derogatory manner.

Due to these instances, most people from South American countries will not take kindly to people wearing ponchos as a fashion statement.

In many cases, it can be a cruel reminder of the double standards faced by Hispanic individuals.

Is It Ever OK to Wear a Poncho?

What about if you have a lot of respect for South American and Mexican culture? What if you mean no disrespect when you wear a poncho? Is it then OK for you to wear this garment?

The issue is that the painful history between the US, the US government, and the people of South America still runs deep. Therefore, borrowing from these cultures when so much of them are still mocked isn’t a good idea.

To add to this, you should consider where you are getting your poncho from. It is likely that you are buying it from a store found in the mall or even a high-end brand.

Well, these stores and brands may have ripped this design idea from South American cultures, but they have given nothing back. This is a blatant case of cultural appropriation. And, if you buy a poncho from such places, then you become a part of the problem.

How to Be Culturally Sensitive About Ponchos?

It is difficult to know if it is possible to be culturally sensitive about ponchos.

If you would like to wear one, though, it is a good idea to consider the people and the environment around you. It is best to wait until you are in a South American country and even then, discuss the matter with the people in that community.

Girl in Poncho Alone in Field

The other thing to do is to stop buying ponchos from major brands or stores. Instead, look for local designers and crafters that use a handloom to create these designs.

For one thing, you can guarantee that your money is going to the right place and to the people who deserve it. In some instances, it could even mean improving certain communities by helping them to preserve their traditional methods.

It is also a good idea to do some research on ponchos. Speak to the designers about the history, material, patterns, etc. It is only by really understand the backstory of a poncho that you will be able to show due respect when wearing it.

In general, you may also want to consider how you can help individuals in your community and throughout the country by raising awareness to their plight. You should also vote in a manner that will improve the lives of the people around you.

Are Ponchos Considered Cultural Appropriation?

Wearing a poncho may not be textbook cultural appropriation but it still considered bad form – ponchos have a great historical and cultural significance and it can be hurtful to wear them without understanding this – the injustices of South Americans at the hands of the US also makes this problematic.

Are Mandalas Cultural Appropriation?

Interested in purchasing, displaying, or using a mandala but not sure if it is a form of cultural appropriation? If so, this is the article for you. Discover the significance of the mandala and whether or not it is a form of cultural appropriation:

Is Displaying or Using Mandalas Cultural Appropriation?

This all depends on how the mandalas are being used – if you are using or displaying mandalas as a form of meditation, to improve focus, and to bring balance into your life, then it is not cultural appropriation – however, if the mandalas are being used for decoration, then it is disrespectful.

What is the Purpose of a Mandala?

A lot of people are confused about what mandala actually is. So much so that few individuals understand the purpose of a Mandala.

So, what is a mandala and how is it meant to be used?

beautiful mandala design concept

The mandala is a symbolic diagram. It is meant to be a representation of the universe, a sacred space that functions as the receptacle for Gods as well as universal forces. Each person is meant to mentally enter the mandala and to work towards moving towards the center. In doing so, you experience disintegration and reintegration.

Mandalas are a part of Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese cultures. There are two types of mandalas, each representing a certain aspect of the universe.

The garbha-dhatu is where the movement of the individual is from the one to the many. With the vajra-dhatu, the movement is from the many into the one.

In essence, the mandala is a spiritual and mental element of Buddhism. It is an object that is meant to help you focus, find your spiritual center, and to move to a higher plane of spirituality and existence.

The Origin of Your Mandala and How It Ties into Cultural Appropriation

Now, before going into whether or not different forms of mandala utilization is cultural appropriation or not, you must first consider whether your mandala is authentic.

If you have gotten your mandala anywhere outside of Asia, there is a good chance that the mandala doesn’t have the right pattern. In fact, it is largely a commercial or manufactured product. In that sense, it isn’t really a mandala.

Although Buddhism and mandalas have spread outside of Asia, these philosophies have often been twisted by the Western world. Most people in Western countries use it as an identity rather than to practice principles to move to a higher spiritual plane.

Not to mention, Buddhist elements such as the mandala have become heavily commercialized and manufactured in these countries. This is done with the little thought to the meaning or the origination of such symbols.

Therefore, using or keeping a ‘fake’ mandala certainly is a form of cultural appropriation as it shows a lack of the respect for the concept of the mandala.

Is a Mandala Tapestry Cultural Appropriation?

This depends on why you have the tapestry in your home and how you are using it. For instance, if you sit in front of the tapestry each day, clear your mind, and use the tapestry to find your spiritual center, this isn’t a form of cultural appropriation.

