Then a friend posted this and it helped give direction and fuel to my thoughts.
Regarding Indian Halloween Costumes:
Forgive them for the know not what they do.
They are so detached from anything that resembles an authentic culture, that they can't possibly understand what it's like to have traditions that actually mean something.
Their own traditions have been packaged and commodified so many times that even ironic representations of them seem cliché. (See: Christmas, Halloween, and every other holiday)
They started by consuming things made by people, then they cut out the middle man and just started consuming people as "services." That got old, so they packaged the service in an experience. Now we're grouping those experiences together as a culture.
The ad wizards who run this culture have been selling culture/lifestyle to them their whole lives and they have become completely numb to it.
Within their own culture, the hints of authenticity that have emerged over the years have been similarly cannibalized and commodified.
They consume what they're sold; they eat what they're fed.
Having no strong cultural ties, they drift in a quasi-nihilist haze, trying on bits and pieces of other cultures like they're garments in a Target dressing room.
But there is hope, and the hope is education. We need to educate people that there are some things that can't be bought and sold because they are sacred. We may even need to teach them what sacred means any more.
And we need to decommodify and rehumanize people and cultures.