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54 Examples of Traditional Culture

Traditional culture is shared meaning and customs that are transferred from generation to generation. This provides a connection with the past and is part of identity and the human experience. Traditional culture changes over time as each generation adds to it. However, traditional culture is a stabilizing force that is often slow to change. The following are common examples of traditional culture.
Ancestral Rites
Body language and non-verbal communication
Community roles
Family roles
Food and culinary traditions
Gardens and landscaping
Marriage and courtship customs
Martial arts
Material culture – traditional physical things such as jewelry
Mythical creatures
Parenting practices
Performance arts
Proverbs and sayings
Rites of passage
Sacred places
Social structure
Traditional clothing
Traditional economy
Traditional games
Traditional musical instruments
Traditional technology
Traditional tools
Traditional work
Way of life
Families play a primary role in transferring traditional culture.
Traditional culture includes heritage -- value that is passed down from the past including physical things such as a historical building and intangible things such as a festival.
In some cases, heritage is viewed as being of priceless value to all of humanity.
Traditional culture includes elements of the human experience that are viewed as giving life meaning such as dance.
Nations that have a modern culture that changes quickly also have traditional cultures that provide a stabilizing force.
Sports can feel like modern culture but many of them are traditions with roots going back hundreds of years.
A folk culture is a traditional culture practiced by a relatively small group. This term is often applied to peoples that live a traditional way of life in a traditional society.
A traditional economy includes markets, commercial practices, farming techniques, hunting and fishing traditions, crafts, household economics and professions that have been sustained over time.
Traditional economies change with time and modernize but may retain the core way of life associated with the economic practice. For example, farming and herding practices that use modern technology.
Institutions are organized features of society that are sustained over time such that they act as a stabilizing force. For example, families and universities are institutions.
It is possible for a traditional culture to be a subculture, professional culture or super culture. For example, Geisha culture is part of the national culture of Japan but it is also an elusive and small culture without broad participation.
Traditional cultures include large cultures such as national cultures that can provide a sense of inclusion in very large groups. This is viewed as part of an individual's identity.
Broadcast media allows very large groups to share experiences. This is often modern pop culture but also includes traditional elements such as sports.
High culture is mostly traditional culture that demands a high level of mastery and institutional acceptance.
With the exception of visual symbols, language is how we conceptualize everything such that it greatly influences how we think. Each generation changes language a little but language is mostly traditional.
Traditional cultures include religions and systems of values that explain the world and provide a sense of purpose, meaning and morals.
Culture is extremely fluid and will transfer with interactions between people. Traditional cultures can be transmitted across national cultures or can be adopted as a super culture on a global basis.
Even where an element of traditional culture is expanded across many national cultures it is likely to take on local characteristics. For example, Christmas traditions that vary by nation, region and family.
Food, culinary traditions and social dining practices are a primary type of traditional culture that faces much challenge from consumer culture and changing lifestyles.
Traditional culture provides valuable cross-generational experiences at the community level.
Traditional culture may be old but often includes youthful pursuits and calculated risk taking.
Creative expression such as arts, crafts, performing arts and festivals often have traditional origins.
People are most likely to refer to traditional culture where an event is viewed as deeply meaningful to the human experience such as a rite of passage.
Next read: Examples of a Rite of Passage
More about traditional culture:
American Culture
Cultural Experience
Cultural Transmission
Filial Piety
Traditional Society
Types of Tradition
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