The Nature of Culture

In the spirit of helping us achieve a better understanding of ourselves, I would like for us to look at ourselves in a different way. This will require that we start to see ourselves from the point of what makes us similar as human beings rather than what makes us different nationalities.

Central to developing this new understanding of ourselves is an appreciation of how we understand the world through the cultures that we were born and exist in. Therefore, I would like to begin this next series of blogs exploring the subject of culture, what it is, what it has been and what it can be in a world that is changing at an ever increasing rate. 


11 Responses to “The Nature of Culture”
  1. Erin Fischer says:

    What baffles me lately, is how most people in the world don’t see how similar all of us are. Regardless of interest, wealth status, and especially nationality, there should be a mutual respect to all beings because in the big picture of it all, we are all sharing this earth and breathing the same air. Every human on all the 7 continents may look, act, and feel different, yet everyone is made up of the same components and is truly just alike. Culture is a beautiful thing that we as humans have created, and the mass majority see it as something keeping us apart. If we embrace these “differences” and focus on the people as a whole, we may see ourselves more unified.

  2. Christopher Graham says:

    I also believe we can find each other in our unique cultures. Culture is what we are and defines us as individuals. The way we were raised and the beliefs we purse are all defined by our culture. People often do not realize how different cultures can be. Different parts of the world are developing different people. Even though America is the “Melting Pot” of the world, we need to see the other side.

  3. Lilit Akilian says:

    Culture is a subject most people think they already have figured out. We all have different opinions on the meaning of culture. What we need is a mutual understanding. We are all so similar. It is sad how people can fail to see that. No one’s culture is more important than the others. We are all important and we need to respect that. America needs a wake up call. We are all so occupied with ourselves and don’t see the fact that everyone has the same problems. We’re so different but so very alike.

  4. Julie Birch says:

    It’s so interesting hearing talk of how we need to see ourselves as similar to one another through our cultures. To me it seems like we are all so integrated as it is, not that we can’t always learn to identify with eachother more. We are definitely more integrated than we used to be. With the advent of planes, and even cars, people can go practically anywhere they want to, and now it seems that cultures are not relegated to only a specific planetary locale anymore. People with radically differing cultures cannot only be living in the same countries, but in the same cities, and even next door to eachother. I hope that even as we continue to find more similarities between us all we don’t lose the differences that make us all special.

  5. Aram Kavoukjian says:

    As a person that grew up in a very cultural family and went to a school that was very culturally oriented, I realized that our culture might be different from many other cultures in many ways but we also have similarities too. Ones culture includes the type of food, our language, our religion, the traditions we follow and many more. When it comes to language, religion and types of food we eat, cultures always have similarities. When it comes to the traditions we follow the differences around cultures really stand out.
    As the world is changing at an ever increasing rate, I think cultures are what is holding us from all spreading out. The similarities within the cultures are also what is bringing us closer together and what is causing the increased number in interracial and intercultural marriages. Therefore I think as much as cultures played an important role tens and hundreds of years ago, it is not as important as it was before.

  6. Rachel says:

    Culture exists because people like to be identified as different, and unique. Throughout history people were territorial because they fought wars to gain power and land. People created divisions between themselves but they also formed alliances between countries and influenced each other culturally. Marriages were developed by royalty or the wealthy for those same reasons and married for dowry purposes, territory, and power rather than for love. The Human race has mixed since then, it is not a new thing. There is no such thing as a pure race like people would like to think. It was important and convenient then to develop better societies. Religious people believe in Adam and Eve, and if it’s true then Eve had incest with her sons for procreation which makes us all related in the bible. Historically, We tell lies and believe them about ourselves. The Human race has different skin pigments like Black, Yellow, White, Brown, Olive, and Red tones. In the United States, we identify people and who you are by color. Nowadays, we’ve develop names for those colors like African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander, Arabic, Indonesians, etc. if not listed it’s probably under Other. The Census bureau in the United States has set up this system to keep track of the multitudes and variations of the population. It has always been interesting to find out why we have a need to classify people by their skin color, class, culture, language, religion, gender, and country, etc . The government must have their reasons, but sometimes it is seems so ridiculous to me. We make up preconceived ideas what different people are like when in reality we are individuals of one human race. We might appear different, but we are the same people. Culture should enrich us as a unit but negative stereotypes and attitudes are what separates us. I guess, somethings never change throughout history because it is a constant war of ambition and power to eliminate and control each other.

  7. Diana Oganesyan says:

    Contrary to what someone had mentioned earlier, America is not the melting pot of the world. In recent years, it’s become more of a mosaic, with each culture wanting to hold on to their old-world traditions. Coming from a background that has been dominated by culture and traditions, I have different opinions,beliefs, and stands than others. That’s the real beauty of culture, the different surroundings which may us who we are today.

  8. Rameel Nissan says:

    the most beautiful country is a country with people in different cultures but same goals and same responsibility. cultures make personality and every individual person make community and every community make our country.
    as a person who is been here in America for not even 4 years, sometimes I’m thinking being in country with so many different cultures is a good thing because different cultures means different ways of thinking. but It should be in a very good way. and as a non believer in anything but human, I think religion can destroy the beauty of culture that it came from us.

  9. Samantha Safir says:

    Regardless from which different cultures we came from we all share the same human trait to: to improve, excel and achieve. We understand that in order to arrive at that goal we have to integrate and adapt. So even if we still continue our cultural backgrounds we do assimilate, integrate, and ultimately form more similarities between us as a more homogenous citizens. As the time passes we adapt each others cultures. Just by looking at my grandparents and parents – the first generation immigrants in my family, I see that even they embraced the similarities of different nationalities in this country. We are more similar then different, because we are all part of human race.

  10. Art 101: JDelijani says:

    It seems that people now and days don’t focus on the positive aspects of life, but tend to lean towards the negative aspects of life and that is why culture discrimination even exists. We are programmed, even as children, to be cautious of new people, ideas, and changes in our lives and this mentality conditions us to look at these new aspects as negatively different, unless told otherwise. People are too cautious; they don’t allow themselves to experience different cultures and different people, because of how conditioned we are to be cautious of changes in our lives and in our environment. We respect our cultures, but dismiss other cultures. This is hypocrisy because if someone came into your culture and said it was different and weird you wouldn’t agree with what they are saying, because they have never experienced your culture first-hand. The same applies when we dismiss other cultures without experiencing the cultures and the people first-hand. In order to fix this problem, we have to be more open-minded and not so quick to judge and assume. It’s a hard task, but if we want to unify the human race and put an end to discrimination its a deed that needs to be done.

  11. Michelle Betancourt says:

    I would like to believe that one day we will learn how to gain better understand ourselves and the world around us. But I see our society as independent, selfish, and ignorant these characteristics make it very difficult to explore the subject of culture because in order to truly understand one must be open and willing to view ourselves and others in a different way. We are a people obsessed with becoming an individual with our own identities, but what is interesting is through the exploration of different point of views, culture, experiences ect. we gain a better understanding of ourselves. America is a place with so much diversity with invisible borders such as class, race, separating everyone. With our capitalist system, I see it as an almost impossible task to unify the human race.

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