This is because you are using the tapestry as it was originally intended – to focus your mind and to improve yourself.

However, if you are keeping the tapestry as a piece of décor or to add an ethnic or boho vibe to your home, then this is a form of cultural appropriation. This is true regardless of whether or not the mandala is authentic.

Keep in mind, mandalas have real significance to people. By treating simply as a decoration, you are disrespecting the value that these individuals have placed on the mandala.

Are Mandala Tattoos a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

The one thing that you absolutely shouldn’t do is to get mandala tattoos. There are a few different reasons for this.

For one thing, you are treating the mandala as a decorative image and, as mentioned, you really shouldn’t do this. Despite the design looking pretty, a mandala is a spiritual image and isn’t meant to be used in any other fashion.

Beautiful mandala rock

Therefore, when you get a mandala tattoo, you are completely disregarding the meaning and importance behind this design.

Furthermore, the mandala tattoo designs that you find aren’t actually mandala designs at all. Instead, they are geometric patterns that have a passing resemblance to the mandala.

This shows a lack of care to the authentic designs and what they mean – you are simply looking for something that will look good as a tattoo.

Finally, there is an increasing number of mandala tattoos these days. This proves that it is a passing fad for tattoos. In this instance, the mandala is turned into a trend and something gimmicky.

As a result, it is completely disrespectful to those who view the mandala as a sacred thing.

How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation with Mandalas?

First and foremost, do your research on mandalas. Discover what they are, what they mean, and how they are meant to be used.

This will guarantee that you are showing the mandala the due respect.

You should also be careful about where you get the mandala from. Avoid buying it from department stores or Western stores or brands.

Instead, look for mandalas originating from India, China, or Japan. These will be accurate and have greater meaning for you.

Are Mandalas Considered Cultural Appropriation?

If you purchase the proper mandala and use it to help improve your concentration and to move to a higher plane of thought and spirituality, then it isn’t a form of cultural appropriation – however, if it is used as decorative, a trend, or a gimmick then it is appropriation.

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One of the main perks of using Markt.de is that there is just so much of choice here. This is a rather popular online marketplace which means that there are thousands of cars to choose from. Everything from popular models to rarer ones and new cars to old cars, you can find on this site.

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Other Sites Like Mobile.de for Buying and Selling Vehicles

Looking for more options to buy or sell your vehicle? Check out these sites that offer similar services and features like Mobile.de.

Autoscout24 is another leading online marketplace for cars motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

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CarMax offers a convenient and hassle-free car buying experience with a wide selection of vehicles and financing options. eBay Motors is a well-known online marketplace where you can find a variety of vehicles accessories and parts.

Gumtree is a classified ads website that allows users to buy and sell vehicles along with other items.

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Are Japanese Tattoos Cultural Appropriation?

Want to get a Japanese tattoo but not sure if it is considered cultural appropriation? Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might have hoped.

Here is all that you need to about Japanese tattoos and whether or not they may be offensive:

Is Getting a Japanese Tattoo Cultural Appropriation?

There are some Japanese tattoos that you can get without appropriating Japanese culture or being insensitive – however, it is important to understand which elements of Japanese culture and customs are not available to foreigners and, therefore, shouldn’t be used as inspiration for tattoos.

What Kind of Japanese Tattoos are Cultural Appropriation?

Before getting any kind of tattoo, you should be aware of the history behind the art style, the symbol, story, etc. If the tattoo that you want to get holds deep cultural or spiritual meaning to the people of Japan, then it is best not to get it.

a girl gets a tattoo

Even if it may not be considered cultural appropriation, it is considered insensitive. Decorating your body with symbols that are significant to others, particularly without understanding their importance can be disrespectful to others.

The other thing to avoid is choosing images or symbols simply because you like the aesthetic of them. With most tattoos, simply want a tattoo because it looks good isn’t an issue at all.

However, when it comes to culturally relevant tattoos, there is a problem. Once again, this is because these tattoos have meaning to people. Therefore, simply getting them because they look cool or pretty isn’t giving these symbols or images the due respect.

Misunderstanding the Meaning of Japanese Symbols

The other issue with getting a Japanese tattoo is that most people misunderstand the meaning behind tattoos.

Pop culture has made Japanese culture and Japanese tattoos popular. However, you should bear in mind that books, movies, and TV shows that haven’t been created by native Japanese can often get quite a few things wrong.

Therefore, if you don’t do enough research on various designs and symbols, you can end up getting a tattoo that has a different meaning to what you wanted.

Take the Japanese dragon, for instance.

It is believed that dragon mythology was brought over from China. Nevertheless, this mythology evolved quite differently in Japan.

