What is Culture

If you’ve been to various countries, perhaps you were surprised how different almost everything is from your place. You may have wondered why people eat chicken intestines in some parts of Asia when people in America think it’s gross. Perhaps you’ve also been amazed how good Italians are when it comes to pizzas and pastas. Or maybe you were quite uncomfortable with the practice of men kissing other men just like in Saudi Arabia.

Culture is the characteristics of the people living in a country. This is determined by their language, cuisine, music, arts, social habits, religion, and other things. Basically, it defines all the aspects in your life. It can be anything from our favorite music to the foods we eat. Normally, you aren’t unaware of what culture is. As parents, we don’t usually teach our children about culture. We teach them how to eat, sing, dance, talk, and socialize just like everyone else in our community. Although we don’t train them about culture, they get it because it’s what we practice in our daily life.

Changes in Culture

Back in the olden days, culture was purely shared around by the people who were living in the country or a place. Most of them enjoyed what was there in their areas. However, with the growing economy and the need for international commerce, culture changed or innovations were introduced. Whether we like it or not, our culture is no longer the old one that our great ancestors were practicing back in their periods. Normally, we would resist changes to preserve our local culture. However, things don’t go our way because of several factors. Among these are natural events and social structures. Although the previous one can’t be prevented, the latter depends on the people. If people are open to changes or do not resist at all, then there will be innovation in a culture. A culture doesn’t have to be changed or improved in order to be great. In fact, we don’t look at a culture as something great or bad. It’s what we have as a citizen of a particular country. Basically, it’s what we’ve enjoyed since childhood. So making some changes will affect it at some point.

Culture is what determines a person from one another. You can tell if someone is from America, Europe, or Asia judging by his culture. Let’s take a look at some of the popular cultures of the world.

Latin Culture

Considered as one of the oldest cultures in the world, the Latin culture makes up the Spanish-speaking nations. Spain and the countries of South America are among the famous places when it comes to Latin culture. The Latin culture encompasses everything from religious beliefs, music, art, literature, cuisine, history and social awareness. Within the culture, people practice holidays and special observance according to their religious beliefs. Usually, the religion of Latin culture is Catholicism. However, there is now a growing number of other denominations in various countries.

Western Culture

When it comes to Western culture, people are quite familiar with the practices especially if you are from European countries or America. The culture is heavily influenced by the European immigrants who visited America in the early centuries. You can easily differentiate it from the others by looking at their cultural form of music, painting, photography, dance, literature, and architecture. In addition, the religion in western culture is also different from the others. The western culture also shares Catholicism as a part of its religion because of the involvement of Rome on some parts of Europe in the early centuries. Christianity isn’t the only religion in the West though as Islam also came to Europe because of the merchants back in the days. Overall, it is a mixture of religious beliefs although most of it was focused on Christianity. The sports of the West were also different from the other cultures. Basketball, football, and soccer are the three most popular sports within the western culture.

Eastern Culture

Japan, China, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia are some of the countries that share and practice eastern culture. Unlike with most cultures, they have the most intriguing culture among the rest. Just like with the others though, the East was also influenced by religion in the early centuries. In fact, religion was a big deal why there was cultural innovation in the first place. International commerce as well as invasions by various countries including Spain, America and Great Britain were the reasons for the cultural changes. As a result, some of the countries in the East practice Catholicism and Islam. However, China, Japan, and other countries were strictly focused on their religious beliefs. Unlike with the other cultures, the East has the most number of religions as compared with the others. In fact, India, China, and Japan do not share the same religions or beliefs. You can find Buddhism, Shintoism, Islam, and Catholicism all within one country. This is how widely religion has spread into the East because of the early invasions of various countries. In some countries, this can be a big deal. However, most of the countries in the East have embraced various religious beliefs for the benefit of the people living in their communities. As a practice though, people should respect each other’s beliefs to avoid conflicts within their society. Music, arts, language, and other cultures are also different from one another.

Middle Eastern Culture

Similar with the other cultures, religion is the pillar or stronghold of their societies. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran are some of the famous countries in the Middle East. When it comes to culture, they have a strong religious belief which is quite difficult to penetrate. This is the reason why the majority of the religions in the Middle East are still Islam. However, there are now growing numbers of Christianity in the place. The Middle Eastern culture can also be defined by its cuisine aside from its religion. The people love spices which they usually use on most of their dishes. If you love eating foods with lots of spices, then you’ll probably love a tour of the Middle East.

African Culture

The African culture is divided into two parts or culture known as North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is then divided into the number of tribes and ethnic groups all over the continent. Africa has its own fair share of culture. However, cultural innovation is quite difficult in the place because of the environment, especially on the Sub-Saharan Africa. If not for the harsh environment, this part can also enjoy what other nations are enjoying with their cultures. The African culture has its own arts, music, literature, cuisine, and other practices. When it comes to religion, they are mostly Islamic because of the great contribution of Islam to the continent.

Culture plays an important part in our life. It’s what defines and differentiates us from other people. Without it, we’re just somebody who doesn’t have a national identity. It’s always good to belong to a society that you accept and love. As human beings, we should do our best to preserve our culture so that the next generation will enjoy them just as we did.

Categories: Culture