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  • Sam Darling

Home movie of Agra, India 1970s & cultural appropriation

Here’s a tip to your future generations: Include images of road signs or other identifying markers. It’s not every home movie that features a well-known architectural wonder like this one my maternal grandparents made on a trip to Agra, India.

I’m adept at games like GeoGuesser because I’ve been playing a version of it with family photos and home movies since I was a child. Many home movies are a mystery.


They put these holiday snaps in a folder that was properly labeled. That was helpful, too.


India103

I’ve never been to India.


India091

I imagine these particular tourist attractions don’t change much over the years.

Oh, the Sheraton.


India090

India

I had a landlord who loved India so damn much she culturally appropriated the hell out of it and it annoyed me a lot. Don’t be one of those people. She used to brag about the gratitude of people in India when she gave them alms.

I realize it is a fuzzy line to walk as a tourist who appreciates a place but doesn’t steal from it, but let’s aim for sensitivity. Like, I think it’s probably okay to wear the bindi when you’re visiting India and maybe even a show of respect, but perhaps not when you’re grocery shopping in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, okay?

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