ASPECTS OF CULTURE The learner will describe and compare patterns of culture such as language, religion, and customs that make a specific region in the world distinctive.
WHAT IS CULTURE? • Culture refers to a people’s way of life – including how they meet their needs, their language, religion, beliefs, customs, institutions and technology.
Customs Things people usually do – • how they dress • the foods they eat • how they celebrate holidays • and the great turning points of life – birth, coming of age, marriage, parenthood and death.
Roles • Roles are based upon rules for proper behavior of individuals in a particular position or situation. • Gender roles are those specifically assigned to men and women. In certain countries women are required to stay at home or wear special clothing.
Institutions • Organizations developed by each society to make social roles clear and to take care of social needs. • Families • Schools • Governments • Military/Army • Hospitals/Churches
Social Structure • A defined or undefined social class system – • Upper Class – wealthy and own large share of property. • Middle Class – professionals who are educated and small business owners • Working Class- manual laborers who work in factories, mining or transportation. • Lower Class – Uneducated and unskilled. Take least desirable and worst paying jobs.
Rural or Urban – How people live together In some cultures people mostly live in the countryside. Homes are small huts of mud and thatch, or simple cottages. Spend time as farmers, livestock herders or village craftsmen. Maintain traditional ways. Other cultures people live in large cities with advanced levels of technology. They have roads, bridges and buildings.
Multicultural Societies • Containing a mix of peoples and cultures – such as United States, Brazil or England. • Sometimes minority (an ethnic or religious group other than the dominant group) can be persecuted or discriminated against. • Genocide is the extermination of an entire ethnic group.
RELIGION • One of the most important aspects of culture is religion. • Today, seven major religions have the greatest number of followers around the world: animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. • Confucianism and Daoism have significant followings primarily in China and the Far East.
What is Religion? • A set of beliefs about the meaning of life, the nature of the universe and the existence of the supernatural (including a God or supreme being). • A set of customs and practices that relate to the worship of God, or several gods, and a set of rules for the conduct of a good life. • An organization, such as a church or other place of worship, which oversees the conduct of religious practices. • Most religions designate some special places as sacred or holy.
ANIMISM • Belief that many things in nature have their own spirit. • Earliest forms of religion. • Peoples have believe that animals, plants, and even places had their own spirits. • Practiced by Native Americans, Mesoamericans, Australian Aborigines.
Origins of Judaism • Judaism emerged in the Middle East, Canaan or Palestine . Emerged 4000 years ago in the area along the Mediterranean occupied by present day Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. First religion to assert the existence of one God- or the concept of monotheism.
HISTORY OF JUDAISM • Teaches that the Hebrew people are descended from Abraham, the patriarch with whom God formed the Covenant. • Ancient Hebrews migrated from Israel to Egypt to escape food shortages. They remained there hundreds of years, where they became enslaved by the Egyptians. • Moses later led the Jews out of Egypt and back to Israel. It was during this migration where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments which were meant to guide the conduct of God’s people and initiated a solemn covenant with this people.
Fundamental Beliefs of Judaism There is only one God. God is the ultimate authority and possesses final dominion over the universe Life is Holy. The Torah is a guide to correct and upright living. Group worship and prayer are indispensable elements of a righteous life.
HOLY TEXTS OF JUDAISM • The first books of the Old Testament give the history of the ancient Hebrews and their relationship with God. • The first five books are referred to as the Torah. • Ten Commandments emphasized living justly and following God’s commandments. They forbade believing in false gods, stealing, murder, adultery, and other forms of immoral behavior.
ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY • Christianity began about 2,000 years ago. It is based upon the teachings of Jesus. • Began as a small sect in country of Palestine in the Middle East. • Eventually became the major religion of the Roman Empire.
Who was Jesus? • A Jew born in Bethlehem. • Mother was Mary, father Joseph. • Worked as a carpenter along with his father. • Jesus preached forgiveness, mercy and sympathy for the poor and helpless.
Crucifixion The Romans crucified Jesus for claiming he was the Messiah or Savior. After his death, a band of followers, known as the Apostles, believed Jesus had risen from the dead to redeem mankind.
BELIEFS • Christians believe Jesus was the son of God and sacrificed himself to save humankind from punishment for their sins. • Christians believe that after his death, Jesus was resurrected and rose to heaven. • Christians believe they will be saved and will go to Heaven after death if they have faith in Christ as their savior.
