An understanding of culture requires an understanding not only of language differences, but also of differences in knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Culture is a significant part of the human experience. Culture generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. Cultures can be “understood as systems of symbols and meanings that even their creators contest, that lack fixed boundaries, that are constantly in flux, and that interact and compete with one another.”
Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs, and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called “the way of life for an entire society.” As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, art, and norms of behavior, such as law and morality, and systems of belief. Although there are many definitions of culture, there are common themes that run through them all. Namely, culture is learned, shared, symbolic, holistic, dynamic, integrated, and adaptive.
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