Monday, February 18, 2008

Week Two: Beliefs, Traditions, Customs, Culture

Beliefs; Traditions; Customs and Culture...

While i was reading the previous post' comments, I thought to ask myself: well, what are beliefs? what are traditions? what are customs?
rather.. what are our assumptions about them?

Beliefs can be value-systems. Strong MORAL codes. Or they can be seen as PREJUDICES. How do you tell the difference?? When does one persons 'belief' in something become a prejudice or an attack on someone else? And what kind of beliefs are these??

What is culture; and what are the ten UNIQUE features of what you might regard as 'your culture'? Please post your answers from todays class assignment here!

Also, do you think that there is a LINK between Culture and Race?
Yes or No, tell me why you think so..


Silindile said...

205501896. Sli Zama. For me culture is the interactions of individuals, and the belief systems that we uphold which direct our everyday actions.
The belief systems that we have may all differ but others may conflict with those of the next person. It leading to prejudice is the way that it penetrates the other individual, or have an effect. In most cases we do not act based on the different belief systems that we have but on what has been done to us that affects us greatly. The different beliefs may be of Respect- in the zulu culture you do not look an elder in the eye when conversating but in ther western society you need eye contact to know that you are getting some sort of attention from that person which you are interacting with.

My unique differences in terms of culture: language, rituals, interactions, appearance, sexuality, belief system, perceptions of life, dress sense, history and past experinces.

A link between culture and race? Yes and No. Different races have different cultures the link could be in the differences. Or we could say how does culture relate to race? a bit confused about the link betweeen the two but will sleep on it.

jutika said...

Culture is something that directs and gives an individual identity. the features of culture would be language, rituals, dress code, values and morals, upbringing, 'cultured'- your behaviour and knowledge that makes you act in a certain way.

yes, there is a link.. with many races comes various cultures since races have language differences, culture includes language therefore a link.

Ashton said...

206501331- I think belief systems become prejudices when people become totally closed minded towards the ideas and beliefs of others. I dont think you only have to act on your beliefs to be prejudice (as was suggested in class), you can have a prejudice attitude toward people without doing anything actively. prejudice is simply believing that your belief system is the only right one...without first listening and engaging with the beliefs of others.

I think there is a belief between culture and race, especailly in SA. but i dont think that this is as a result of intrinsic differences, but rather as a result of the way in which many of us were brought up in apartheid SA, seperated from the influences of other cultures and beliefs. The fact that different racial groups speak different languages contributes to the divisions between our communications and therefore, our cultures.

Anonymous said...

A person's culture refers to practices, guidelines, traditions, belief systems, and assumptions about oneself, and that one follows in life. Culture has several meanings and is different for each individual.

I'm not sure of exactly what to say with regard to my culture. I'm not religious, yet my family still celebrate various holy holidays such as christams. I suppose that's due to my christian ancestors? All cultures are centered around music and entertainment but i think i could say i i entertain myself differently. I really don't know how to answer this question. How can my culture be unique when all cultures have at least some similarities, and the differences in culture are shared by all the people who share your culture? I don't know what my culture is. I like roast chicken (European?) i like surfing (Hawaian?) i like hip hop and reggae (african?)
I'm just confusing myself.

I'm sceptical about the link between race and culture. I suppose historically for sure. On a contemporary level people are making choices more invidually so i think the link is becoming less and less.

will smyly

Anonymous said...

hello, i am very disappointed i posted two very long comments last night and they have not appeared.

irvin maphumulo


Anonymous said...

Culture is a set of beliefs , values and norms in which people follow or live by , culture includes all customs and ceremonies in which we practice and which are unique to a specific culture.

Is there a link between culture and race? Not really. As black people we do share a race but we do not necessary share a culture. Xhosas have there own beliefes and values (they believe a boy has to be circumcised to become a man) and Zulus have there own ceremonies to indicated adulthood (it is called umemulo) . So within a race there are different cultures (within a society there are different cultures). I am not sure if it’s the same for the white race. There may be some similarities, common features.

Thobile Gumede
student no.205516180

KimyaShafinaaz said...

I have had to moderate comments and thats why they dont appear immediately. The internet is a magnet for often dodgy advertising and the like, so if comments are allowed without being checked out first, we would have an irritating number of oddball commentary. So what happens is, you type in your comment, and I receive an email, I read it and publish to the blog. Simple as that :)
Nothings lost.

KimyaShafinaaz said...

The debates about culture are really gaining momentum! Remember what we said about different aspects of culture and different cultures having different features; sometimes these features oppose each other. (eg in some cultures direct eye contact signifies communication, while in some cultures it is seen as disrespect/arrogance) Also, some cultures see handshake as a gesture of greeting, others feel that a woman may not shake the hand of a man from her family. What other examples are there? And in undertaking your interviews, pay attention to your views (and judgements) to what the person being interviewed, is saying. You will have assumptions when you begin, and you will form opinions as you go along. These need to be questioned every step of the way!

Anonymous said...

