An Indigenous woman from Utqiagvik, Alaska who is part of the Iñupiaq tribe is TikTok’s latest culture sensation.
While the rest of us are stuck indoors and quarantining, Patuk Glenn has been amassing a following on Instagram and teaching her 81,000 followers about the Iñupiaq culture, traditions, and daily routines. From sharing videos about hunting to showing off her culture’s traditional clothing, Glenn’s videos are a reminder that beyond being alive, indigenous cultures around the globe are resilient– even in the face of our world’s constant attempts to change and eliminate them.
Glenn’s trending TikTok videos run the gamut from cooking to wearing her traditional clothing.
In some videos, Glenn shares the recipe for Inuit ice cream (caribou fat, ground caribou meat, and seal meat) or shares what her traditional clothing looks like. In one truly insightful clip, she takes her followers through a traditional ice cellar in her mother’s house. There, Glenn shared with her viewers that she and her family use the permafrost surround the cellar to preserve whale, seal, and caribou.
Given some of the food content, some of Glenn’s videos have received some backlash to which she isn’t batting much of an eye.
In videos where Glenn features food from whales (muktuk, or whale skin) she says that she has become used to receiving not so positive comments on occasion. Speaking to CBC News, Glenn explained that such comments are hurtful at times but mostly only inspire to continue to educate her followers more. “At first I was really upset,” she explained. “From there, with all of the negative backlash, I felt like it was my responsibility to help educate on why our Inuit people in the Arctic are hunters and gatherers.”
Glenn says that negative comments only push her to share more and educate her followers, particularly because she would like her daughter to be able to share her love for her culture one day as well. “We don’t want our kids to feel ashamed of who they are and where they came from. That’s what really hurt me the most.”
Impressively, Glenn says that learning on TikTok has become a two-way street too.
From TikTok, Glenn says that she has been able to learn and educate herself more about other Indigenous cultures as well. Glenn’s growing understanding of these groups and tribes (like Navajo and Cree) are a welcome surprise. Particularly for someone who, like the rest of us, is taught very little about the world’s Indigenous populations. “In the United States, we’re largely left out of the media. There’s no representation of us,” Glenn shared. “It’s 2020, we have a real opportunity in this day and age to be able to educate the world where institutional education has failed, or where mainstream media has failed.”
For Glenn, her fight to teach others more about her culture is vital. “This platform is helping give the power back into Indigenous people’s hands, to speak on behalf of themselves. I think that’s the really cool piece of it.”
In 2001, the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece about plastic slipcovers. The headline? Plastic Slipcovers Are the Clear Choice For Immigrants — and Trend-Setters. The piece examined the reasons why immigrants in particular use plastic slipcovers. Of course, as children of immigrants and immigrants ourselves, we don’t need A Wall Street Journal article from the early aughts to tell us why they come in handy. Furthermore, why they’ve proven to be a household essential amongst our families. For so many Latino households, slipcovers have been used as protective devices. Things to preserve our furniture for special occasions years and years down the line like if the President or Jesus ever come around. In short, the slipcovers only come off for very special occasions.
One abuela recently decided that she was done waiting for special occasions and stripped the covers off.
In a recent post to a user’s Twitter page, an abuela can be seen carefully doing away with a slipcover she’d been using for 30 years.
In a post to Twitter, a user known as @TheTaeWae shared a video of her great aunt peeling a very old and yellowed slipcover off of her fancy couch. “Y’all my great aunt took the plastic off of her chair for the first time in 30 some years,” she shared in the post.
The great abuela is not the only one pumped though. Users on Twitter cannot get enough of it.
Literally the video is the sweetest thing because the user’s great aunt is so clearly excited to have a chance to sit down on the fancy fabric of the chair.
Fans were super excited to see what the rest of this woman’s house looks likes.
And many users were eager to share cleaning tips to keep the sofa in shape.
Seriously, if you’ve got hot tips tell us in the comments below.
Because some Latinas are revealing that their own aunts and abuelas’ furniture looks like.
And we are here to cheer them on as they take them off.