Why is culture important?

Essay by akk713College, UndergraduateA+, January 2004

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When the word "culture" is mentioned, we can think of many things as "cultural", such as language, clothings... etc, because we classify cultures of different places. However, culture is so valuable that it has to be kept for thousands of years,and passed on by one generation to another. Culture is so important that it is more than its distinct visible features, if we extends this to the inner self of a person, to members within a society, further to the whole community, maybe we can find some answers by finding out how they are affected by culture.

Culture represents a whole community, to investigate how culture changes one's inner values, we have to define some common beliefs, just like clothing that has some features that help distinguish its cultural background. People having the same cultural background, in general, are likely to behave in a similar way, because their education and religion background have also cultural elements.

It is true that personalities are different for everyone, but culture can affect people to a certain degree because it provides an environment from which they obtain their values, especially for children at young age. For example, chinese are generally considered to be more respectful but the westerners are more open-minded and outspoken, their education style has played an important role, because in Chinese culture children have to learn to be composed and be polite and there is a border line between teachers and students, whereas in western they tend to be active to be appreciated by the teachers. Therefore people from different cultural backgrounds will have a diversity of ways expressing the same intention. Culture is important because it has some values that are automatically fill in a person's mind through an environment, which changes one's deeds.

Culture also plays an important role to the interactions between members within a community. When the same culture can cause similarities of values, this can bond people with the same culture together because they will feel comfortable and easier because it confirms their values. On the other hand, they may find other cultures odd if they neglect cultural difference. Culture can pull a person closer, or further away to the majority, therefore culture is very important to the communication network in a society as well, maining the relationship among people.

Since culture can form invisible bonds between members in the community, this can hold people with the same cultural background together, passing on the values. This propogation of values is can not only transmit culture knowledge and retain the relationship among people, it also builds up a long term tradition after years and years. Culture is strengthened in this way because it can give background and reference to its later generations of its ability of keeping the long-term tradition, gaining the sense of belonging of people to the country of that culture. It is important in terms of the development of a community as a whole, as it forms cultural groups together which help passing culture on from one generation to the next one, maintaining the existence of some traditional values.

Culture contains elements that affect one's inner values other than just external characteristics, which those values play an important role in his whole life. The communications between people are also based on culture to some extent and this forms cultural groups, passing cultural knowledge on, building up a cultural status to a country for years which people with the same cultural background will find them belonging.