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This research aims to present a comparative analysis of two of the cultures existing in the world today. This research is based on primary sources from the internet and from various books and journals, both online and in-print form. Discussions and reviews of critics and experts have also been incorporated in the study to give professional and explanatory value to the entire analysis.
A culture basically includes a complete way of living or a complete life style. The term culture reflects the knowledge, values and traditions shared by a society or a group of people. These traditions and rituals are transferred from one generation to another. The effects of weather, terrain, history and nature can also be seen in all the cultures of the world. The cultures prevailing in the world today are very distinct and identifiable from each other (Strinati, 1995).
In order to study the similarities and differences of the cultures in the state of Virginia, the Pakistani culture and the Native American culture have been selected for comparative analysis. Pakistan is a country which is located in South Asia. This country shares its borders with India and China. The culture that prevails in Pakistan shows clear effects of a rich history and traditions as well as of weather and nature of terrain.
The Native American culture belongs to the indigenous people of the America. These people are also called as Indians (American Indians, 2008).This study shall discuss and analyze few themes which are very distinctive amongst these cultures. These themes cover aspects of different cuisines and eating habits of the two cultures, arts and entertainment, traditions, family life, religion and languages (Robinson, 2009).
The culture prevailing in Pakistani families in Virginia is an extension of the culture existing in the Pakistani society itself. It is a rich culture full of traditions and historical festivities which are still celebrated today. The culture shows clear impacts of many historical events and also of the nature's forces. (Malik, 2001).In Pakistan, spicy food is predominantly eaten. Pakistanis are very particular about eating food and enjoy tasty meals cooked in natural spices and according to old traditions (SAARC Tourism, 2009). The meat is cooked in every household since Pakistanis are fond of eating meat cooked in a variety of ways. Generally, the food cooked in a typical Pakistani style is very oily and heavy to digest. Meals are taken three times a day. Meat is cooked in almost every household on daily basis.
Pakistan is an Islamic state with a majority of Muslim population. The effects of Islamic civilization and beliefs can be clearly seen in the country. For example, performing arts is not encouraged as a profession in the country since singing, music and dance are not considered 'Islamic' by the caretakers of the religion. As a result, the "entertainment industry in Pakistan" is also in its struggling phase. Nonetheless, the people of Pakistan are really fond of movies, theater and music and do make efforts to promote entertainment in the country. The country has produced really good sportsmen who have earned fame and recognition around the world (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2006).Movies; music and theater have become really popular here in the recent past. Joint family system is still preferred in Pakistan. People live together generations after generations. In Pakistan you rarely find women traveling alone and they are often accompanied by their guardians i.e. father, brother or husband.
Native American Culture
Native Americans are also called Indian people. These are the indigenous people of America. The terminology American Indians, First Nations and Amerinds are used for the people who are living in this specific area. These people are also called as Original Americans (Smith, 1940). The culture of Native American exists actually in many geographical regions with slight differences. Over all it can be considered as an umbrella under which many sub cultures are existing. Native American cuisine has rich traditional foods. Even today, there are some dishes which are traditionally cooked on the gatherings. These dishes include corn bread, fry bread, acorn mush; dry meats mutton stew and smoked salmon (Carlin, 1997).Native Americans are fond of music. This culture promotes monophonic music. Drumming and flutes are very commonly used in the Native American music (Native American Languages, 2010).No one religion dominates their communities. Many Native American families are Christians. Some of them are still following the aboriginal rituals of the Native Americans. With the passage of time and with lots of development, most of them now understand and speak English as well.
Although these two cultures originated in very different parts of the world, they still show some remarkable similarities.
Similarities and Differences
This culture is similar to the Pakistani culture in many ways. Firstly, both these cultures are close to their historical values and rich traditions of the past. The cultures exhibit very clear impacts of local values. For example, in Pakistan there are many festivals celebrated on a local level and reflecting the past traditions. Although these cultures are not in harmony with the Islamic values and beliefs but still people celebrate it in spirit. In the province of Punjab, the oncoming of Spring season is celebrate with a kite flying festival known as 'Basant' and a wheat harvesting festival known as 'Bessakhi' (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, 2010) .These festivals are local in nature, here are many Native American festivals related to the moon and the rising sun which are similar in spirit as the Pakistani festivals. These are again a local phenomenon (Banuazizi, Weiner, 1988).
Secondly, the two cultures seem to be conservative in promoting their performing arts in some manner. Thirdly, they both enjoy with big feasts during cultural functions and traditions i.e. they enjoy celebrating their local and life long old traditions and values with good food and fiesta. In both the cultures you will find that individuals like to play musical instruments and exhibit their talent at an individual level. Both the cultures on the whole do not promote performing arts or talented individuals collectively to form their entertainment industry. Thirdly, they both enjoy with big feasts during cultural functions and traditions (Nerburn, 1999).
These two cultures are very different and distinct from each other in many respects. To begin with, food and eating habits of both cultures is very different. While Pakistanis are meat and spice lovers, Native Americans on the other hand use bread in their daily cooking a lot and the food is also a little milder in taste as compared to the Pakistani cuisine. Secondly, the cultures differ a great deal in the religion that people follow. Pakistan is a follower of Islam; in fact it is an officially declared Islamic state. Native Americans on the other hand still follow aboriginal Native American religion. Some of the Native Americans have also adopted Christianity as their religion (Audlin, & Abbott, 2004). Thirdly, the two cultures differ on the basis of the languages and lastly there is a difference in the way the people of both cultures dress up.
Concept Map of Pakistan
Concept Map of Native Americans
Using this information in class room
This information has useful implications in a class room discussion where the distinctive features and evolution of culture can be deeply analyzed. The distinctive features of a culture have a special power of molding a culture into what it evolves. Students can understand the various aspects of a culture and the factors that influence and change cultures from one generation to another. This research will help students to develop the foresight of how different cultures develop over time and how human nature, attitude and behavior shape different kinds of culture all over the world. The students can identify the role of cultures in determining what future discourse established civilizations will follow in the years to come. This study will enable students to know more about the reasons behind the development and changes related to cultural differences. The comparative analysis furthers the understanding of culture and heritage existing in the world today. This research will develop importance of culture in a student's mind and a concern for the future that the world will follow based on varieties of cultures that exist in the world today.