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please rethink using the term Blessingway to describe your baby shower*new info* - Page 10

post #181 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellymama View Post
thanks. i tried really hard to say it nicely.
I'm sorry you've been hurt by us non-natives (I clearly have gotten the impression from this thread that we're less worthy) who fail to see things the same way you do, but I personally found your OP to be very accusatory. Someone earlier posted an alternative way you could have said what you have since claimed to have meant - "hey, did you know that the term blessingway comes from this culture, here's some links to what it means, it's such a cool thing, etc."

You have been claiming to only want people to consider using a different term, but then you're all upset and offended that not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon with you.

I'm not really planning to have a blessingway, but I still fail to see why, if I were planning one, I'd change the name of it. I fail to see why the US Government screwing over the Native Americans generations ago means that I personally need to do whatever the Native Americans ask. Or why it would be so over-the-top offensive that some people have innocently used a 100% English word to describe something vaguely similar to a Native American ritual. It seems to me that cultures adapting the practices, habits, ceremonies, mores, etc of other cultures and making them their own is just a part of living on this planet, and is particularly a part of living in America.

In the late 1920s, black people living in America created something all their own - jazz. But they didn't try to hold on to it, keep it for themselves, start campaigns to stop anyone who wasn't black from playing jazz music or dancing to it. Instead, they willingly shared it with other musicians. By the 30s, black dancers and white dancers were dancing together at the Savoy ballroom to awesome jazz music played by white musicians and by black musicians. They all got along, they all shared this wonderful thing that the black musicians had created. Our culture (the American culture) would be so much poorer if, instead, black musicians had kept it to themselves, not shared their discovery of jazz, jealously tried to keep any other cultures from playing it, etc.

Now, I realize that jazz music is not a sacred ceremony, but has it occurred to Native people that maybe we could all be a bit more enriched if the approach used here was a bit different? A bit more "this is an important part of my culture I'd love to share with you" and a bit less "I'm infuriated that these women are stealing our blessingway ceremony"? That, through understanding of other people's cultures, we will naturally want to avoid doing things that might be offensive? And that, through accusation and assumptions, all we do is create defensiveness? We don't change minds by being mean.


And, sorry, I stopped reading this thread when I saw someone call someone else priveleged and then bring up white supremacy. And I probably won't be back for that very reason. name calling rarely advances any argument.
post #182 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by apelilae View Post
TFS!!! I'm calling mine a belly blessing party
that's really cute.
post #183 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahtar View Post
I'm sorry you've been hurt by us non-natives (I clearly have gotten the impression from this thread that we're less worthy) who fail to see things the same way you do, but I personally found your OP to be very accusatory. Someone earlier posted an alternative way you could have said what you have since claimed to have meant - "hey, did you know that the term blessingway comes from this culture, here's some links to what it means, it's such a cool thing, etc."

You have been claiming to only want people to consider using a different term, but then you're all upset and offended that not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon with you.

I'm not really planning to have a blessingway, but I still fail to see why, if I were planning one, I'd change the name of it. I fail to see why the US Government screwing over the Native Americans generations ago means that I personally need to do whatever the Native Americans ask. Or why it would be so over-the-top offensive that some people have innocently used a 100% English word to describe something vaguely similar to a Native American ritual. It seems to me that cultures adapting the practices, habits, ceremonies, mores, etc of other cultures and making them their own is just a part of living on this planet, and is particularly a part of living in America.

In the late 1920s, black people living in America created something all their own - jazz. But they didn't try to hold on to it, keep it for themselves, start campaigns to stop anyone who wasn't black from playing jazz music or dancing to it. Instead, they willingly shared it with other musicians. By the 30s, black dancers and white dancers were dancing together at the Savoy ballroom to awesome jazz music played by white musicians and by black musicians. They all got along, they all shared this wonderful thing that the black musicians had created. Our culture (the American culture) would be so much poorer if, instead, black musicians had kept it to themselves, not shared their discovery of jazz, jealously tried to keep any other cultures from playing it, etc.