In China, dragons are seen as forces of good and define positive traits like strength, wisdom, and courage. In Japan, though, this isn’t always the case.

While Japanese dragons can be considered god-like, they can be either good or evil. More often than not, the dragons in Japan are the villains of the story. Therefore, getting a dragon tattoo isn’t necessarily a good thing.

If you do want to get a Japanese tattoo, always do your research. This is the only way to ensure that you aren’t culturally appropriating images and symbols.

Can You Get a Kanji Japanese Tattoo?

Tattoos written in the kanji script are arguably some of the most tattoos around. And, it is only natural to want to get such a tattoo.

The script is so beautiful and majestic looking and as it is quite old as well, it can lend greater meaning to the word or phrase that you want to get tattooed on your body.

Here is the problem, though, kanji is an incredibly complex and intricate script. As such, if you aren’t proficient in the written language, you are likely to get your tattoo wrong.

In fact, if you were to ask native writers to look at kanji tattoos, they would inform you that the majority of these tattoos are wrong.

Keep in mind that getting a kanji tattoo wrong isn’t just like misspelling a word in English. No, in some cases, even the slightest shift in the positioning of a character can completely change the word.

It is due to this that you shouldn’t trust online translators. They will lead you astray and you could end up getting a tattoo that is offensive or insulting to the people who can actually read it.

If you do want to get a kanji tattoo, make sure to find someone who is fluent both in English as well as kanji. This is because there are rarely direct translations from one word or phrase to another. As such, you will require someone who is fluent in both languages to get an accurate translation.

The History of Tattooing in Japan

Before you get a Japanese tattoo, it is also important to understand how permanent body art is viewed in Japan.

Tattoo Artist in the studio

Tattoos in Japan are a lot older than most people realize – before 300 AD. However, between 300 and 600 AD, they began to take on a negative connotation. During this period, criminals were increasingly tattooed as a way of marking them out from the rest of the population.

As the tattoos began to become associated with criminal gangs like the Yakuza, they were outlawed within the country.

Even today, you may not be let into certain hot springs, public water parks, and similar public spaces with visible tattoos.

You should also be aware that the older generation is especially disapproving of tattoos in general. As such, you may get some stares or accusing looks.

If you are planning on living in or visiting Japan, then this is something to think about.

Are All Japanese Tattoos a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

No, not all Japanese tattoos can be considered a form of cultural appropriation – however, you do have to be careful when choosing your design, symbol, or image to ensure that your choice doesn’t encroach on the cultural or religious elements of Japan.

Understanding the Historical Significance of Japanese Tattoos

When considering the cultural implications of Japanese tattoos it’s crucial to understand their historical significance.

In Japan tattoos have a complex and often taboo status.

Traditionally tattoos were associated with criminals and morally impaired individuals leading to their stigmatization.

These negative connotations still persist today with tattoos being linked to organized crime in Japanese society.

As a result Japanese tattoos are almost non-existent in Japan itself.

However outside of Japan Japanese tattoos have gained popularity thanks to Western influence.

It’s vital to recognize the historical context and societal attitudes towards tattoos in Japan to ensure respectful engagement with this art form.

By acknowledging these nuances individuals interested in Japanese tattoos can navigate the issue of cultural appropriation with caution and thoughtfulness.

Is Macrame Cultural Appropriation?

Want to buy macrame décor for your home? Or, perhaps you have seen macrame clothes or jewelry and would like to wear them. However, is this considered cultural appropriation?

Well, here is a breakdown of macrame and whether or not using it is considered a form of cultural appropriation:

Is Macrame a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

Macrame is originally from Arab countries, eventually passing onto other nations via travelers and traders – despite this, macrame doesn’t have cultural ties to a specific country or group and, as such, macrame isn’t seen as a form of cultural appropriation.

Why is Macrame Not a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

Well, to understand this, you have to understand the history of macrame.

Historians believe that macrame got its beginnings from thirteenth century Arab weavers. The weavers used this technique with excess fabric on their hand loomed products. The thread and the yarn along the edges were tied off into fringes.

The girl's hand at macrame weaving work

In fact, the macrame is a Spanish inspired word. It is believed to be derived from the Arabic word migramah which means embroidered veil or ornamental fringe.

After the Moorish conquest, this art form was taken to Spain before moving onto Italy. After this, it began to spread throughout Europe. It was introduced to Queen Mary II in the late seventeenth century.

However, macrame began to really spread across the globe thanks to sailors. It was they who created macrame objects while at sea. They then sold or traded these things away once they reached land.

Interestingly enough, the sailors also traded and bartered knots for producing macrame around the world as well. They had the stronghold of secret knots. It was only once these knots and their associated designs became published in books and magazines did the designs become available to every household.

