5 (and never enough) clues to figure out what in heavens is Culture

  • It´s a gift.
    • Because it gives us the opportunity to materialize the existence of humankind through forms of expressions that emerge from our deepest nature.
  • It´s perfectible.
    • Because a generation that shows no interest in questioning why culture is the way it is, will never be able either to unfold it´s errors, nor disclose what would be better for humanity.
  • It´s not the most precious thing we have, but it’s part of it.
    • Because life itself -the quintessential gift we enjoy- makes culture something capable of being valued.
  • It has to be transmitted due to it’s mutable nature.
    • Because as we said before, culture being a product, a construction raised up in centuries, is attached to innumerable changes, those which cannot exist in other way but aligned with human behavior.
  • It has to be taught.
    • Primarily, by the family (1).

This point  is where I´d like to stop and enclose what is probably the most important idea of the text. Where does culture come from? Conceived as the gift we received through generations, the work of countless human beings who’ve shaped it (or deformed in other cases), and as part of men’s life. Basically, culture comes from family. And also from society, of course, since it is important not to forget that family is the leaven of society, although some modern and contemporary theorists have spent their whole life arguing that it´s not.

Now, getting personal, my family ancestry comes from Hungary, and every Christmas we eat a dish called Kapusta (sic) which is nothing but sauerkraut with meat rolls, bacon, much dill and cream, and accompanied with rye bread. I mention this because although I live in a Mexican context, with it’s own culture, which I receive, we still embrace this cultural background inherited by the parents of my parents, them from their parents, and so on.

Family is therefore not a mere “element” that shapes society or culture; it is instead, the place for men to arise and return to feed and improve what they gave with life itself: culture.

By Arpad A. Jaime Orozco

(Editing: Alejandra Cárdenas)

(1) HURTADO, Rafael. “Familia como transmisora de la cultura”. Hombre y Mundo Contemporáneos. Universidad Panamericana campus Guadalajara. Junio de 2016.


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