Vote It Up: Book Blip

March 21, 2010

Weddings always make me think of genocide

This made me snort.

Dan Savage and his siblings abused his older brother Eddie about his second wedding ceremony for three years and here's why: it was held in Iowa; in the middle of a mosquito-infested cornfield; in the middle of July.  But it wasn't the location, the bugs, or even the heat that spurred their relentless razzing; it was the ceremony itself.  The year before the wedding, Eddie discovered Native American spirituality and wanted his second wedding ceremony to reflect this new-found belief.  So when Savage sees his brother at the altar, this Chicago-born, Irish-Catholic, former cop is donning a long white robe covered in colorful ribbons, feathers and beads.  The ceremony opened with a "ritual smudging".

And here I quote:
"Standing in a field of corn, an Indian crop, in the middle of the Great Plains, which had once been Indian land, watching a white guy marry an almost entirely white girl in a Native-American ceremony . . . well, it felt like a poltergeist moment, the kind of cultural appropriation that might cause the spirits of Native Americans to emerge from the rows of corn and scalp us all.  Eddie's sincere appreciation for Native-American culture couldn't erase the sinister subtext of what we were doing.  European Americans stole the continent from Native Americans, drove them from their land, herded the handful of tribes we didn't exterminate onto reservations, and finally hybridized and patented their staple crop, corn.  White Americans getting married in a traditional Native-American ceremony in a cornfield in Iowa was like a couple of Germans get [sic] married under a huppah in the ruins of a Berlin synagogue in 1946.  It seemed a tad insensitive." (p. 188)
What traditions did or will you use in your wedding ceremony?  Think long and hard about it.

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