Wedding packages in Oaxaca denounced as cultural appropriation


Oaxacan weddings: between gentrification and cultural appropriation

Women dancing with baskets on their heads while the band plays syrups from the valley, men handing out mezcal, and people moving to the rhythm of the calendas. The image, increasingly common outside the Santo Domingo de Guzmán temple, has been strongly promoted by the sale of Oaxacan wedding packages, an activity that represents a form of cultural appropriation.

“The concept of Oaxacan weddings is offered in a commercial market, offered to the public in packages, built from the cultural appropriation of a calenda, including mezcal, music, and women dancing,” says Kupijy Vargas Huitrón, in his reflection “Oaxaqueña weddings: between gentrification and cultural appropriation”, published in the digital magazine Malvestida.

By putting the issue on the public debate with her reflection made from her indigenous and Oaxacan feelings, in an interview with NOTICIAS the also promoter of community libraries, warns that there is a risk of trivialization.

“The identity that means the history of an audience, family, community, and people, has a dollar sign, even more serious is that those who market them are people from outside a community.”

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“Colonialism Triumphs Again” 

Kupijy Vargas clarifies that the text “Oaxaqueñas weddings: between gentrification and cultural appropriation” was written from his questions, but also from his feelings.

“The personal is political, therefore also emotional and to write we cannot separate what causes us in our emotions when we see these representations”, he affirms.

The text also states: “These packages offer that concept to later have a party in the ethnobotanical garden, where gourmet Oaxacan food is served, food that is eaten within the region but served in a stylized way. Those who prepare and serve them, that is, the waiters, cooks, etc., are the ones who sustain with their attentions to that party where there is no Guelaguetza, nor the act of giving and receiving, but there is a monetization for services. It is there that colonialism triumphs again, turning all those people from the culture in which they grew up and were born into workers, on their own lands.”

Calendas Xiadani, Oaxaca | Bodas México |

“The reflection here is on who is the spectator and who is the show, what are the economic, material and skin conditions that place each one of them in these places”.

And he adds: “I find it interesting to recognize these dynamics because the traditions with which the peoples grew up now become a form of work for them, in addition, because the hegemonic culture appropriates this to turn it into a form of work and private benefit. ”.

“I could not separate my memories from what I witnessed, there are endless academically justified answers to answer all the questions I asked myself, after which explanations can be found within the economic systems and oppression, capitalism, globalization, colonization, classism, and pigmentocracy”.

“From my academic position I can conceptualize that representation in each of these concepts, however, I want this text, more than an academic question, to transcend a position of memories, dreams, and emotions”.


The Oaxaca Post