A cultural pattern develops through a society's perception, interpretation, response and expression to its surrounding environment. In some cultures, sexual activity between a man and his intended wife's sister is permissible in preparation for upcoming nuptials. Cultural patterns are examples of adaptive behavior.
Ashish Agarwal wrote an essay on cultural patterns that explores a cultural system in India that consists of faith based on the spiritual inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi, a joint family caste system and the characteristics of the country. Cultural traits are units of understanding or learned behavior often passed from generation to generation and differentiate one group of people from another. For instance, the significance of offering water to the sun in the Hindu culture has no meaning in a western culture.
Clark Wissler, an American anthropologist, specifically interested in the American Indian culture, suggested that certain cultural traits form patterns. These traits include language, materials such as food, dress, utensils and weapons, science, religion, ecosystems, property, art, government and war.
Shaking hands, tipping hats, white clothing at weddings, walking barefoot, growing a beard, touching feet, kissing cheeks in greeting, drinking water on idols or eating from brass bowls are additional examples of cultural traits that became part of cultural patterns.