Now, I realize that jazz music is not a sacred ceremony, but has it occurred to Native people that maybe we could all be a bit more enriched if the approach used here was a bit different? A bit more "this is an important part of my culture I'd love to share with you" and a bit less "I'm infuriated that these women are stealing our blessingway ceremony"? That, through understanding of other people's cultures, we will naturally want to avoid doing things that might be offensive? And that, through accusation and assumptions, all we do is create defensiveness? We don't change minds by being mean.


And, sorry, I stopped reading this thread when I saw someone call someone else priveleged and then bring up white supremacy. And I probably won't be back for that very reason. name calling rarely advances any argument.
jazz is secular music. your point is moot. and rolling your eyes rarely advances an argument either. see?
i think that you may not be fully informed on exactly what happened to the natives of this country. because if you were, i doubt you would say such callous things.
you seem defensive. again, i never said you have to not use the term, merely that you research it and look into what the people it belongs to think of it's use outside of the tribe. if you could care less about the wishes of the people that this tradition belongs to, then by all means, just do whatever the hell you want. native people are certainly used to that.
post #184 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahtar View Post
And, sorry, I stopped reading this thread when I saw someone call someone else priveleged and then bring up white supremacy. And I probably won't be back for that very reason. name calling rarely advances any argument.
well, didn't you know that the whites ain't got no culture or real traditions? Yep, I've seen it myself how it's apparently okey dokey to name call and put down whites...you know simply because they are white. If you're white then you can't possibly understand *true* culture and cultural values.
post #185 of 274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
well, didn't you know that the whites ain't got no culture or real traditions? Yep, I've seen it myself how it's apparently okey dokey to name call and put down whites...you know simply because they are white. If you're white then you can't possibly understand *true* culture and cultural values.
i can't speak for the others on this thread, but i don't feel that way at all. my point is exactly what you are saying (sarcastically), white people have so many rich and beautiful cultures...there are so many that it seems silly to forsake them for someone elses, because the ones that are yours (general you, not anyone in particular) already have meaning and depth that your people have spent however long building up. i find it troubling that so many white people think that taking "non-european" traditions and rituals make it somehow more meaninful. this is so far from the truth. these rituals are ALL meaningful, to the people that they belong to. to just pick and choose pieces of others traditions and think that that somehow makes it more meaninful is silly.
i don't put down or namecall whites. i identify as caucasian. my grandmother was half native, but due to racism in her family, we didn't know this until she was 55. so although i have blood in me that is native, i don't practice any native rituals or traditions, because that's not the culture i was raised in. i was raised by portugese immigrants, so those are the rituals and traditions i participate in, and pass down to my children. it was be as silly for me to have a blessingway as any person who has no native blood, simply because i was not raised that way, so the traditions and rituals have no deep meaning to me. i appreciate them and think they are beautiful, i go to pow-wows, and intertribal gatherings, but i certainly don't jump into a dance or start banging on my drum simply because i happen to have 1/8 native blood in me.
it's more about actually understanding and having it have meaning. like abimommy pointed out in the other blessingway thread, it's like having a bat mitzvah for your thirteen year old daughter without being jewish. sure, you could read books and create an identical party, but without being raised jewish, learning the religious meaning, and practicing it, it would be totally ridiculous, and have no spiritual meaning to you.

i think ALL people understand culture and cultural values. i think each culture in this world is rich and full of deep and powerful truth, TO THE PEOPLE THAT IT PERTAINS TO. in no way do i mean to come across like i think white people don't have culture...i just wish we would embrace our own culture more, and try to seek the meaningfulness of our own. it's disrespectful to our elders to forsake their traditions for the traditions of someone else.
i apologize if i at anytime sounded like what you describe in your post. that was never my intention.
post #186 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellymama View Post
abimommy pointed out in the other blessingway thread, it's like having a bat mitzvah for your thirteen year old daughter without being jewish. sure, you could read books and create an identical party, but without being raised jewish, learning the religious meaning, and practicing it, it would be totally ridiculous, and have no spiritual meaning to you.
How do you or any one else know what has spiritual meaning to me?
post #187 of 274
Thread Starter 

okay, fine, if using the ritual of a religion that you aren't actually a member of, which means you don't have the background to fully understand the implications of what the ritual means, sounds okay to you, then go on girl.
this is just argument for the sake of argument. and i don't want to play. again and again i say, do what feels right to you.if having a bat mitzvah as a non jew or having a blessingway as a non Dine feels like a totally normal and respectable thing to do, then go on and do it. stop nitpicking. if it felt so right, you wouldn't have to be here defending yourself, you'd just do it.