Therefore, the main reason that macrame is not considered a form of cultural appropriation is because while it got its beginnings in the Arab world it has been used in other countries for a very long time.

As such, it has been a part of so many cultures for so long that it isn’t really claimed by one in particular.

Can Macrame Ever Be Considered a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

Well, this does depend on how it is used. For instance, if you use macrame for hanging pots or simple as a random form of decoration, then it shouldn’t be an issue.

The same can be said if you have the odd rug or other embellishment in your home.

That being said, you do need to be aware of what kind of décor theme or vibe you are trying to create with your home.

Now, macrame has been used in seaside homes for quite a while to give a nautical effect. This isn’t a form of cultural appropriation as it has to do with the ocean.

On the other hand, there are those that use macrame to create a bohemian vibe in their home. They may also use patterns that are associated with certain cultures, including Native American.

In this instance, macrame can be considered a form of cultural appropriation or cultural insensitivity.

Most people will adopt boho themes in their home or in their fashion and jewelry without fully appreciating where these styles have come from.

The bohemian trend as a whole tends to heavily borrow from marginalized cultures. However, you will almost always find these items from large commercial companies who mark up prices without contributing any of the profits to the communities that they have profited from.

If used like this, then macrame can be considered largely problematic.

How to Avoid Cultural Insensitivity with Macrame?

The first thing to do is to avoid purchasing macrame from big corporations. Instead, look for local hand looms, particularly those who belong to marginalized or indigenous communities.

Weaving macrame at home.

For one thing, you can guarantee that your money is going to communities that need and deserve these funds. This reduces the risk of exploitation.

The other benefit is that you also get access to beautiful, authentic pieces that are often a great deal more customized than anything you can find in a mainstream store or website.

You will also give yourself the opportunity to learn a bit more about macrame, its roots, and how it continues to be utilized in smaller communities across the world. In turn, this will end up being a far better way for you to decorate your home or your body.

Can You Employ Macrame in Your Home and Wardrobe?

Yes, you absolutely can. Just make sure to consider the items that you are buying. Where did they come from and what was the inspiration for the design.

Be mindful of your own heritage, particularly if you come from a group that has marginalized other races, ethnicities, or cultures. In this instance, there are limits to the styles that you can wear and the items that you can use to decorate your home.

As long as your macrame items or clothes don’t infringe on somebody else’s culture or beliefs, you should be fine in utilizing it. It can be used in your home and worn as fashion.

Is Macrame Considered Cultural Appropriation?

Macrame is an art form that began in the Arab world but quickly spread to other countries, including Europe – it has been a part of European cultures for many centuries and, as such, isn’t considered a form of cultural appropriation – you should be mindful of how you use it, nonetheless.

Is It Cultural Appropriation to Get a Dragon Tattoo?

Want to get a dragon tattoo but not sure if it is a form of cultural appropriation? Well, then you have come to the right place!

Here you can discover whether or not dragon tattoos are a form of cultural appropriation or not:

Are Dragon Tattoos a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

As dragons do belong to various cultures and literature, a dragon tattoo isn’t always considered cultural appropriation – however, you do have to consider the kind of dragon you are getting, what other details are included in your tattoo, and if you truly understand the meaning behind your ink.

Why are Dragons Not Always a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

The reality is that dragon mythology is quite pervasive. While dragons are commonly linked to Asian cultures such as Japanese and Chinese, these kinds of legends are present all over the world.

Tattoo artist working tattooing

Dragons have been found in Middle Eastern cultures, Greek and Roman cultures, and even Medieval Europe. In fact, the flag of Wales has a large dragon on it. Therefore, to say that dragons as a whole is cultural appropriation is far from correct.

To add to this, dragons are also found in literature such as Beowulf and The Hobbit. Even Shakespeare refers to dragons in some of his plays.

In this sense, dragons are a mythology that belong to many cultures throughout the world instead of one. Due to this, you would have a hard time saying that this mythological creature is a form of appropriation.

When are Dragons Cultural Appropriation?

While you may be able to find dragons throughout the world, these dragons aren’t all the same.

For instance, in Asian cultures such as China and Japan, dragons are often seen as gods or god-like creatures. In Japan, a certain God is believed to be the guardian of the Shinto religion. These creatures are often seen as protectors, too.

In the Middle East and much of Europe, however, dragons are seen as evil beings. This is because they are associated with the serpent which is seen as being a symbol of the devil. As such, the dragon is also seen as a demonic entity.

To add to this, dragons don’t really have as much importance in European history or culture anymore. Whereas in certain Asian cultures, dragons continue to be a revered part of rituals and customs.

