Topic: An Essay on Culture
AN ESSAY ON CULTURE
Culture is a term often used while studying society because culture and society go hand in hand, without proper understanding of concept of culture, or more precise the understanding of culture of ‘that society’, the study of society or any of its components becomes incomplete. So then let’s look at some definitions of culture to understand the concept better. DEFINITIONS OF CULTURE
E.B. Taylor was the first to coin the term culture in the 18th century and defined culture as “that complex whole which includes the knowledge, belief, art, morale, laws, customs and any other capabilities and habits as acquired by man as a member of society”. According to Cultural Psychology, culture is (similarly) defined as set of ideas, behaviors, attitudes and traditions that exist within large groups of people (usually of a common religion, family or something similar). These ideas, behaviours, traditions, etc are passed on from one generation to the next and are typically resistant to change over time”. But a simple definition to explain culture in one line came from my yoga teacher who used to say “culture is everything that makes up a person’s entire way of life”. Cultures vary widely not only across the world but even right next door. Let’s take the state of Karnataka as a example. Even thought the language spoken in Karnataka is Kannada, as you go to different parts of Karnataka the accents, the dialects, the vocabulary change, sometimes dramatically. For example, the Kannada spoken by a person from Mandya or Mysore region is different from a person who is from Tumkur or Kollegalla region. Now, let us look at food preferences. A person from South Karnataka would prefer to eat softer, rice-based foods items like dosa, idli, puliyogre, etc which would be moderately spiced; compared to a person from North Karnataka who would prefer hard, ragi-based or rice based ( or other...