Culture has been part of our lives and communities since the day we were born. However, most of the times, this is not something that we acknowledge. Once we start thinking about it and analyze ourselves, only then we can start to perceive what culture exactly is. According to Wikipedia culture is a “way of life” of a group of people, it is what they do daily and how they behave. This can be related through writings, types of religions, music, clothes, cooking and more. Each region or country is differentiated by its way of doing different stuff. However, this is not enough; the knowledges that we get from when we are born are not always strictly related to our culture. The environment we live in has a huge impact in how we behave and communicate our emotions. Another important point is the way that we were brought up. In fact, it can highly influence the personal and character traits that we were given by birth. The way our parents educated us has much to do with how we behave in this moment. This means that every single thing that we learn during the course of our life is influenced by the cultural lenses that our family, environment and infancy have given to us. We become what we are within our cultural environments. Now, going back to the original meaning of culture and its etymology; the word comes from the Latin “colere” and means to cultivate or to till. What most people might presume is that we have different types of cultures and that not everyone is the same. In fact, most anthropologists divide the term into two main branches: the acquired and the innate culture. Innate culture is everything that we are born with and that no one thought us to do. A classic example is the act of breathing, in fact, no one ever told us how to do so. It is the first task that we do once entering this world and it is something so natural, that no one has the need to explain it. Another task that we learn, but that is initially innate within ourselves, is walking. Every healthy human being has the capability to learn how to walk and has the adequate intelligence to do so. However, this specific task needs to be socially activated in order for us to practice it. The notion of culture is really complex for us as humans to understand and to process. It becomes even harder due to the fact that it is something that we cannot grasp, we cannot hold in our hands. Culture is something invisible and airy, yet so crucial. Sometimes we are not even aware of knowing something, and we find ourselves doing a particular gesture without even knowing where it came from or where we have learnt it. Many times we are not aware of having certain knowledges and we take them simply for granted. What we can for sure say about cultural behaviors is that no one on this earth actually fully knows his or her own culture. Culture is something that is perceived by each and every one in a different way and that is really hard to identify as a whole.




T.H. Eriksen, An Anthropology of Accelerated Change (2016)

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