Culture. It can change.

I recently wrote about Culture. It changes (click to read), in which I talked about my views and experiences of visiting many cultures, especially after hearing such comments as “this is *?&$£: culture, and it will not change.”

There have been many instances in our world where culture has changed over night, as against the gradual change we normally experience. Both are changes made to the culture of a group, be it the world population, countries, communities or families, and often it is done with intention.

At the moment the world governments (or most off them) are meeting in the Indonesian island of Bali, attempting to change the habits or culture of the world population in waste and energy consumption, resulting in climate change. Gradually people are becoming aware of the effects of humans, industrial activity and waste is having on our climate. We are seeing extremes of weather, due scientists say on human activity. The culture of the world has to change.

Religion has played a major role in the culture of nations, the way people dress, eat and drink, their behaviours and beliefs. Each of the major religions has sub divisions within them that has developed over time into different cultures and beliefs, Buddhists for example has Taoist Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, Judaism has Reform, Conservative and Orthodox divisions, Christianity has Roman Catholic, Anglican, Greek Orthodox, Islam has Shiites and Sunnis. Even these have sub divisions in the cultures. (I apologise if I have missed any divisions).

Fashion also plays a role in the culture of nations, often as a result of having to live and exist in the environment the people live in.

The Arabic thobe is very cooling for the hot dessert conditions and the headdress keeps the sun off the head. (see Culture. It changes entry).

wooden shoes white

The clogs of the Dutch, makes it easy in days gone bye, to work in the wet muddy fields, as the mud does not stick to the wooden shoes.

sari

It took generations for these styles of dress to be accepted and to enter into the culture of the population, but then it became the standard dress and culture. When populations moved to different countries to live, for example the Indians and Pakistani people moving to the UK, they took their style of dress, the Indian sari with them. It is their culture, along with their cultural eating and living.

It will take a few generations for this culture to change, as the first generation of immigrants stick rigidly to their cultural roots. As each subsequent generation, second and third, is exposed to the new country’s’ beliefs and culture, they are influenced by them, and integrate them into their own, and culture changes.

In some countries, it is the culture for parents, or elder family members, to arrange marriages, the joining of man and woman, to become husband and wife. As families have emigrated to other countries, their offspring, their children have integrated into the new local communities, going to school, playing with and mixing with other cultures, beliefs and religions. The children meet others, create friendships, fall in love and want to marry outside their own culture and community, which would be normal for the indigenous population. This often causes big problems, as it would be against the cultural beliefs.

Generation by generation it is becoming more acceptable to have mixed marriages in countries where cultures are mixing.

The above takes time.

There are instances were culture changes much more rapidly, and it needs a strong leader. They will change the culture of a nation overnight.

Great or infamous leaders such as Alexander the Great, Hitler, Ghandi, Lincoln, Ataturk (click to read about Ataturk), all changed their nation’s culture very quickly. Hitler changed the relatively integrated and peaceful nations of Germany and Austria into a culture of hatred during the Second World War. Whereas Ghandi used peaceful means to change India. Ataturk changed nearly overnight the culture of Turkey from the days of the Ottoman Empire to modern day Turkey.

It only takes one strong determined person, a leader, a business man/woman to change culture.

Consider a business. If the owner, the CEO, the chairman decides a new policy, to introduce new ways of practice, he will first train and change the management structure. In turn the management will train their supervisors and they will likewise train and implement the changes to the staff. Thus, the culture of the company changes. When the company’s culture changes, it changes how its’ customers use the company and its’ products and facilities.

The world population is becoming overweight, obese, as our eating habits, working and leisure activity change. We are moving away from our cultural behaviours. We need strong, determined leaders to change the culture of the world, to be more active, be fit, less wasteful, more peaceful and tolerant.

I wonder who that could be?

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