do you like it when people who aren't parents act like parenting experts? i sure don't. you know why? they don't have the background, experience and emotional understanding of being parents...so what they say means jack shit to me. it's kind of like that. if you don't know what you are doing, then what you are doing means nothing. and it's annoying to the people who do know, who have the experience and the emotional understanding and investment in the process.
it seems like common sense to me.
post #188 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgieGirl View Post
Popping in to say this is how I would see it.

People using the term 'blessingway' who aren't Navajo aren't doing it to offend, they are doing it to honour. Why there needs to be a bruhaha about something that is intended to be goodhearted is just picking the wrong battle. Seriously, there are much worse things going on in this world that need the attention.
I totally agree.
post #189 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgieGirl
Popping in to say this is how I would see it.

People using the term 'blessingway' who aren't Navajo aren't doing it to offend, they are doing it to honour. Why there needs to be a bruhaha about something that is intended to be goodhearted is just picking the wrong battle. Seriously, there are much worse things going on in this world that need the attention.
I totally agree.
But if it does offend, that so-called "good" intent is lost. It doesn't honor anyone that way. Why is it so hard to simply respect that? There are worse things going on--but this kind of disrespect and dismissive approach perpetuates a climate that is one of those things that we do need to pay attention to. It's a small thing, but part of something much larger.
post #190 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
But if it does offend, that so-called "good" intent is lost. It doesn't honor anyone that way. Why is it so hard to simply respect that? There are worse things going on--but this kind of disrespect and dismissive approach perpetuates a climate that is one of those things that we do need to pay attention to. It's a small thing, but part of something much larger.
thanks missy.
post #191 of 274
Just to let you know - it was because of this thread that my circle of friends and I have begun using the term 'Mother's Blessing' for our celebration of a woman's passage into motherhood.

I also want to point out that I don't consider a Mother's Blessing a 'new age baby shower.' While baby showers focus on the baby coming into the world, the Mother's Blessing focuses on the mother coming into the world. It's trying to bring attention to something that our society has too long ignored. I guess I'm just trying to answer the idea that we don't think our mother's traditions are 'good enough' for us. It's not that I'm against baby showers - I just think that the change a mother goes through is too often pushed aside and although mother and baby are born together, they are different and deserve separate recognition. Am I making any sense?
post #192 of 274
hmm...i may be way out in left field here, but my "baby shower" was not commercial or materialistic. some women did make things for my baby but most of the items were donated to the local crisis pregnancy center as we had way more than we could ever use. it WAS as wonderful time of sharing from women i love, of all ages and stages of life and a very encouraging time for a new mama, who was understandably scared and uncertain about what lie ahead. i am so thankful for their love and support and felt very honored by the party.

i guess i'm just trying to say, make it what YOU want and who cares if it is or isn't just like everyone elses. you certainly don't have to adopt a word from another culture to make it different.

i am glad to know the background on the term blessingway, though, as it is used a ton in our community. and i plan to share the info with the mamas i know that use it. thanks op!
post #193 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebarnes View Post
Just to let you know - it was because of this thread that my circle of friends and I have begun using the term 'Mother's Blessing' for our celebration of a woman's passage into motherhood.

