Culture is when intangible objects like values costumes beliefs merge with material objects like a certain type of food, clothes, or even architecture, to form a way of life. The shared values, customs, and histories characteristic of culture shape the way a person thinks, behaves, and views the world.
There are a lot of elements that constitute a culture however the ones most important are:
- Values and Beliefs;
Every culture develops some kind of art as surely as it develops language. Not all primitive cultures have mythology or religion, but all have some art.
Another key thing to remember; art is the epitome of human life, not to mention the oldest record of insights and feelings of society. That is why it is so valuable to the society that created it because often is used with the purpose of storytelling whether it was by writing, painting, singing, or dancing. Elements that can give you a picture of what are society’s costumes, believes, and values.
Values and Beliefs in Culture
They both belong to the non-material element that constitutes a culture. Values are the cultural standard that people use to decide what is right and wrong they serve as the ideas and guidelines that society uses to live by.
For example, western country’s like the USA tend to value individualism and point out the importance of each person’s needs; whereas eastern country’s like China tend to value collectivism and point out the importance of groups over individualism.
While on the other hand believes are more explicit than values; they are specific ideas about what people think is true about the world. Buddhists believe pregnant women should avoid funerals to prevent bad luck from going to the unborn baby. This is an example of beliefs that influence culture. In most of the cases are religious influences.
The Role of Language in Culture
And last but not least language. Language is intrinsic when it comes to understanding a culture. Khaled Hosseini ones said:
If culture was a house then language was the key to the front door to all the rooms inside.
In other words, if you are willing to immerse yourself into understanding a culture the language is going to be an important dirt step.
Just like the values this way of communication has been transmitted from one generation to another and is in a constant evolution within the culture forming a part of a person’s heritage.
However, there are more aspects of culture such as food, clothing, celebrations, religion, and language. This one helps you the most to understand and build culture.
In conclusion if the culture is the one that shapes the way a person thinks, behaves and view the world, and the strongest aspects of a culture are arts, believes and language. Then this elements are the sources we should be looking for when it comes to put your self in other culture shoes.