The Oddity of Culture

I find the concept of culture interesting. Humans find group acceptance through culture. Part of their identity comes from the culture. Naturally, culture evolves over time. The more open minded you are when it comes to interracial relationships, the more cultures will blend. When you think about it, lots of things are part of our culture that we don’t realize. Let’s say that your family has pasta every Thursday. That’s part of your culture. One definition of “culture” is “a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, or group“.

For the most part, there is nothing wrong with this. What I can’t stand is when people are held back by their culture. For instance when a Jew marries a Christian, and the child is confused by Hanukkah/Christmas. Then the child’s peers mock him for not having the same values that they have.

So my question to everyone is why does culture have to be such a “big picture” concept? Why can’t individuals have individual culture. For instance, I decided that I want a Christmas Tree, but don’t want a nativity. This becomes part of my individual culture.

What about surnames? They are passed down through the generations via the male. Many modern families use hyphenation. The problem with this, is what if two people with hyphenated surnames get together? Would your children have four surnames? Through marriage, two people create a family system and blend their personal customs to create a new set of rituals. Why not use the same logic to surnames? How about when two people get married, rather than the female changing her surname (and in a way losing her sense of identity) the two blend their names. Tom Smith and Cindy Johnson become  Tom and Cindy Smithson or  Tom and Cindy Johnith. I think this would be great, because there is a link to their past, while solidifying their future as a family. The surname is THEIRS. They created it.

What about art? Art is thought to be a huge part of culture. Go to any art exhibit. The style of art changes based on the decade, not the race or religion. So if I like (insert artist’s) work, but don’t like (insert similar artist’s) work, the art I like becomes part of my culture.

I think these ideas would help people come up with their own culture; something of which they are proud. No longer would people who break from tradition be ostracized from their culture, because culture would change each generation. A Catholic woman would be able to marry the man that she loves because of LOVE, even though he is Muslim.

Imagine the Christopia I am building here. No more religious wars. No more people feeling like outsiders from their families. Children encouraged to come up with their own set of rituals. The word “tradition” ceases to be used. People think for themselves, instead of thinking whatever has been thought before, simply because it has been thought before.

 

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