Origins of Culture and How It Came To Be

Throughout the world, many traditions and cultures formed through various ways.  There are a plethora of cultures all linked to each other in one way or another.  Our heritage has a massive impact on our character and how our morals form.  Many aspects of culture such as stories and practices could be spread through many means such as spoken language, dance, acting, or even books.

The Vietnamese language has some inspiration from other languages.  The words for certain things such as ice cream, chocolate, or coffee can be seen as interpretations of words from different cultures.  The vietnamese words for those foods listed would be cà rem, sô cô la, and cà phê are all pronunciations of french words in Vietnamese.  This is due to the fact that the French had an occupation period over Vietnam for over 6 decades.  In our linked assignment, we linked words from poems we like to their real meanings, and by doing this we saw that words can mean so much more than face value given the context.  It shows the beauty of language and how we receive and give meaning to things.  Just like those french cognates, vietnamese culture is a cumulative work of other cultures pouring in a tiny percentage of their own traditions and language which has an influence on vietnamese culture.

Additionally, we can see in Korean culture, many of their foods are inspired from dishes that were made in times of desperate need.  Cultural dishes such as army stew were created as the aftermath of the Korean war devastated the Korean population which left them scrounging for food.  This stew would be made up from surplus food from the US army such as spam, eggs, cheese, ham, and an added touch of gochujang, a Korean chili paste.  You could correlate this to the film “Scavengers” in which the 2 main characters thrive off the land and use whatever they have as tools for survival.  

Another way cultures traditions could be internal conflicts, such as Mexico and America’s Independence day where they celebrate them breaking free of Spain’s grasp.  They celebrate this by holding very flashy parties and parades along with eating their traditional foods such as pozole.  The way we celebrate our independence in the U.S. is that we set off fireworks and wear clothes themed to the American flag.  All these holidays celebrating independence is due to the fact that war between the nations having control over them was fought and won.  A Work of Artifice by Marge Piercy is a good example of the mentality causing, they explain that if you go into someone’s image you could limit your own potential and won’t be as successful.   

Bonsai Tree Painting by Emily McPhee | Saatchi Art

Culture could be made through many ways good and bad but at the end of the road, it signifies a greater moment in the history of people.  Many of the things we do on a daily basis have a lot of context and heart poured into it.  You can see this clearly in Mexican culture where they celebrate and have a joyful day for their independence.  Not only do traditions form themselves, they could also have an influence on other cultures.  Korean and Vietnamese culture are prime examples of this in which they all have an essence of other cultures in their own.  Overall, culture is a fascinating way of preserving history yet having so much emotion put into it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s