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Herbert Gasser

Culture Acquisition

People in the world differ from each other and one of their differences is of their cultures.  Culture is a term which means, development or improvement of the mind through education and training. It is also referred to as the behaviors and beliefs or characteristics of a particular social, ethnic or age groups.

Cultures are not born with us or let us say 'in-born'. We human beings are in the process of acquiring our own cultures from the society or environment we are living in. Little by little, we learned cultures in our everyday life. We learn the basics of cultures from our parents and as we grow old, we learn more things from our education.

How is culture acquired? In our childhood years, we learn first the culture within our family. Our parents taught us words to speak and how to speak it even if we do not understand the meaning of those words. Like for example, we are taught to say, "Mama" or "Papa". We all know in our age right now that when we were still baby, we don't really know that the word "Mama" refers to our mothers but we keep on speaking it until we master it. As well as the clapping of our hands, our parents will demonstrate to us how to do it and then they assist us in doing the clapping until we learn. We clap our hands even if we don't know the meaning of the word 'clap' or 'hands'. But as we grow with our age, we realized that the word 'Mama' refers to our mother and the word 'clap' is an action word wherein you put your hands together and then separate it and do it again and again. Thus, culture is learned through the two key word, 'Language' and 'Action'.

You learn your first language to your parents. So, you learn your own culture from the society or community where your language is spoken. Your way of using your language may also evolve by means of socialization. Your parents might have taught you some words but as you go outside your home and socialize with your friends, you might have also learned some other words that only exist in that place. As a matter of fact, the world already made some terms that will differentiate people or groups. There is what we call as 'Youth', 'Gay Groups', 'Adult', etc. One may learn from these different groups. The activities of the youth may be different from the adult ones. Terms from the old ones may not be suited from the gay groups.

Language and action may change as the years goes by. As you learned culture from your own community, you may also learn some other cultures as you live in other places or countries. Nobody learned culture alone. Each of us need to mingle with other people to be able for us to learn new things in life. Culture evolves from generation to generation. If we choose not to learn new cultures, we may be left behind by the upcoming generations.

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