I also want to point out that I don't consider a Mother's Blessing a 'new age baby shower.' While baby showers focus on the baby coming into the world, the Mother's Blessing focuses on the mother coming into the world. It's trying to bring attention to something that our society has too long ignored. I guess I'm just trying to answer the idea that we don't think our mother's traditions are 'good enough' for us. It's not that I'm against baby showers - I just think that the change a mother goes through is too often pushed aside and although mother and baby are born together, they are different and deserve separate recognition. Am I making any sense?
yes, this makes sense.
post #194 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abharrington View Post
hmm...i may be way out in left field here, but my "baby shower" was not commercial or materialistic. some women did make things for my baby but most of the items were donated to the local crisis pregnancy center as we had way more than we could ever use. it WAS as wonderful time of sharing from women i love, of all ages and stages of life and a very encouraging time for a new mama, who was understandably scared and uncertain about what lie ahead. i am so thankful for their love and support and felt very honored by the party.

i guess i'm just trying to say, make it what YOU want and who cares if it is or isn't just like everyone elses. you certainly don't have to adopt a word from another culture to make it different.

i am glad to know the background on the term blessingway, though, as it is used a ton in our community. and i plan to share the info with the mamas i know that use it. thanks op!
i had a baby shower too, and it was awesome, and i felt special and honored, and i felt a great connection with the women who came with me.
post #195 of 274
Bump
The new American tradition of honoring and supporting a woman who is about to transition into a relationship with a new person certainly deserves a word all it's own. It doesn't NEED to take blessingway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bellymama View Post
. i think each culture in this world is rich and full of deep and powerful truth, TO THE PEOPLE THAT IT PERTAINS TO. i..i just wish we would embrace our own culture more, and try to seek the meaningfulness of our own. it's disrespectful to our elders to forsake their traditions for the traditions of someone else.
American culture may be rich, but I feel that it is sadly absent of deep and powerful truth for the most part. Sure, there are elements of truth--like the ideology of freedom (even though the American reality isn't freedom exactly). There are local and regional traditions that are positive. I accept those.
I don't want to embrace my own culture more. I don't want to be told that I should. My own culture does a good job of making me want to puke on a daily basis. This is why I chose to study anthropology--to try to get to some universal truth--to try to find some way to live that is genuine to me.
I can't take on the actual traditions of other cultures; as you said it's just going thru the motions if I did. I remain heavily influenced by my own culture, that is certain.
All I know is that I am a nature worshiper. Everything else just stems from that. I have to create my own traditions. I believe that a tradition of honoring a woman in her transition from one to more than one is important. The traditional babyshower I had with my first still gives me the creepy-crawlies. I still feel *guilt* about it happening. I needed something different. I needed something with spirituality and I don't want whatever I call it to be called "pseudo-spiritual".
post #196 of 274
Thread Starter 
synchro, i think that making new traditions that are powerful to you sounds like a great idea!
post #197 of 274

 

 


Edited by lotusbeans - 1/4/14 at 6:55pm
post #198 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusbeans View Post
If you aren't doing it with the purpose of offending someone, why is it so important that you keep doing it once you know it does hurt or offend people? I don't get why someone would think, "I'm going to do what I want and I don't care if it hurts or offends you." I don't think being asked to not use one simple little phrase is really asking for all that much. Showing a little respect and kindness is not that difficult.

That there are other things that need attention doesn't mean this shouldn't be given some attention. I don't think anyone is thinking, learning, or talking about this and in the process ignoring other issues.

exactly!
post #199 of 274
Thanks Bellymama for this thread.
We call our ritual/celebrations "Mother Blessing Ceremonies" in my circle of friends. I don't know at all what a Dine ceremony would be like, but ours are sacred in their own way and don't resemble a traditional baby shower at all.
Have you seen the book Mother Rising by Yana Courtland, Barb Lucke, and Donna Miller Watelet? The subtitle is "The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood" It draws from many cultures to guide one in leading a blessing ceremony for a pregnant mother. I personally love the book, but I wonder if the authors have been or should be contacted regarding their use of the word "blessingway". The book could also be part of the reason the word is used so freely by many people who don't understand or know about how it offends the Dine.
I apologize if this particular subject has already been addressed, I don't have time to read the whole thread.
Thanks again for posting. I believe it is important to respect the Dine and their wishes. They aren't asking much.
post #200 of 274
Thread Starter 
gentleearthmama, thanks for your post. i totally agree that no one is using the term to intentionally be rude, and most probably have never heard of the Dine's ritual.
i think your ideas sound really cool, and are a great way to create a new way of having a baby blessing.
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