Background Info

"Culture" is a term that means the entire way of life shared by a group of people. Cultural richness includes diversity in anything that has to do with how people live, such as music, art, recreation, religion or beliefs, languages, dress, traditions, stories and folklore, ways of organization, ways of interaction with the environment, and attitudes. It’s important to understand cultural richness at different scales—from individual cultural identities to groups and societies—local, regional, national, and global. Cultural landscapes are continually changing due to migration, or the movement of people, as well as globalization and modernization. All of these factors impact forces of cooperation or conflict among communities.

Fast Facts

  • In 2001, the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted and published a Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. According to the UNESCO declaration, "cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature."
  • Cultural awareness means understanding and accepting the differences between oneself and other people, and being open to the idea of changing cultural attitudes.

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

anthropology

Noun

science of the origin, development, and culture of human beings.

Encyclopedic Entry: anthropology

ceremony

Noun

activities to celebrate or commemorate an event.

cultural diversity

Noun

variety of different cultures in a specific area.

culture

Noun

learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

ritual

Noun

series of customs or procedures for a ceremony, often religious.

Credits

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Writer

Alison Michel

Editor

Christina Riska, National Geographic Society

Producer

Alison Michel

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