Therefore, if you get a tattoo of a dragon based on Chinese or Japanese dragons it may not necessarily seem like a form of appropriation but rather insensitivity. This is because you don’t hold these creatures in the same level of esteem as natives of those cultures.

To add to this, in Japan, dragons have a bit more complex association with culture. In some instances, they are seen as good and others are seen as evil. Not understanding this distinction can also sometimes be seen as a form of insensitivity.

Can Researching Dragon Mythology Make It More Acceptable to Get a Dragon Tattoo?

This is a tricky question to answer. This is because you can get a different answer depending on the person.

Some people may appreciate that you have taken the time to understand the legends and thus to get a more meaningful tattoo. Others, however, may want to guard their culture a little bit more fiercely.

It is also a good idea to be mindful of where you are. If you are a foreigner living in China or Japan or live among people from these countries, it is best to look for a different type of dragon tattoo.

As you can’t guarantee how each person would feel about it, it is best to err on the side of caution and to avoid creating any issues. Of course, you also have the option to get a dragon tattoo in an area that isn’t quite visible to the public.

How to Get a Dragon Tattoo That Isn’t Culturally Insensitive?

It is a good idea to stick with dragons that are based on European myths or on pop culture dragons like those from Beowulf, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, etc.

One of the biggest differences between Asian and European dragons is that the European based ones have wings. The myths surrounding them also have them breathing fire and hoarding treasure.

The girl with the dragon tattoo

The Asian dragons are a bit more serpent like and have a more sinuous physique. The European dragons appear more closely related to lizards.

There are actually more inspiration for such dragon tattoos than most people realize. Go ahead and do some research and you should be able to easily find a tattoo that you like.

If you do want to get dragons based on Asian legends, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is best to get dragons in either blue or red. These are lucky colors whereas black is believed to be an unlucky color.

Also, limit the addition of any other Asian elements in your tattoo as this really would be considered cultural appropriation. At all costs, steer clear of tattoos with any kind of words or phrases written in Chinese or Japanese script.

Not only do these tend to be quite offensive but they also tend to be grammatically incorrect. Unless you are fluent in the written language or know someone who is, this should be avoided at all costs.

Are Dragon Tattoos Considered Cultural Appropriation?

As dragons – and dragon tattoos – are present in many different cultures, the tattoos themselves may not be considered cultural appropriation – however, you should be careful about the design and surrounding elements of your tattoo as these may be considered offensive to some.

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Despite being one of the most popular platforms a few years ago, FaceIt is losing its luster. If you feel like this too, then you are going to want a suitable alternative.

Here is a list of the best esports platforms for both fun and competition!


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If you are someone who wants to be a better gamer, then all you have to do is compete and win your way up the league. As you do this, you also get to make more money for yourself. If you simply like to be in the presence of professionals, then you can do this too while checking out your favorite streamers.


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Sure, gaming is fun and all but do you want to play to win? If so, Exceedme is the website for you. The main advantage with this site is that you can make money right from the start. Best of all, you don’t have to be a pro gamer to make bank either. Even those just starting out have the opportunity to make money.

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The other great thing about Exeedme is that you have the chance to make money every step of the way. Naturally, you can get paid if you win but there is also a good chance for you to make money just by playing. As long as people place bets on your game, you may be able to get a cut of that.

RDY Arena

If you are looking for a whole new gaming experience, then this is exactly what RDY Arena can do for you. It doesn’t matter if you want to improve yourself as a gamer or have fun with friends, there are so many different options with this website.

Want to play ranked games while winning prizes? Well, go ahead and sign up for Solo Mode on the site. You can sign in whenever you want which means that there is a far shorter wait time. You can play at your skill level and still win prizes. If you prefer, you can create your own ladder or competition. Just choose from Gamemode, Playermode, and the Prize pool. Then, it is just a matter of finding your competitor and gaming.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for fun, to improve your performance, make a name for yourself, or make some money – you will be able to find everything that you need on at least one of these sites. Go ahead discover the right one for you today.

Sites Like Faceit

In addition to the mentioned alternatives and competitors of Faceit there are several other platforms that gamers can explore.

Fastcup.net is a site similar to Faceit.com offering worldwide server locations custom matches and an advanced anti-cheat system.

Similarly ESEA.net focuses on competitive gaming and community forums providing a platform for players to compete and improve their skills.

Esportal.com is a sports-focused site that offers features like tournaments and team rankings.

DMarket.com is a marketplace where gamers can trade in-game items using advanced game technology and fintech features.

Other notable sites include SteamDB.info which provides information about Steam games their prices and updates and gg.bet a betting platform for esports and gaming.

