Cultures And Traditions Around The World


Season 04 Global Cultures And Traditions By CulturallyOurs Podcast

Cultures And Traditions Around The World

Show Details

In this trailer episode for Season 04, we discuss the concept of cultures and traditions – what are these two concepts and how are they similar and different at the same time. Karthika shares thoughts around what makes culture and tradition an important aspect to learn about, understand and embrace – in all ways of life.

Show Notes

Karthika introduces Season 04 of CulturallyOurs which is all about cultures and traditions from around the world – some well know and some not so much – as a way to get further insight into the lifestyles of people around the world. This season looks at how cultures and traditions affect the way people live and how they interact with each other and society as a whole.

The Transcript

Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit – Jawaharlal Nehru

Life would be pretty boring without cultures and traditions, wouldn’t it? They influence the music we listen to, the food we eat, our interests and even our values and views on life itself.

One of the earliest memories of my childhood goes back all the way to when I was probably five or six and my mom took me to a Christmas party to meet with Santa Claus who was handing out presents. When it came time for me to go meet him, I remember holding onto my mom really tight and asking her how he knew exactly what I wanted as a gift. I distinctly recall her sweet smile as she said since he was Santa Claus, he knew exactly what was on my mind. I was thrilled to bits when he asked me my name and what I wanted for Christmas. He then picked up a gift from a pile next to his feet and handled it to me.

Just imagine my surprise when I opened it up and found the board game I had wanted all year. I knew then that the magic of Santa Claus was real and something every 5-year-old needed to remember!

Of course, many years later, I understood the truth as told to me by my older sister who always made it a point to always give me a dose of reality the harshest way possible…. isn’t that what older siblings always do.

But I don’t think I was really mad because for many years my mom kept up the tradition of taking me to see Santa Claus and somehow managing to give me exactly what I wanted…thanks to my mom’s rad shopping skills, of course. Now mind you, I am actually a Hindu and Christmas isn’t really a cultural celebration for us. But that tradition meant more to me in all of my childhood years and beyond, probably more than other cultural celebrations simply because of how and who I celebrated it with.

Now we all have our own traditions, right? Be it cultural or even something just done by our families, they both mean similar things. In my mind, cultures and traditions takes a look at how people interact – as a society and with each other. These two concepts are interconnected and separate at the same time.

So Season 04 of CulturallyOurs explores global cultures and traditions – some well known and others not so much – as a way to get further insight into the lifestyles of people around the world. How they live and how they interact with each other and society as a whole. I have to admit this might just be one of my favorite seasons ever because not only do I get to share those special moments and memories with you all but also get to hear and listen to your stories – your memories, your cultural experiences and your traditions.

Like I have always said, pull up a chair and lean in with an open mind for a listen. Welcome to Season 04 – Global cultures and traditions from around the world.

Culture is typically used to describe the characteristics of a certain society at a particular point in time. Whereas traditions represent a piece of that culture – a way that culture is interpreted, if you will. They help form the structure and foundation of families and society and how they inter-relate. Further more, culture can also be thought of as a body of knowledge that encompasses art, language, music, dance, attire, food and lifestyle.

Tradition is a more specific term used to describe an event/ritual that is often practiced or a human behavior on certain occasion. Often tradition is thought of as contributing a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings people together and enables them to reconnect with each other. A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Like my childhood memory of Christmas with Santa Claus in a culture and society that isn’t predominantly Catholic. I am sure you have your own special traditions – either cultural, religious or even just personal.

The main difference between culture and tradition is that culture is the ideas, customs and social behavior of a particular social group whereas Tradition is the translation of those customs and beliefs from one generation to another. It is how we interpret and interact with those cultural beliefs.

But you know what, regardless, they both matter a great deal.

Tradition represent a critical piece of our culture. It helps form the structure and foundation of society. It remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. If we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we are in danger of damaging the underlying thread of our identity.

Frank Sonnenberg who is an award-winning author and a well-known advocate for moral character, personal values, and personal responsibility, has articulated why traditons matter so beautifully.

He states that

  • Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends.
  • Tradition reinforces values such as freedom, faith, integrity, a good education, personal responsibility, a strong work ethic, and the value of being selfless.
  • Tradition provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life.
  • Tradition offers a chance to say ‘thank you for the contribution that someone has made.
  • Tradition enables us to showcase the principles of our Founding Fathers, celebrate diversity, and unite as a country.
  • Tradition serves as an avenue for creating lasting memories for our families and friends.
  • Tradition offers an excellent context for meaningful pause and reflection.

Culture and culturally diversity is also equally important. People of a certain culture tend to band together – be it for familiarity, safety or comfort. We all know that each cultural groups has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from. We need a wide range of ideas, customs, and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life. Bringing non-mainstream groups into the center of civic and social activity can provide fresh perspectives and shed new light on tough problems.

If CulturallyOurs has taught me anything, it is that cultural diversity is important for so many reasons.

  • Understanding cultures will help us overcome and prevent racial and ethnic divisions. Racial and ethnic divisions result in misunderstandings, loss of opportunities, and sometimes violence. Racial and ethnic conflicts drain communities of financial and human resources and distract cultural groups from doing work that benefits society as a whole.
  • People from different cultures have to be included in decision-making processes in order for programs or policies to be effective. Without the input and support of all the groups involved, decision-making, implementation, and follow through are much less likely to occur.
  • An appreciation of cultural diversity goes hand-in-hand with a just and equitable society. People feel more accepted, they feel part of the larger community, they work harder to achieve success that ultimately benefits society as a whole.

I leave you with this beautiful sentiment by Yo-Yo Ma

When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.

Leave your comments below

  1. Jay artale says:

    Great concept and theme for a podcast. Hope you’re enjoying the creation process of these episodes. I started my own podcast and although I was a reluctant podcaster to begin with I’m really enjoying the process now.