Culture can be seen as the defining features that link a group of people with common interests, be it social, religious etc. In some cases, the lack of common interest causes a movement or formation of a new culture. E.g. in the 1970s the 'punk' movement was caused by the refusal of 'individuals' to conform to mainstream or popular activities, mainly music. Punk has now become a culture of its own. To say that culture and race are not linked would be very wrong. Although this is not always the case, the question of unique or unique features of a culture cannot be posed if race is not a feature. In general Indian South Africans pair race with religion and in turn pair religion with culture. Therefore the lines between these three aspects of race, religion and culture, become blurred. This is demonstrated by the fact that the only unique features of my culture as an Indian South African, stem from my religion. Most other aspects of my culture have become 'westernized'. In short, culture is linked to race when culture is defined by beliefs traditions and customs

Taragan Moodley 206517628

Anonymous said...

I feel that the term culture refers to all three factors, including beliefs, traditions and customs. These three factors work hand in hand with each other. Beliefs are influenced by traditions, for example, if an adult told a youngster not to do something cause it was immoral, the youngster would normally oblige, and so the process of ones own personal experiences would soon influence there future generations. This would ultimately result in what is known as Culture. Each of us have our own different beliefs, morals and traditions, however these vary according to your own experiences. Problems that is associated with culture, such as prejudice is a result of the growing amounts of diversity amongst our society. The differences between "gemeinschaft" and "gesellschaft" communities explain and give us a better understanding of how society and cultures are changing.

Lastly, I think there is a link between culture and race, as each race group has their own distinctive sets of beliefs, traditions, morals and customs.

P. Rasen

riona said...

culture determines how people behave and should behave in society. culture for me is linked to race, the belefs and practices that people have in a certain culture is reflected on the type of person that they are as well as the race that they belong to. you define yourself based on your race this in turn is part of your culture

Anonymous said...

culture is something that is embodied in you. it is an aspect of our lives that helps to instill values, beliefs and morals in us as individuals. culture is also made up of traditions, heredity, customs however i do believe that culture changes because of the rapid and dynamic changes in time and the present world. culture could also be the activities you engage with your family and friends. culture is incorporated in religion and belief. culture could be your life style and determines how you are perceived in the world. culture is our identity and some may regard it as the root of our ethnicity.some cultures are diverse and require respect from fellow people.


Anonymous said...

I feel that a person's belief becomes prejudice when that belief callously disrespects and disregards another belief. An example of this is religious beliefs. This prejudice normally occurs when one group feels that their religion is superior to another.

Culture is a set of norms and values that we conform to. Our culture dictates the manner in which we dress,the language that we speak,etc.I believe that the culture that i follow is greatly influenced by western cultures and a mix of South African Cultures.Because I live in such a diverse country I feel that my culture is shared many members of society.But my cultural practices as a South African is definetly unique to people in another country.

The Link between Race and Culture is slowly dissappearing. The link was probably very strong in the early days when people did not share and practice cross-culture.Today there is a mixing and sharing of cultures across racial lines.

Anonymous said...

ok culture dertemines the behaviour of people in the society and we adapt to to the environment trhougt it.
What i wud like to challenge in Zulu culture is the issue of cheiftancy( m not sure of spelling).

Anonymous said...

Culture is ones traditions, beliefs, values and norms that they have acquired throughout their lifetime. It is a social interaction that is influenced by ones family and traditional background.

The 10 unique features of my culture are:

1. My Religion
2. Im English-speaking
3. Im South African
4. Respect for others; thank you, please may I; dont talk whilst adults are talking; children are meant to be seen and not heard.
5. High morals and values; have dreams and ambitions
6. The food I eat; Sunday Roasts etc
7. The clothing I wear; Western influence
8. The music I listen to; also Western influence
9. The Beach; surfing and tanning
10. The places I go to and the people I associate with; social places like clubs ect.

I regard all of the above part of my culture, some more than others. They have all influenced me and have made me the person I am today. Culture is a great part of ones personal growth, and I think that without culture one would be lost because there is nothing driving that person to go forward in life; there would be no meaning. Culture forms ones identity.


Anonymous said...

culture for me is a way of life and yes as much as we can deny it sometimes, culture is what makes us who we are. as a black person i definetely think that there is a link between culture and race and as much as our languages may difer in terms of Zulu, xhosa ect there is one common thing that we share as black people and that is ubuntu. 205504085

Anonymous said...

In my own understanding culture is something which impose values, norms and morals of particular population, in other words culture determines our identity. People who arte from the share the same cultural backgrounds have something in common. The features of culture can be
-the way we talk
-food we eat
-Clothes we wear
-the kind of dance
-the music I play
-values and norms
-Tsonga/shangaan speaking person
-my social life(like people I hang up with.
There is strong link between someones culture and language, through language we are able to express our own cultural norms and values. In other words culture form the large part of our lives, on what we should believe in. If you were to find out why I behave the way I bahave, you will find that the motive behind that or the reason why I have this particular style of living has got something to do with traditional background. Culture make us grow physical, spiritual and emotional, but on the other hand it does constrains us.