These sites cater to different gaming interests and preferences offering a variety of features and opportunities for gamers worldwide.

Are Leis Cultural Appropriation?

It can often seem that leis are everywhere, not just Hawaii. Considering leis are a Hawaiian tradition, though, it is only natural to wonder if it is cultural appropriation.

Here is what you need to know about leis and whether or not they fall under cultural appropriation:

Is Wearing a Lei a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

This depends on the circumstance – for instance, if you have been given a lei by a person of Hawaiian descent, particularly in Hawaii then it is not considered cultural appropriation – however, if you are wearing leis at a Hawaiian themed party on the mainland then it is considered appropriation.

What is the Cultural Significance of Leis?

Leis have a long history in Hawaii. They were first brought over by the Polynesians who made their way from Tahiti.

Men With Hawaiian Leis

They may be largely made up of flowers now but in earlier days they were created from flowers, seeds, nuts, and even animal bone and teeth.

Although leis were originally a way of beautifying people, they gained a stronger meaning between communities. Due to this, leis were considered a symbol of Hawaii, religion, and hula.

In fact, when two chiefs from warring tribes exchanged leis, they did so as a sign of peace.

People give each other leis as a sign of friendship and love. Therefore, you must always expect a lei and should never reject one from a native Hawaiian as it is considered highly offensive.

What’s more, there is a whole ceremony of removing the lei once it is presented to you. You can never remove it in the presence of the person who gave it to you.

Instead, you must wait until once of you has moved to a different location. You must then bury the lei in your backyard or hang it on a tree limb.

In case you want to send it into the ocean, you must first untie the knot and let the flowers float freely in the water.

Why Can Leis Be Considered Cultural Appropriation

Have you noticed how leis are usually found at Hawaii-themed parties? However, these are never thrown by native Hawaiians.

Instead, it is by people who have borrowed and diluted certain aspects of Hawaiian culture to have a good time. In many cases, these parties and the elements surrounding them are based of stereotypical ideas about Hawaii.

In reality, Hawaii has a long, rich, and beautiful culture – one that few people take the time or trouble to understand.

This especially goes for leis.

In places outside of Hawaii, most of the leis are plastic as flower ones can be expensive and wilt quickly too. This is quite unnatural considering the importance of the lei.

Furthermore, most people give away or accept leis without any consideration at all. They don’t observe any of the traditions that are associated with the lei, thus, stripping it of its meaning.

Instead, it is turned into a party favor or a decoration.

Whenever this is done, it is a slap in the face of people who have a deep symbolism for their lei and take great measures to maintain the respect surrounding it.

Understanding the Troubling History Between the US and Hawaii

Despite Hawaii being considered a part of the US, the history between the US and Hawaii is a rocky one.

This is because Hawaii existed as an independent monarchy for a long time until the US troops invaded Hawaii and overthrew this monarchy. The people of Hawaii didn’t want to be a US state but they were forced into it nonetheless.

The problems don’t end here. Throughout the years, the US government has attempted to unfairly tax Hawaiians while simultaneously trying to strip away their history, traditions, and even the very land they live on.

Why are Leis Especially Problematic Now?

The wearing of leis by non Hawaiians can be seen as especially problematic at this time.

For one thing, the people of Hawaii are fighting harder than ever to preserve their culture, cultural heritage, and their home. This includes trying to ensure that people don’t build on sacred land or tear down important structures.

Young Hula Dancers

Therefore, wearing leis at parties on the mainland or elsewhere can be seen as making a mockery of this struggle.

To add to this, the islands are suffering from over tourism, skyrocketing property prices due to mainlanders claiming permanent residency, and more.

It is important that people don’t make light of Hawaiian culture, particularly when so many people are trying to preserve it in their homeland.

Are Leis Ever Appropriate?

There are times when leis may be considered appropriate. In particular, if you are visiting Hawaii and a local gifts you with a lei, you must accept.

However, make sure to read up on the proper protocol. This includes how to wear the lei properly, how to remove it respectfully, and how to store it properly. This proves that you respect the culture and what the lei stands for.

You can also accept a lei from a native Hawaiian on the mainland or somewhere else. They have the right to give you the lei so it would be rude to reject the offer.

Once again, though, make sure that you ask about how to accept, wear, and remove the lei so that you can show your host that you respect their culture and beliefs.

Is Wearing a Lei Cultural Appropriation?

If you aren’t Hawaiian or haven’t been given a lei by a native Hawaiian then you wearing a lei is a form of cultural appropriation – this is because they are various rules and rituals regarding a lei and if you don’t perform them you aren’t giving the lei the proper respect.

