Cultures & Traditions

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As the famous Winston Churchill quote states, "those who do not remember history are surely doomed to repeat it." History is important because it shows trends of culture, society, economics and other aspects of human development. By studying history, it is possible to find causes and effects of important events and use the knowledge to inform later decisions.

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  • Why are countries referred to as feminine?

    Q: Why are countries referred to as feminine?

    A: The femininity of countries, or "motherlands," is partially a reference to the rich and nurturing soil of which they are composed, or "Mother Earth." There is also a linguistic basis for the phenomenon.
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  • How is a wish made with a wishbone?

    Q: How is a wish made with a wishbone?

    A: The Lucky Mojo website states that wishes are made with wishbones by two people each grasping a leg of the bone and then pulling it apart at the middle until it snaps, while making their wishes. The person with the longest piece of the bone after it snaps is supposed to have his wish come true. On those occasions when the broken lengths are even, both wishes are fulfilled.
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  • What is ideological perspective?

    Q: What is ideological perspective?

    A: An ideological perspective is defined as the theory by which a person or group bases their moral judgement. This point of view often determines how a group or individual will act when faced with a societal or moral challenge.
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  • What are examples of American culture?

    Q: What are examples of American culture?

    A: Some examples of American culture include Hollywood cinema and television, rock music and southern-style cuisine. Due to the country's diverse ethnic heritage, American culture takes influences from nearly every part of the world.
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  • Which utensils are appropriate to use when dining in Thailand?

    Q: Which utensils are appropriate to use when dining in Thailand?

    A: Unlike many countries in eastern Asia where chopsticks serve as the primary dining utensil, Thai people tend to use spoons and forks. In Thailand, spoons are the primary means of transporting food from the plate to the mouth; forks are there to help push food onto the spoon.
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  • What is the difference between a low-context and high-context culture?

    Q: What is the difference between a low-context and high-context culture?

    A: The difference between a low-context and a high-context culture lies in the mode of communication that takes place at the individual dialogue level. In low-context cultures, such as those found in the U.S. and in Scandinavia, dialogues and conversations contain self-encapsulated and very direct messages for which no outside references are required for the listener's full comprehension. In a high-context culture, however, conversations are both steeped in and guided by historical references, community relationships and family interactions.
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  • What do the Hawaiian elite own?

    Q: What do the Hawaiian elite own?

    A: Wealthy Hawaiians typically make their fortunes owning land. Because Hawaii is a small group of islands, the amount of land available to own is scarce. This makes the land values very high.
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  • In which countries is chewing gum considered impolite?

    Q: In which countries is chewing gum considered impolite?

    A: Chewing gum in the wrong context and in an obnoxious manner can be considered rude just about anywhere, even in the United States. It is considered particularly rude to chew gum in public in countries such as France, Switzerland and Singapore.
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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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  • What are the six basic elements of culture?

    Q: What are the six basic elements of culture?

    A: According to Flat World Education, the six elements of culture are beliefs, values, norms, language, roles and social collectives. There are shared symbols in every society that represent the elements of culture. These symbols evoke specific emotions and reactions from people.
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  • How do Eskimos live in modern times?

    Q: How do Eskimos live in modern times?

    A: The Inuit people of Alaska, known by many throughout the world as Eskimos, incorporate both traditional and modern components into their lifestyle. For example, while the Inuit continue to hunt for sustenance, they supplement their diet with food products purchased at grocery stores. They wear a combination of clothing purchased at department stores and traditional mittens and boots.
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  • How does culture influence our lives?

    Q: How does culture influence our lives?

    A: Culture influences people’s lives in many ways, including where they decide to stay, what they do, their perception of education, what employment they consider suitable, their behaviors, their accent, what they read or what they do for entertainment. In addition, culture has a huge impact on human lives in regard to what people wear, say or find humorous. Culture also affects how the human brain responds to different stimuli.
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  • What is a culture clash?

    Q: What is a culture clash?

    A: A "culture clash" is a conflict between cultures, or a disagreement arising between two parties of different beliefs, values and practices. Criminal offences and delinquencies often arise from culture clashes.
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  • What are examples of cultural norms?

    Q: What are examples of cultural norms?

    A: Cultural norms include trivial daily activities, such as answering the phone with "hello," using a medium-pitched tone of voice during conversations, wearing appropriate clothing and driving or walking on the right side of the road and sidewalk. Cultural norms are defined as standard or acceptable behaviors and attitudes espoused by a group of people, such as citizens of a country, a clique in school or a tribe. Cultural norms affect virtually every part of daily life, and often become so routine that participants are unaware of their specific behaviors and actions.
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  • What is ethnic dance?

    Q: What is ethnic dance?

    A: Ethnic dance refers to a dance that comes from a specific cultural group, such as polka or flamenco. Any dance that is connected to a particular ethnic group is considered an ethnic dance.
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  • What is the difference between subculture and counterculture?

    Q: What is the difference between subculture and counterculture?

    A: A subculture is a small segment of people that operate within the framework of the dominant culture. In contrast, a counterculture is a group of people with shared values that go against one or more significant values of the dominant culture.
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  • What do Japanese people sleep on?

    Q: What do Japanese people sleep on?

    A: In Japan there are a few bed options: the tatami mat, the traditional futon, the western-style bed, and the hybrid. The bed a typical Japanese person purchases depends on space availability.
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  • What is pop culture?

    Q: What is pop culture?

    A: Pop culture, short for popular culture, is a term that refers to products or activities that are currently being aimed at, and consumed by the mass population. Due to the definition of pop culture, it changes in time as the population composition changes.
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  • What are the advantages of diversity in society?

    Q: What are the advantages of diversity in society?

    A: Diversity in society allows for richness and variety, boosting innovation which leads to economic growth, improving access to jobs, producing culturally vibrant and varied communities and preventing stagnation. Early exposure to ethnic and economy diversity prepares children and students for a multicultural world, with studies demonstrating that this type of socializing contributes significantly to their academic development and level of cultural awareness.
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  • What are some examples of high culture?

    Q: What are some examples of high culture?

    A: High culture is a term frequently used by academics to refer to a set of cultural products most highly regarded by a society. In this sense the term largely invokes the arts, so examples include those classic works of visual art, music and literature that are most frequently celebrated, taught and studied. However, depending on context, the term also refers to mannerisms or conventions frequently exhibited by social elites.
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  • What does it mean to give someone the middle finger?

    Q: What does it mean to give someone the middle finger?

    A: The middle finger is associated with the penis and showing it to someone is meant as a sign of disrespect. The practice dates back thousands of years.
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