WHAT IS CULTURE? Culture is a word frequently used by people everywhere most times they use it to make a point clear to someone else in the way they see and interpret things. We all practice culture in one way or another even though most people do not notice it. One thing clear to us is that culture is attached to everything we do. Williams and Geertz both portrayed quite similar and different ideas towards culture in their essays. Williams noted that culture is a whole way of life, (pg. 1) this is in the sense that in everything we do we apply culture.
The way we talk, eat, worship and so on culture is depicted inside it. For example, in a family it is possible that before they eat they wash their hands and say a prayer; right there a part of culture is shown. Also in a way it shows that culture is ordinary. Culture does not necessarily mean it has to be something of a big event, the tiniest things we do can portray culture. Geertz divided his view of culture into three parts known as culture theory. He also mentioned that culture is an acted document and also described it to be public.
For culture to exist it has to be practised. Geertz made a point by saying culture is an acted document because the name culture is not something we just have to know, we put culture into action and for it to be public means people have to notice it. If a particular group of people have a certain culture they depict it is important that others are aware about it, because that way they can share ideas and appreciate the works of others. This shows that culture is included in everything we do. Williams also included in his essay that culture is like a journey.
He used the word like to distinguish the distance between culture and journey. Culture is like a journey in the sense that it continues to grow from generation to generation. Even if the people decide to stop such culture, it will still be in history that they practiced it and history cannot be erased. Again culture is included in everything we do including the way history is being taught. According to Geertz’s essay he said that, ’Culture has different meanings and is shown in different ways’.
In a world filled with over a billion people we do not expect everyone to be exactly the same. We all have our different likes and dislikes, we have different attitudes and we look differently. The same thing applies to culture our way of life does not have to be the same as the person next to us, that is what makes culture interesting and broad. Our culture and the way we see and read meaning to it might not be the same way a stranger sees and interprets it. And for culture to be shown in different ways proves the fact that culture is also a form of being creative.
Again culture is attached to everything we do including creativity of the body and mind. Williams described culture in another way he used the teashop as an example of where cultivated people went to. When people use the word uncultured the first thing that comes to their mind is when someone does something insane or disgusting. In the case of the teashop Williams said he was intimidated by the people that went to the teashop meaning he felt uncultured he did not get why they went there to just sip tea or coffee meanwhile to them it was a normal thing.
If people find going to a teashop very intriguing and important as little and unimportant as it may look it shows that they follow a certain style of culture, this is just another idea that culture is attached to everything we do. Geertz said that people should read meaning to culture (pg. 13). When we meet other people with different culture, it is courtesy to understand their culture. We should not start judging them because of the things they do. Most times when they figure out that we appreciate their culture they tend to open up more easily and that is the best way to start a relationship with another.
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