Culture is something we all accept and we are aware of the culture around us, however, it is difficult to explain or define and has been for many years. In fact, in 1952 Kroeber and Kluckhohn (cited in Spencer-Oatey 2012) listed 164 different definitions of Culture.
I see culture as social norms which affect how we live our lives. For example, a school with a culture of hard work and respect is likely to promote this traits in their pupils, which should in turn see children valuing these traits more. Values play a huge role culture, whether that be the culture of a small group such as a family or a school, or in fact a wider community or country. I believe that in this country we have a very capitalist society, which is instilled in our minds and affects the values we have, such as hard work and an aspect of independence.
I belong to many cultures: family, friends, university, Scottish culture, and the culture associated with teaching. These different groups/cultures have shaped me to be the person I am today, however, they are quite different. The way you behave around your friends may be totally different from how you behave with your family, which may again be different from how you behave in a teaching environment. This is because of the social expectations and norms set within these groups that lead us to behave in different ways.
Scottish culture is often perceived as haggis, bagpipes, kilts and whiskey. While these are all part of Scotland’s rich culture and heritage, they are just cliches – there is much more to Scotland than people think. Scotland has a rich heritage of music and dance, dating back to Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne, a song still hugely celebrated in Scotland and across the globe.
Scotland also has a culture of dance, which is slowly dying out in this modern world. Both Highland and Scottish Country Dancing are celebrated in Scotland, with the latter being taught in many schools in an effort to teach children about the culture of their country. However, I believe this is not taught in the best way, as many children, in particular boys, disengage from the dances. I myself have been Scottish country dancing as a hobby since the age of 5 and have seen the numbers in our class hugely decline over time. I believe that this is partially due to the way these dances are taught in schools
Scottish music can also be recognized across the globe, especially the classic image of the piper kilted up in the traditional attire. Take the time to listen to and appreciate the rich culture of Scotland and I hope I am not alone in being able to appreciate this beautiful music even after so many years.
Spencer-Oatey, H. (2012) What is culture? A compilation of quotations. GlobalPAD Core Concepts. Available at GlobalPAD Open House http://go.warwick.ac.uk/globalpadintercultural