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 What is "culture"?

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Wolf
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Number of posts : 62
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Location : Solihull, England
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: What is "culture"?   Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:05 am

We hear a lot nowadays about how we should respect other peoples' cultures and allow them to preserve it, but what is "culture"? Is it just an outdated set of customs and rules? Or is it a form of identity necessary for people to live? Does "culture" still exist in this world of globalisation? Or has Western culture already overtaken most other cultures? Is it right to force your culture upon other people? Should we all be allowed to keep our old cultures? Or should we be expected to integrate and merge our cultures for the good of society as a whole?

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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: What is "culture"?   Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:08 am

To me, the culture of a country, or group of people, is the collection of traditions, habits, laws and character that sets them apart as who they are. I think that it's a wonderful thing to support and continue your culture, but most of the cultures in the world are in serious danger of being subsumed by Western culture (or rather American artificial culture created by advertisers and large companies) a classic example of this was in the kingdom of Bhutan which managed to remain completely isolated from the rest of the world until June 1999 when it became the last nation in the world to get television. Within four years, crime and social problems had sky-rocketed (read about it here if you're interested).

Problems arise when people settle in another country but instead of adopting the culture of the country they have moved to, they insist on bringing their old culture with them, creating a kind of mini-home-country within the area, where people speak a different language and act differently to the native people of that country. This always causes problems, whoever does it. The US and the UK have often been guilty of this throughout history and all over the world, mainly because we are so arrogant as to think that our culture is better then anyone else’s' and so therefore should be thrust upon the rest of the world whether it likes it or not.

The way in which this introduction of a foreign culture into another country is that the natives of that new country often become prejudiced against these newcomers, causing the newcomers to band together even more for support and comfort in familiarity, which in turn causes the natives to become even more antagonistic against the new group because of them setting themselves up as separate and different to everyone else.

I have travelled all over the world, and the best method that I found was to always adapt yourself to the culture of the area you are staying in, rather than trying to force your culture upon them.

You will quite hear arguments for immigrant groups in the UK, where they must protect and keep their culture, but I disagree with this. As I said before, when one travels to another country, it's only fair to accept the culture of the area you are in. If you don't like that culture, then move on to an area where you are more comfortable with their culture, otherwise if you insist on living and keeping your own culture, then return to an area that keeps that culture already and don't expect others to change their ways for you (just as you wouldn't want to have to change your ways for them).
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