What Is Culture?
Culture as a complex word contains various definitions. In its origins the word itself comes with the word civilization from latin word cultura which refers to the cultivation of the soil. Cicero mentioned the term “culture animi” meaning “cultivation of the soul” in his Tusculan Disputations. He used the word with an agricultural metaphor to describe the development of philosophical soul.
We can also identify culture as the unity of thoughtful mechanism of a society, their life style, language, art and every kind of tradition. Another definition can be the historical and social development of a society and using their values to pass them on to the next generations. We can also explain culture with criticism and learning capabilities. It can be developed through the experiments and experiences. In French culture refers to wisdom. Dictionary meaning of the word of wisdom is understanding and knowledge. It also includes spiritual and moral values. It seems like culture brings all of the definitions as domination of nature, relations between individuals and a historical bond.
Culture grows with some specific elements. The first element can be language. We can define language as the sound and thought world of a nation. The second one can be religion which has a very important place inside our elements list. In particular for centuries especially in ancient times this element left the other ones in shade. Religions power over humanity continued with a strong form until empires left their places to nations. Thus religion is still a powerful force that effects human culture. The third element can be tradition and custom. These can be defined as all non-written laws that belongs to a community. They organize the behaviors of a human society. We can give examples of some of these behaviors like apologize, greet, respect, talk, discuss, etc. Our fourth element can be art. Art separates a nation from another nation by creating and exploring the aesthetic values. Art can use words, sounds, color, light or space. The fifth element can be history. History can be defined as the appearance of a nation in stages. A nations members in the past are linked to the ones in future. This creates the identity of a society which makes it different from the others.
There is a constant interaction between environment and communities. They are affected by geographical conditions. For instance, communities living in mountainous areas and communities living in plains have got different culture characteristics.
We can also mention the relativity of culture, which means that each society has its own culture. And this own culture is not a static form. It varies over time and changes faster than the material items. Also the speed of cultural change in every society is different from each other. Social order is maintained in culture by directing the behavior of individuals who are functioning