Tuesday, 3 August 2010
ABC Wednesday,C for Culture
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Not so long ago a friend of mine rang me up and we started a conversation about culture. Where does the culture of people start? Does it start when a group of people is going to use written language and write books? We came to the conclusion that culture starts with the prehistoric storytellers, who laid the foundations for religion, philosophy and all kind of art forms, related first to legends, religions and daily life. The Celts and the Vikings had hardly any written literature, but that doesn't mean that they had no culture. They had a highly developed way of expressing themselves in paintings, woodcarving, jewelry, music, dance...The Australian Aborigines had no written proof of their culture either, but they had their storytellers. They created images in words, and in cave drawings each with a very important message. Their rituals are incomprehensible to Europeans, unless one of their elders explains them to us. The sound of clapsticks, bullroarer and digeridoo is unknown to many Europeans and Americans.
I believe that culture also depends on the living conditions of people. People who live in deserts live in tents, they are often nomads. Their food consists of what they find in the desert.
In the arctic regions, where there are no woods, people build their houses of ice. They eat fish and seals. Their clothes are made of skins or testines of fish.
Culture is a combination of living conditions, depending on environment, intelligence,ingenuity and creativity. Survival is the main goal. Food, housing and clothing are the first necessities. Communication is becoming more and more important to fill all those needs. Sounds and gestures are not enough, therefore language comes into being and customs arise. Then when a community is getting well organized, creativity can be used to create art. Language is now also used to amuse and teach people. Music and language together are even better means to tell stories and help to remember facts and legends. Language is now written down; first in stone or clay tablets, later paper is used. Housing is now not only used for accomodation, but people like to build beautiful dwellings, and so architecture becomes a new art form. Clothes are going to be designed not only to keep one's body covered and warm, but to become more attractive and colourful.
With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.We started a new round of the fascinating meme of ABC. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar or Here. This week we are looking for words beginning with C.