Understanding One's Culture Essay

828 words - 3 pages

Introduction: Cultures in American SamoaBecause of its history as a growing populated area of the Pacific, American Samoa has provided a huge experiment in multicultural understanding not only in the Pacific but also worldwide. Settlers from literally every neighboring Pacific Islanders as well as settlers from all around the continent have joined this country's indigenous inhabitants. These days, American Samoa is said that it would be a "melting ice " where diverse cultures would mingle and lose their distinctness as they came together, Instead, though cultures have mixed here, they have never "melted". Some have been strengthen in their distinctiveness.So, instead of a "melting ice ", we could see American Samoa as a kind of tile mosaic. On its useful surface, the bright focus of each culture contributes to a pattern in which all elements work together. It appears that this is how cultures work all over the world. They have a power in themselves, which resists dilution and homogenization. This power is based on the close relationship between the cultures and their members. In this identity lies strength; this strength is the reason we should celebrate, rather than challenge, diversity of culture in every group and individual.Culture is adaptive, integrated, and always changing. It shares these characteristics with organic life. In other words, with systems oriented towards survival. Customs that diminish the survival chances of a given society are not likely to persist. Those which enhance survival chances of a given society are not likely to customs are tried and honed as aids to survival, the mechanisms of human understanding move them constantly into integration with other facets of society. Thus change occurs in culture in an organic way.Humanities and its Cultural ExplanationThe humanities are involved in cultural understanding in ways with roots as deep as humankind. The mental capacity of humans today connects us absolutely with the mental capacities of our remotest ancestors. We share not only our ability to think and reason, but also the capacity for aesthetic and moral sensibilities. The humanities, the storehouse of values and traditions that form the foundation of society, work to make clear these shared capacities, these shared understandings.The humanities, in effect, help us to understand other cultures, including the cultures of the past. They do this by showing the shared intellectual and artistic heritage with which people of all cultures have made sense of the world. For that...

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