Are Hair Sticks Cultural Appropriation?

Hair sticks were quite the trend in the 90s and they are making a comeback once more. However, if you are someone who isn’t from an Asian culture is it appropriate for you to wear this style?

Here is all that you need to know about hair sticks and cultural appropriation?

Is Wearing Hair Sticks a Form of Cultural Appropriation?

This all depends on what kind of hair sticks you are wearing as well as how you are using them as an accessories – as long as you are respectful of hair sticks and understand your limits in borrowing them from foreign cultures it shouldn’t be a problem.

Why are Hair Sticks Not Considered Cultural Appropriation?

Well, one of the reasons has to do with the fact that hair sticks don’t actually belong to a single culture.

Although hair sticks are traditionally associated with Chinese and Japanese cultures, they have also been used by the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Africans for thousands of years.

sticks in hair

As hair sticks have been used in Europe, Africa, and Asia, it is difficult to condemn a single person or a single race of appropriating a culture.

There is also the fact that most hair sticks aren’t considered a symbol of culture. Instead, they were merely hair accessories. Hair sticks were either used to enhance a hairstyle or used to keep the hair in place.

Due to this, you can wear hair sticks – within certain limits – without being accused of cultural appropriation.

Hair Sticks vs. Chopsticks – The Important Difference

Now, before continuing with this discussion, it is important for you to understand the difference between hair sticks and chopsticks.

Hair sticks became especially popular in the 90s although back then, they were referred to as chopsticks. Some people still do this today.

Despite this, hair sticks aren’t chopsticks. Hair sticks are decorative tools and accessories for the hair. Chopsticks are used for eating.

As such, to refer to hair sticks as chopsticks is incredibly inappropriate.

On a similar note, you should never use chopsticks in lieu of hair sticks. Always use hair sticks as using chopsticks is culturally insensitive.

Many people also find it quite rude and unnecessary – the equivalent of sticking a fork in your hair.

When is Wearing Hair Sticks Cultural Appropriation?

Although this isn’t true of other cultures, there is some cultural significance to Japanese hair sticks. These may be adorned with symbols of either historical sentiment or religious sentiment.

In some instances, this may be true for Chinese hair sticks as well, particularly if they are celebrating a certain festival. These may be engraved or painted with certain symbols, signs, or words.

You should steer clear of these hair sticks at all costs. These are cultural symbols to people and, as such, will be seen as a form of cultural appropriation.

If you are also wearing these hair sticks in a careless manner, without understanding what they stand for, you will be considered culturally insensitive as well.

Are Your Hair Sticks a Part of a ‘Costume’?

A surefire way to guarantee that you wearing hair sticks is if you are wearing them as accessories as a costume while adopting national dresses from another culture.

If you are doing so with the approval of people from that culture and are wearing it for a cultural event, then it isn’t seen as insensitive or appropriation.

However, if you are wearing the outfit and hair sticks as a costume for a party or to make comedy out of someone else’s culture, then this is both appropriation as well as inappropriate.

In general, avoid wearing hair sticks if the rest of your outfit may already be borrowing heavily from Asian themes. This could appear as though you are trying to put together a costume even if this isn’t your intention.

In addition to this, you shouldn’t wear traditional Chinese or Japanese hairstyles. And, you certainly shouldn’t wear hair sticks in such hairstyles either!

How Should You Choose Hair Sticks?

It is always a good idea to stick with plain hair sticks. Although you can choose different colored hair sticks, you may want to avoid ones that have charms attached to the back.

Woman against sky with sticks in hair

Also, steer clear of any that have symbols or signs that may be associated with a certain culture or religion.

It is a good idea to always do your research ahead of time and to know which hair sticks have cultural significance. This can prevent you from making mistakes with your purchase.

When Should You Wear Hair Sticks?

You can wear hair sticks to enhance the beauty of a bun or another simple hairstyle. As mentioned, this shouldn’t be anything traditional that is associated with a particular culture.

You should also consider the occasion and the event. Are there going to be people there whose culture is associated with hair sticks?

If so, it is best not to wear them. Even if this isn’t necessary a cultural symbol, you should respect that this may not be the right audience for such a fashion statement.

You should also be mindful of the rest of your outfit. Stick to attire that is associated with your culture or fashion trends so that it doesn’t appear as though you are appropriating anyone’s culture.

Are Hair Sticks Considered Cultural Appropriation?

Hair sticks themselves aren’t considered a form of cultural appropriation – for one thing, they belong to many different cultures and, for another, are an accessory – however, wearing certain hair sticks can appear culturally insensitive and should be avoided by foreigners.

