Cultures & Traditions

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The modern tradition of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween is likely based on the medieval custom of "souling" on All Souls' Day. Early Christians made currant-topped desserts called "soul cakes" to honor their dead on All Souls' Day, and children would walk from house to house singing for the cakes. The children agreed to pray for the dead relatives of each person that gave them a soul cake.

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  • What did the Aztecs drink?

    Q: What did the Aztecs drink?

    A: In Aztec culture, a chocolate beverage made through the combination of cacao and ground maize was a ceremonial drink that was reserved for only warriors and nobility. This chocolate drink was high in caffeine and was said to provide stamina. Another drink that was exclusive to the Aztec nobility is octil, an alcoholic drink which was produced using the sap of the maguey plant.
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  • What is the difference between cultural ethnicity and race?

    Q: What is the difference between cultural ethnicity and race?

    A: Ethnicity is a cultural form of identification, and race is a form of biological identification. Although the two may be interrelated, this is not always the case.
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  • Why do Chinese women paint their faces white?

    Q: Why do Chinese women paint their faces white?

    A: Pale skin is a long-coveted sign of beauty in China, and skin whitening is an $18 billion-a-year industry in Asia. Although there are many modern companies competing in the industry, skin whitening is a tradition that dates back to the Han dynasty. Traditionally farmers and laborers had tan skin, so the upper-classes donned white facial makeup to display their status. The association between fair skin and wealth remains today.
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  • What is an example of cultural assimilation?

    Q: What is an example of cultural assimilation?

    A: Cultural assimilation occurs when members of one cultural group adopt the language, practices and beliefs of another group, often losing aspects of their traditional culture in the process. One example involves the forced assimilation of Native Americans, who were required to attend government-funded boarding schools and forbidden to speak their traditional languages. As of today, only 112 of the roughly 300 original Native American languages are still spoken.
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  • Why is cultural heritage important?

    Q: Why is cultural heritage important?

    A: Cultural heritage is important because it helps people connect with others who have similar backgrounds and provides a sense of unity and belonging. Cultural heritage also provides people with a link to traditions that might otherwise be lost.
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  • Why do we have rules?

    Q: Why do we have rules?

    A: Most human societies and cultures have rules to ensure a certain level of fairness and safety for their citizens and inhabitants. Rules and systems of implementing rules allow human groups to function despite friction between members.
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  • What are characteristics of British people?

    Q: What are characteristics of British people?

    A: According to a questionnaire conducted by the British Council, British people are most recognized for their good manners, sense of humor, love of alcohol, pride in their country and unappetizing cuisine. People complained in the survey that the British are also ignorant of cultures outside their own and are intolerant of non-British people. Alternatively, they are considered to be friendly, well-educated and law-abiding.
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  • What is the national dress of China?

    Q: What is the national dress of China?

    A: The cheongsam is widely regarded as the national dress of China. The snug, one-piece garment is available as a dress for women. Its male counterpart, the changshan, is similar, resembling a long shirt.
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  • Why do people have names?

    Q: Why do people have names?

    A: People have names for identification purposes and for referencing lineage. In early or primitive societies, people used only one name for identification because populations were small. As populations grew in different areas, inhabitants used a second name or a surname to further identify themselves.
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  • Why do humans celebrate birthdays?

    Q: Why do humans celebrate birthdays?

    A: People celebrate birthdays to honor their birth and the beginning of a new year in their lives. The custom of celebrating birthdays began in ancient times but was not widespread until the turn of the 19th century. At that time, the perception of children was becoming more positive, and it became customary to celebrate with parties and customs like spankings for good luck or blowing out candles on a cake.
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  • What is the definition of cultural homogeneity?

    Q: What is the definition of cultural homogeneity?

    A: According to Indogosim.com, the definition of cultural homogeneity is the number of shared facts across all possible agent pairs, divided by the total number of shared facts across all agents in a population. If all agents know all the facts precisely, cultural homogeneity is equal to one.
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  • What foods are eaten in Cuba?

    Q: What foods are eaten in Cuba?

    A: The most-prevalent Cuban foods are meats, stews and black beans. Cuban cuisine is mainly influenced by Spanish and African culinary styles, as well as Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese and French cuisine. A typical Cuban meal contains items such as rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, pork and chicken. Root vegetables and tubers such as potatoes, yucca, boniatos and malanga are common, as are bananas and plantains.
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  • Why is culture so important to society?

    Q: Why is culture so important to society?

    A: Culture is so important to society because culture is constructed by society. A person can't understand one without the other because one shapes the other, the way people interact with one another and perceive their environment is all a part of culture.
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  • What is inappropriate behavior?

    Q: What is inappropriate behavior?

    A: Inappropriate behavior is any behavior that is not in line with societal standards and expectations. It can be exhibited by both males and females and by children and adults.
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  • What are some of the obstacles to achieving the American Dream?

    Q: What are some of the obstacles to achieving the American Dream?

    A: Lack of education and work opportunities, a depressed or recessionary economy, inadequate political direction and global factors are all seen by most Americans as significant obstacles to achieving the American Dream. Disadvantages are even more acute for recent immigrants although they apply to all demographics.
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  • What are the basic characteristics of a civilization?

    Q: What are the basic characteristics of a civilization?

    A: The basic characteristics of a civilization include population centers, monumental architecture, written language, distinct art styles, division of labor, a system of administering territories and division of social classes.
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  • How do you do tribal face paint?

    Q: How do you do tribal face paint?

    A: Tribal paint has been used by many different cultures for a variety of reasons, and the patterns, colors and symbols can vary greatly. Individuals in tribes tend to use sharp, geometric shapes and bold colors to intimidate enemies, or use paint to make their faces resemble animals or tribal gods. These instructions inform you on how to recreate a basic Plains Native American face painting design.
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  • What do the Queen's Guard actually do?

    Q: What do the Queen's Guard actually do?

    A: Despite popular belief, the Queens Guard aren't purely ceremonial. While serving as the Queen's Guard they protect official royal residences, but they are also fully trained and operational soldiers.
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  • What is a contemporary hero?

    Q: What is a contemporary hero?

    A: A contemporary hero is a person who overcomes danger or significant obstacles despite coming from a disadvantaged position. The actions of a hero usually require some form of self-sacrifice as heroes are typically motivated by the desire to achieve a greater good.
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  • What are traditional African huts made from?

    Q: What are traditional African huts made from?

    A: Beehive dwellings are widely used traditional huts built out of painted mud or a wooden framework and covered with layers of thatched grass for roofing. Zulu people are one of the largest producers of these huts, which are typically made using wooden frames, while Xhosa huts are made using mud. These traditional huts are most often laid out in a circular position to form a community.
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  • What is a cultural perspective?

    Q: What is a cultural perspective?

    A: Cultural perspective refers to the way that individuals are shaped by their environments as well as social and cultural factors. Such factors include a person's nationality, race and gender.
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