Perspective on Diversity and Culture

When somebody ask you “what is culture?”…… what comes first in your mind?

This is typical  Omani traditional art and craft that we can find the Muttrah Souq (market), being sold as teh souvenirs for the tourist. Photograph by Evita Kartikasari-2011. Location: Muttrah Souq-Muscat, Oman-Middle East

This is typical Omani traditional art and craft that we can find the Muttrah Souq (market), being sold as the souvenirs for the tourist.
Photograph by Evita Kartikasari-2011.
Location: Muttrah Souq-Muscat, Oman-Middle East

Maybe you will imagine some old ancient artifact and temples from Egypt, or the vivid traditional Korean costume that you used to see in the parade, or maybe such an exotic Thai food that you have ever tasted before?  Or maybe the public holiday in the country to celebrate Chinese New Year?

Does the things mention above are enough representing “what culture is”?  

I recently had the opportunity to contact my friends to find out their opinion about culture. I gain some various answer to my questions above.

 

One of my friend said that culture is such particular “habit” agreed by some group in certain environment. Another friend added that for her, culture is such kind of way of life, where in the way of life there is perspective, art, language, beliefs, custom and tradition.

The henna painting body art in the wedding custom and tradition, has been used from centuries ago in such place as India, Marocco and some countries in Middle East.

The henna painting body art in the wedding custom and tradition, has been used from centuries ago in such place as India, Morocco and some countries in Middle East.

Then I inquiry more with another question to my friends about diversity.

 Actually what is diversity??

One of my friend said that diversity means there is nothing the same in this world, even the twins are not exactly the same. Diversity means that in sameness and similarity there is always something different there. Another friend added that in the context of culture, diversity is the aspect that defines one culture from another culture based on the root where the culture come from and created.

 From the brief survey to my friends about what they think about “culture” and “diversity”, I am quiet surprise to find out that they interpreted culture beyond the things on the surface that is easy to see, taste and define! For my friends, culture is more than custom and tradition itself; it involves perspectives, way of life and even habit! Well done my friends!!

I am glad that now more and more people are more aware that culture is much deeper and more significant than those things we can see especially if we visit a different country: the local festivals, the exotic traditional food, the enchanting colorful traditional costumes, the particular art and craft and the ancient artifact from the centuries ago…

 

This is my daughter Aubrey when we visited Candi Prambana-the Hindu Temple from 9th Century, UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.Photograph by Evita Kartiksari-2011Location: Candi Prambanan, Yogyakarta-Central Java-Indonesia

This is my daughter Aubrey when we visited Candi Prambanan-the Hindu Temple from 9th Century, UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
Photograph by Evita Kartiksari-2011
Location: Candi Prambanan, Yogyakarta-Central Java-Indonesia

Do you ever  realize that ‘culture’ and its differences involves the deeper, significant and ‘unseen’ things such as values, community connections, inter-generational relationship, the race and ethnic heritages, the languages,  migration, ideas about education, gender role, health care, religion, role of children and even how to show their emotion?

 

Expressss your feeling!!This is me and my husband Erik when we were having lunch in A Sammak Restaurant, in Jebel (mountain) Shifa-Oman, Middle East.

Expressss your feeling!!
This is me andmy husband Erik when we were having lunch in A Sammak Restaurant, in Jebel (mountain) Shifa-Oman, Middle
East.

If you have a personal experiences, please feel free to share it with me!!

 

Regards from the heart of Borneo,

Brunei Darussalam, March 2013

 

Evita Kartikasari

 

 

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4 responses to “Perspective on Diversity and Culture

  1. Queta Johnson-Hollman

    Hi Evita,
    Great pictures. Interesting culture custom of the hand painting for a wedding ceremony in the Middle East. Your friends posted great definitions of culture. I am amazed by their culture ceremony. Coming from Liberia, we also celebrate wedding ceremony differently. The groom usually pay a certain amount to the family of the bride in order to ask her family for her hands in marriage. Thanks for sharing such a unique post.

  2. nyiedum ifiok-ufot

    I love your posts and how you always share family pictures and images to enhance your post. I wish I could make my blog more exciting but I am not much into graphics. It seems all our respondents generally agree that culture is a way of life and diversity looks at our differences. I love the henna art image. It is a major practice in Northern Nigeria among the Hausas and Fulanis, and is used in ceremonies, like marriage ceremonies. Cultures have great similarities across borders and yet have differences too.

  3. Evita,
    Once again, I loved your post and the terrific pictures you included. I was surprised to see that one of your friends also used the word habit in describing culture. I had never thought of culture in terms of habits. I especially loved the comment from your friend who said in the midst of all the sameness there is always difference or diversity. Culture is a huge topic on which we can and should devote more thought, only then can we gain greater understanding of each other and more productive interactions.

  4. Wow, Your information are so well put together. I really enjoy the way you choose to explain culture and diversity.

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