Diverse Society

Posted on April 29, 2013

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It’s amazing how diverse our society is, yet even with that it still boils down to one thing – FITTING IN. No one on earth wants to be alone. Everyone wants to fit in. Everyone wants to be a part of some sort of society. We are either born into one, such as culture, tradition, religion or race, or we try to be a part of one. Fitting in to the norms of society is hard work. Sometimes, we get shut down or we get left out. There are times where we deny ourselves and lose everything we believe in because of our aspirations in being part of a group. Sometimes we lose track of who we are because we are afraid of being left out. Sometimes we deny ourselves of the happiness we deserve because we are afraid of being different.

Our society is very diverse because of how people live through culture, tradition, beliefs, religion, race, interests, hobbies, professions, and other things where society may be based on.

CULTURE

Take for example the lovely continent of Asia. People perceive Asia as a continent that is very rich in culture, with people honoring tradition. Asia, being a continent, has many different cultures and traditions. But, one thing that Asians share is their bond with their family. Some Asian households even extend to the 3rd degree relative.

Japan

For thousands of years, the Japanese culture has been developing within itself. When people think of Japan, perhaps one of the first images that spring into mind is one of an ancient Samurai warrior wielding his heavy sword, or perhaps they picture a young Geisha, pouring tea and serving sushi. While these elements do play some role in the entire concept of how Japan is as a whole, the entire meaning and history of the nation is larger than that. The Japanese value outside appearances very much. This is not to say that they do not value what is private and hidden, but much importance is placed on one’s presentation and appearance. In a sense, the Japanese are very effective businessmen. They compare themselves as Samurai warriors or kamikaze pilots. The Japanese know that you should never come to a negotiation showing your true nature. In Japan, everyone is aware of everyone else’s age. In some companies, newsletters that display the ages of employees are produced for internal distribution. Vertical ranking, based mainly on age, determines everything from the location of desks in a classroom to the order in which cups of tea are distributed. These rankings are even pervasive in the language, which has different ways of addressing others in regard to their age, whether older or younger.

China

For thousands of years, the Culture of China has attracted and moved many people from all over the world, being so unique and one-of-a-kind as well as elegant and inspiring. The Chinese Culture, a culture that has evolved for thousands and thousands of years, contains rare beauty and enchantment with history. It has drawn so much interest that it is integrated with other cultures. You might have even watched Mulan, Disney’s animated film based on a Chinese folk tale. The Chinese Culture has played an important role in world society, and in China itself. The Chinese refer to their country as the Middle Kingdom, an indication of how central they have felt themselves to be throughout history. There are cultural and linguistic variations in different regions, but for such a large country the culture is relatively uniform. Chinese Culture as a whole can clearly be divided into two: Traditional Culture and Modern Culture. Like all other cultures of the world, the Chinese Culture is changing continually. Throughout history Chinese culture has evolved and changed, especially during the 20th century. Traditional festivals are still being celebrated, tributes to ancient styles and artifacts, the integration of traditional sounds in modern music, celebrations of traditional art and design through stores and classes, and special concerts and programs shown both live and on TV devoted to the traditional culture. One notable discipline that the Chinese believe in is Feng Shui, which literally means “wind water”. Feng Shui is the practice of creating harmony with the environment to derive the greatest benefit, peace and prosperity, and can be applied in any environment. The Chinese also valued the mind more than material things. They thought very highly of making it possible for human beings to live harmoniously and happily among one another. However, the Chinese still appreciated wealth but saw no benefit from wealth that did not bring a fuller enjoyment and a greater satisfaction of life. Confucius, one of the most famous philosophers from China, sought to discover the nature of the human being. In doing so, he created a philosophy which the Chinese people based their beliefs upon for hundreds of years. Today, young people may increasingly admire Western culture. However, Confucianism will always influence every Chinese because it is an integral part of Chinese culture.

Philippines

Philippines is a country that contains different cultures and influences. Most of these influences are results of previous colonization and derived mainly from the cultures of Spain and the United States. Despite the visual Hispanic and Western influences, the older Asian aspects of Filipino culture are seen through the way of life, beliefs and customs of the people. The Philippines is one of the two predominantly Roman Catholic nations in Asia-Pacific, the other being East Timor. Linguistically speaking, the nation is amazingly diverse with more than 170 languages. Nearly all of these languages belong to the Western Malayo-Polynesian language group of the Austronesian language family. Additionally, there are twelve major regional languages with over one million speakers of each. These are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray, Bikol, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Kinaray-a, Maranao, Maguindanao, and Tausug. The Hispanic influences come largely from the cultural influence of Spain and Mexico. The Hispanic influence stands visible in the religious festivals of the Roman Catholic Church. Filipinos hold major festivities known as barrio fiestas to commemorate their patron saints. Some of the Chinese traits are also found in Filipino culture, particularly in the cuisine. Noodles, for instance, are known locally as mami and are a standing testament of the Chinese cuisine. Linguistic borrowings is the other way by which the Chinese culture has seeped into the Philippines. However, despite all the influences, the native moral codes are still intact. The respect for the family, veneration of elders, and friendliness continue to mark a Filipino’s social life. One unique aspect that has been a part of the Filipino way of life is the Jeepney. It is a mode of transportation that is very much common in the Philippines. The Filipino’s love for music has also influence the different dancing styles that the country has developed. To name a few, these traditional dances are Tinikling, Pandanggo Sa Ilaw and Maglalatik.

RELIGION

The world has many different religions, or faith (as some people may put it). We have Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Despite the different faiths that exists in our world today, there is still one thing that we all have in common – we are driven by our beliefs. Some are driven by that ONE MIGHTY BEING that governs us all. Some have many gods that they believe in. Even Atheist has their own belief. In may not be in god, but they live with their beliefe that there is no god.

RACE

When we think of race, we think of color. On that note, what are the different races of the world? How colorful are we? Most anthropologists recognize 4 basic races of man in existence today. We have the Caucasian (white), Mongoloid (yellow/asian), Malay (brown) and Negroid (black). Despite that, one thing is for sure, we are all people who live in this world. We were born with it and we deal with it. Sure, some people discriminate others because they believe they belong to a race they think is higher. Let them be, what the will never realize is how beautiful the world is because of the diversity and uniqueness that each brings to the table.

 

NOTE: I did not elaborate more regarding religion and race because I’m already tired and because I don’t want to sound racist or whatever. The only reason why I elaborated more on the culture of Asia is because of its richness and diversity.

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Posted in: Random Thoughts