In our history, human beings have created
various things. Some of them are materialistic, and the others are spiritual.
Something materialistic is called civilization, while something spiritual is
called culture such as art, music, literature, religion and so on.
Let me think about an origin of the word “culture”
that came from “cultivate”. “Cultivate” has become “culture”. If we ponder the
word “agriculture”, it will explain the idea. The word agriculture includes
culture in it, and the act of agriculture, of course, includes the act of
Human beings are different from other animals that
cannot do something against nature. The first voluntary action conducted by
human beings against nature was to cultivate land in order to get food. Only
human beings were able to cultivate land. If the action of cultivating was the
origin of culture, we can say culture is some actions which are conducted by
only human beings and not by other animals. In other words, culture is an accumulation
of what human beings have done in the history. I would like to emphasize that
it is our mind that culture can cultivate. Culture are able to cultivate our
mind. To live better life, being cultured is surely necessary.
Our own culture seems very natural to us. We
tend to feel in our hearts that the way we act is the only right way. But there
are many other cultures in the world of course. People have created their own
history and the way of thinking in each region for centuries. Cultures are different
from a region to a region, from a country to a country. Each culture has big
influence on every thing in that culture, such as customs, way of thinking,
behavior patterns, and so on. Cultures can create a lot of differences.
When we see other country’s culture, it often
seems strange or even shocking. Eating customs are good example of this. Eating
custom in one culture sometimes look disgusting for people from different
cultures or religions.
whale is considered as food for Japanese people historically, but not for the
western people. The deer and the rabbit are food for some western people, but
not for Japanese people. Some kinds of the dogs are food for Korean and Chinese
people, but not for the western people. Beef is food for westernized people,
but not for Hindu in India
because of their religious belief, as well as pork is prohibited to eat by
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