Are Hair Sticks Considered Cultural Appropriation?

Hair sticks themselves aren’t considered a form of cultural appropriation – for one thing they belong to many different cultures and for another are an accessory – however wearing certain hair sticks can appear culturally insensitive and should be avoided by foreigners.

It’s important to be mindful of the significance that hair sticks may hold in specific cultures.

For example Japanese and Chinese hair sticks may be adorned with engraved or painted symbols that hold historical or religious sentiment.

Wearing these hair sticks without understanding their meaning can be seen as a form of cultural appropriation.

Additionally wearing hair sticks as part of a costume or in a careless manner can also be seen as culturally insensitive.

It’s crucial to be respectful and considerate when choosing and wearing hair sticks to avoid unintentionally appropriating another culture.

Sites Like Libgen

There is no denying that Libgen is a great site but if you are on the search for knowledge, then one website isn’t enough. You need to be able to look through numerous sites to ensure that your research is complete and accurate.

Well, here are the websites like Libgen that will allow you to do just that:


Z-Library is actually referred to as a shadow site of Libgen so it is one of the top alternatives for you. On this site, you can choose from tens of millions of scientific articles. Want to see what materials are available for a topic? If so, you can do a general search. If you want to search up a certain keyword and are looking for articles published during a certain time period, then you can do a fulltext search.

The site isn’t just for those looking for scientific articles, either. There are lots of books to choose from. While many of these are fiction, you can find just as many non-fiction titles. These include titles for financial planning, self help, self improvement, and more.


This is another excellent website if you are looking for academic articles. Here, you can find articles based on the fields of medicine, chemistry, biology, humanities, physics, engineering, math, and a lot more. The majority of the articles are research articles taken from journals.

Homepage for Libgen-

At the same time, you can find papers from conference proceedings. There are even excerpts from book chapters. All in all, this is the site that you should go to if you want high-quality, peer reviewed information on almost any topic that you can think of.


The great thing about ResearchGate is that it is a widely recognized website. It only contains well-written peer review articles. As such, you can easily use links from ResearchGate to cite in articles and other academic texts. There are also so many topics for you to choose from – engineering, mathematics, biology, medicine, and even climate change.

Not only is ResearchGate an excellent option for anyone looking for information, it is a great site for those who are looking to get their work published or want to gain recognition in their field. It is a wonderful platform to get your work out there into the community.


If you are looking for a true scientific community, then look no further than Academia.edu. There are currently almost 200 million registered users and this number is growing every day. Thus, if you want to see work from likeminded people, discuss ideas, or look for inspiration, then this is the website that can do all of this, and more, for you.

Of course, more contributors means more papers to choose from. There are over 40 million articles and papers for you to consider. As there is such a diverse audience on the website, the papers cover a greater number of topics too. This includes but isn’t limited to medieval history, chemical engineering, economic policy, and more.


This website has a slightly different take on articles. The articles are all pre prints but this doesn’t mean that they are any less helpful or impressive. Instead, Authorea is an open research site that allows cutting edge ideas to emerge into the mainstream community instead of having to go through rigorous publishing standards first.

Homepage for authorea

Not only is Authorea great for brand new ideas, but it covers an incredible amount of topics as well. If you are interested in clinical pharmacology, infectious diseases, the ecosystem, and more, you can readily find articles on all these subjects.

PDF Drive

With PDF Drive, you don’t find nearly as many articles as the focus is largely on books. However, an impressive number of these books are scientific and mathematical in nature. You can also find a large number of college textbooks in PDF format.

In this sense, it is a great resource if you are focused on absorbing more knowledge and broadening your horizons. You can learn a great deal from this website and best of all, it comes from reliable sources!

These are some of the best academic resources that you can find on the internet. It doesn’t matter what topic you would like to learn about; you can find well-research and reviewed articles on all these sites.

Other Sites Like LibGen That Provide Access to Academic Resources

While LibGen is a valuable platform for accessing academic resources there are several other websites that offer a wide range of materials for research and learning. Some noteworthy alternatives include Z-Library which offers tens of millions of scientific articles and a vast selection of books on various topics. Sci-Hub is another excellent option providing access to high-quality peer-reviewed research articles from a wide range of disciplines. ResearchGate is a trusted site for well-written peer-reviewed articles making it a reliable source for citation in academic texts. For those seeking a scientific community Academia.edu offers a platform for collaboration discussion and access to over 40 million articles and papers. Authorea is a unique website that focuses on preprints and emerging ideas while PDF Drive is a great resource for books including scientific and mathematical texts. These websites offer a wealth of valuable information for curious readers researchers and students across many disciplines.