I am afraid that I simply cannot continue the discourse with you simply because we have pretty vastly different viewpoints - this isn't a bad thing and I don't mean to slight you at all. But I don't see much point in continually locking horns on the topic, so we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one! I'll just say my final piece and that'll be it from me I'm afraid.
I admit I picked an exaggerated example - it was to accentuate my point. Is it alright to take the piss out of a culture one way but then not the other? Tokkoutai was a horrible part of Japanese history and a very nuanced issue, but it was, even briefly, part of Japanese culture.
Japanese Buddhists are not inappropriately culturally appropriating Buddhism from India because Japanese Buddhism is a product of hundreds and hundreds of years of cultural blending with native Japanese practices. As I recall, there was quite a bit of discussion amongst Buddhist scholars - throughout this process of cultural contact - as to the validity of this in Japan.
But the point remains that they were Buddhists. Kids going to a Holi rave aren't Hindu. And people do go to educational events - you'd be utterly daft to ignore that. And if you think for a second that people would actually understand anything significant about the festival through the parties that I am talking about (I mean - have you ever been to one of these? I have. I live in the UK. No one is learning shit about Hinduism and many people don't even know what Holi is) then I really don't know what to say.
Cultural exchange doesn't have to be somber but it most have a modicum of respect. Buddhist scholars in Japan had centuries of discourse to define their traditions and even today there are wide divergences.
Secularization =/= commercialization necessarily. Many Japanese traditions no longer carry any religious significance to the population. A few have become further commercialized. But many are still carried out not religiously or with any commercial purpose, but out of a sense of cultural duty and tradition. They have, in a sense, become secular traditions. Those do exist. And in many countries, for that matter. And I'll say it again - what about Good Friday? That is perhaps the most important date in Western Christendom. That has yet to be commercialized. Or secularized. Why? Holi ranks in a very similar fashion in India.
And that still doesn't necessarily refute my point - it's alright when a culture chooses to take that step. Western Christendom conceived of Christmas as a potential religious festival, and the West commercialized it. It cannot then go and commercialize other culture's festivals and traditions for its own sake, though, without the cultural in question being accomodating to that desire. Therein lies the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural transfer. Ultimately, the West (largely America and the UK) has a global presence in terms of culture in the way that many countries and cultures do not. I have lived in about 7 countries - most of them outside what people might consider the traditional Western sphere. The amount of impact that the US has in particular cannot be downplayed. You thus can't really treat America and say Tibet or Namibia in the same light in terms of cultural exchange. An event hosted by a museum to invite people to take part in those cultures and to grow in understanding of them (this doesn't have to be dull. Must everything be a fucking party, anyway?) is different than, like I said, having an ESPN event of a Tibetan style debate. Imagine two frat-boys dressed in orange robes and with Tibetan prayer wheels, except instead of discussing Buddhist theology they discuss the best college basketball team. That's akin to a Holi rave, as I see it.
As such, nations and cultures are not on equal stature at times. And thus cultural exchanges must bear this in mind. It must also bear in mind proximity. We live in a globalized world but it remains a large world. Nations are still seen as an 'Other'. Hinduism, probably much more than many other major religions, is seen as an 'Other' in the West precisely because not a lot of people know much about it besides the Kama Sutra and idols. This is what Said was talking about. That's what Orientalization is about. For you to compare white supremacy in, for example, the States, to people getting riled up when they see their culture having a disservice done to them, is a bit strange to me, because it ignores the overwhelming cultural power of the 'West' versus smaller and less prominent cultures. Even if you don't agree that's the case on a global stage (and that is just my opinion - it isn't a fact, of course) it certainly is the case in Western countries themselves. Which is what we were initially discussing - English people, in the UK, using a Hindu festival that they aren't familiar with, to have a party.
One last, relevant example. My old university had an event every now and then that invited people to come to a formal dinner based on a theme. One theme, once, was Hinduism, As a theme. There had never been a Christianity theme, nor a Polish theme nor a German theme. (There had been, though, an 'African' theme and a 'Chinese' theme) You know what happened? You had a lot of people dressing up as Hindu gods and putting on brown and blue (!) face. It had a lot of people seriously rail against it. Most of these people, like me, were of Indian origin. Hell, I'm not even Hindu, but it seemed to me to be a bit of a spit in the face that in the country and culture that had invaded and colonized India for so long (this was in the UK) a majority of white English kids wished to interact with the culture in the same, destructive way. The people in my school that stood up to this practice did so because they didn't think it was right. Not because they hated free speech.
Have a good weekend, anyway!