Some Important Cultural Illustrations That One Should Know

Introduction –

During the early times, culture was defined as beliefs, language, symbols, values, and artifacts, which are a portion of any society. As per this statement, there are 2 main components of culture – symbols and ideas on the one hand and on the other hand artifacts and material objects. The first kind is called “non-material culture,” which is also known as “symbolic culture,” and it comprises symbols, beliefs, values, and language that define a society. The second kind is called as material culture and it comprises of physical objects of the society, like technology, tools, eating, clothing, utensils and also means of transportation. Let’s discuss some of the pivotal examples of culture.

Culture and Symbols:

Symbols are yet another important Examples of Culture. One of the things that you should know is that, every culture is or comprises of some or the other kind of symbols or things which stand for something else and that most of the times evoke several reactions and emotions. There are many symbols that are actually type of non-verbal communication, whereas other symbols are material objects in fact. Also, shared symbols make social interaction possible. First, we will look at the non-verbal symbols. Some of the more common ones are shaking hands, which is done by people in some societies but not in others. It is one of the most common symbols of friendship, and it is used as a gesture of greeting and saying goodbye.

Different Gestures, Different Meanings

Perhaps all the societies have non-verbal symbols which we call as gesture or movements of hands, arms and others like hugging which is meant to convey some emotions and ideas. However, the same gesture or hand movements like a shake hand, or others can mean one thing in a society and pretty different in other society. In the USA, for example, nodding your head means yes, and nodding your head from right to left would mean no. Similarly, if we make an O symbol by putting our thumb and forefinger together, it would mean OK. But a similar hand movement, symbol, or gesture in Europe would mean something bad. Also, a thumbs up in the USA would mean wonderful or great, but in Australia, a thumbs up is insulting, like how people in the USA use the middle finger. It is similar to the middle finger. Also, in certain parts of Asia and the Middle East, people would get offended if they saw anyone using their left hand to eat, as the left is used for toilet hygiene.

Symbols and Language

There are several pivotal symbols that are objects. In the USA, the US flag is one of the most important examples. For many Americans, the flag is very important as it symbolises democracy and freedom. It also symbolises other American values, like patriotism and pride. Shared symbols, both tangible objects and non-verbal communication, are an important part of any culture; sometimes they can even lead to hostility and misunderstanding. So, these problems highlight the importance of symbols for social interactions and meanings. Another important set of symbols is language. In English, the word “chair” means something we sit on. In Spanish, the word silla means chair.

Interpreting the language correctly

As long as people agree on how to interpret these words, or their shared language, then a society is possible. The same language or differences in the language can make it very difficult to communicate. For example, Sally means a name in English in the US, but in Hindi in India it is a name for a sister-in-law. My sister-in-law is also called Sally. In Hindi, it is even referred to as an insulting word. So, there is complexity in language that people need to understand and interpret well.