THE HOLY BIBLE The sacred book of Christianity consists of the Old Testament (the Jewish Bible) and the New Testament which describes the life of Christ and the works of the Apostles.
The Spread of Christianity • Became the major religion of the Roman Empire. • Later, Christians divided into Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Protestants. • Pope is head of the Catholic Church – Catholics believe he is God’s deputy on Earth. • Orthodox Christians are mainly found in Greece and Russia. • Protestants reject the Pope’s authority and believe that people should interpret the Bible for themselves.
ORIGINS OF HINDUISM • The Aryans came from Central Asia, crossed the mountain passes through the Himalayas and arrived in India about 1500 B.C.E. • The Aryans brought with them a new religion to India called Hinduism.
ORIGINS OF HINDUISM • Began on Sub-Continent of India around the Indus River over 4,000 years ago. • No founder • Hinduism is unique in that it cannot be traced to any specific individuals or historic event. • The faith is an extraordinary collection of variations and expansions.
POLYTHEISM AT ITS GREATEST • Over 1,000 gods • There is freedom to believe in one god, many gods or no god. • Hindus believe that there are many gods and goddesses, however, it is a manifestation of one Supreme Being.
BRAHMA One of three main Hindu gods. Personification of the Absolute, the creator of the world.
VISHNU Known as the Preserver and protector.
SHIVA • Symbolizes the various forms of energy. Embodies both creation and destruction.
CIRCLE OF LIFE • Hinduism is based upon the idea of reincarnation – the concept that all living beings are in a cycle of death and rebirth, and that human beings are reborn several times in different forms or bodies. • The doctrine of reincarnation holds that one is trapped by the cycle of life and death until one attains true realization.
KARMA • Refers to a person’s behavior in life which Hindu’s believe will determine that person’s form in the next life. • People who live a good life will be reborn in a higher caste. Those who do not will be born into a lower caste.
Social Hierarchy and Hinduism • The mixing of the Aryan and native Dravidian peoples led to a new social order. • The Aryans put new social and religious rules in place which established rigid social castes or classes. • Caste systems were rigid and based upon birth. • People lacked social mobility – the ability to change classes. • People could not marry outside their caste.
The Untouchables • Untouchables performed the lowliest tasks, such as handling dead bodies or sweeping streets. • They were completely outside the social order. • A touch of an Untouchable to someone of a higher caste made them unclean. • Upper caste Hindus did not feel guilt as they believe the segregation was divinely ordained.
HOLY BOOKS • Vedas – collection of books that outline spiritual principles accepted by Hindus as fundamental to their religion. • The Upanishads are direct accounts from spiritually advanced mystics. They set out the principle of reincarnation.
SACRED OBJECTS Hindus believe the Ganges River is sacred and has the power to wash away sin and evil.
Sacred Objects Hindus believe the cow is sacred and religious Hindus do not eat beef.
How was the hereditary caste system closely connected to Hindu beliefs in reincarnation? • People who live a good life will be reborn in a higher caste. Those who do not will be born into a lower caste. • Caste segregation was divinely ordained.
BUDDHISM The right attitude toward life is the basis for sound living.” Buddha
Origins • Buddha was born in the foothills of Himalayas in present-day Nepal. • Buddhism did not survive in India as primary religion, however in later years it was adopted in Asia – Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Tibet. • Japanese branch is called Zen Buddhism and has attracted many western followers.
The Prince Who Left the Palace • Siddartha Gautama was born the son of a wealthy and powerful ruler of a small kingdom. • Gautama had never been outside the palace until he ventured out when he was 29 years of age. • He was shocked by the human suffering he saw outside the palace as he had never faced old age, illness or death. • He saw his royal lifestyle as empty and useless and vowed to become a holy man.
The Awakening • Gautama spent years pursuing a life of deprivation and asceticism. • One day he sat under a Bodhi tree and vowed not to move until he saw true liberation. • When he arose he had true enlightenment and thus became, Buddha.
Blinded to the Light • Buddha claimed that all beings possess enlightenment but that some are blinded to this fact. • Suffering was caused by human desire. To end suffering one must come to accept the world as it is and block out selfish desires. • Three habits – anger, desire and ignorance – prevent most people from enlightenment.
NIRVANA (Before it was a rock band) • Nirvana is the state of final liberation from the cycle of birth and death or “Perfect Peace” – a state of eternal peace and bliss. • Believers must give up attachment to worldly belongings and live a life of self-denial that can bring a person to nirvana.