There is a strong link between culture and race. By looking at our beliefs You will find that most black african believe in the ancestors, and whites believe in something else not ancestors. There are some of the things which you can normal to do in western culture and in African culture is like you deviating the norms and values of our culture.Giving you an example I once hugged my sister-in-law in front of my Mother, believe she was angry and she called into a private palce and tell me that what I have done is unacceptable she don't wanna see it again and in western culture is acceptable. But the different between them is vanishing, because people are living in multicultural society and that mean that kids are exposed to different kinds of lifestyle, which doesn't have specific cultural norms and values.


Anonymous said...





Anonymous said...

culture is an important part of our identity. There are numerous different and diverse cultures world wide. i believe that culture is closely linked to race, beliefs, and tradition. Our culture gives us an identity as an individual and it moulds us from the time that we are born. Culture is also geographically specific, which is why there are so many cultures that exist.

R Moodley
206 500 578

Anonymous said...

I think culture is a way of life shared by a group of people. Some features of my culture includes:

a)the language we speak (Subiya)
b)our traditional attire
c)the food we eat
d)the music we listen to
e)the way we greet and talk to adults ( kneel down and bend your head to show respect)
f)our practices for example when a girl starts her menstruation she is taken to a private room and she has to stay in their for atleast a week with choosen adults in the family, this is a way of welcoming her into adulthood stage
g)the songs we sing
h)the way we dance

Mondy Pono

Anonymous said...

To me, i think culture is what basically defines a person or should i say a member of that particular group. It is something which moulds a person into being the "best" person they can be in society. My ten unique features of my culture which is a traditional zulu culture: respect for both young and old (eye contact, dress code which forbiddens pants for women, strict racial principals in terms of eg: marriages,as a baby having to go through a certain ritual where they will slaughter a goat for you as a way of welcoming you in the family. In this ritual you are entitled to wear a special wrist band which is made from that specific goat especially for you, we have a unique way of entertainment in terms of our dance move for example, a khumalo does not marry a khumalo (both parties have to be from different surnames).

Anonymous said...

I think beliefs are an idea that greatly influences us. We can have prejudice beliefs such as those people who believe their race group is superior to the next. We can have moral beliefs such as not having sex before marriage.

For me language plays a big part in culture. Language gives people a sense of belonging and people who speak the same language are able to relate to each other much better.

Unique features of 'my culture':
1. Language
2. Religious festivals eg. diwali
3. traditional attire
4. Family values
5. ancestral roots

I think that there is a relationship between culture and race. Physical appearance helps us identify with each other more easily. Common ancestral roots gives people a sense of belonging.


Anonymous said...

Culture is basically common beliefs and ways of thinking and acting shared by a group of people. Cultures have in the past been generally heavily influenced by religion. They still are but certain cultures being formed now and in the recent past have nothing or very little to do with religion, such as pop culture or the online culture. In the past race, culture and religion could be strongly linked with one another. In modern society different races follow different religions and are influenced by different cultures. Indians and blacks both practice Christianity. Amongst whites there is not only Christianity but Judaism, Buddhism and Krishna Consciousness. Also many Indians in S.A. have a very westernized sense of fashion and taste in music, foregoing their traditional cultural attire and music from India. What I consider unique about my culture closely stems from traditions and customs found in India and my Hindu religion; things such as food (curries), fashion (saries), language both spoken and written (Hindi), music (Hindi), movies (old Bollywood), deities, prayer and marriage.

M Hemrajh

Anonymous said...

culture is sometimes seen as a state of mind. someone become cultured if they move towards the idea of perfection, a goal or an aspiration of individuals human achievement or emancipation. for an example one of my interviwees believed that if u become cultured and be perfect on it than many of the problems that the society is faced with these days can be adressed. According to Harlambos and Holborn culture is closely related to the idea of civilization, some soties are more civilized than others. and when it comes to culture Some societies are more cultured than others.

Anonymous said...

Culture is ideas and customs that are associated with social groups that are practiced.

1 – Different male and female roles at home and in society
2 – Certain ways of preparing food and slaughtering animals
3- Importance of doing things the way they have been done in the past and not loosing the importance of doing things a certain way to modern practices
4 – Certain ways of dressing and behaving in public, women are to speak to men in a submissive manner
5 – Certain ways of behaving in public as a couple that is not or is married or even at a certain age. Relationships are a private thing; you do not behave inappropriately in public in front of adults no matter what your age is.
6 – Body language and certain ways of sitting, females do not sit on the floor with legs crossed and hand shakes are different between young and old, females and males
7 – Giving of lobola to parents of the female during engagement preparations
8 – The way we dance at cultural functions

I don’t think that there is a link between culture and race, looking at the race groups of black and white there are so many different cultures within those race groups. In Africa and the rest of the world, there are many different cultures in the black race group e.g. there is the zulu and xhosa culture, the same with any other race groups.

I think that it is a belief when it is based on ones own culture. It is a prejudice when a negative “belief” is based on another culture looking at it through the eyes of your own culture without any formal information from that culture itself.

206516466 (Ngema)