Posted by on May 21, 2013

When someone preaches culture, as scientifically as horticulture,
Just stand up and let them know, enough of this farcical show,
That you already have yours, and the rest of them, have theirs,
Music comes about, as much from common sound, as plants from common ground.

Culture is a known tradition, steeped forever in contradiction,
It has never been about humanity, or a shared quest for unity,
It was never a beacon for diversity, or a shield for adversity,
Culture can’t be preserved, just as it can’t be observed.

Culture is not about the dress, and much lesser about the flesh,
Nor is it about your face, and the colour they call race,
It is not about the vermillion, or about subjugation of a million,
Culture can’t be poured into a pendant, or called inherited and dependent.

Culture is as less about hardship, as it is about worship,
It knows as much about the entity, as it doesn’t divinity,
It accords as much privilege, as it accords knowledge,
Culture can’t be measured, just as it can’t be treasured.

Culture is so revered by history, it dictates the entire story,
It is so low on detail, it cannot help watch itself fail,
Culture is their invention, to control your perception,
Culture is your conception, to challenge their convention.

Culture is as little about we, as it isn’t about me,
It is as unrelated to caring, as it is to sharing,
It is neither about the giving, nor is it about forgiving,
Culture, simply put, is an individual’s way of living.

This one is for the Mirror, continuing the series on my religion, Godism. This is about that often misunderstood term called culture. I’ve about had it with people all around me bandying the world about with superlative prefixes like Indian, Hindu, Western, etc. I am not sure if it is people’s reluctance to face a bleak truth, or just plain nonchalance at the word’s true meaning, that causes them to use it thus, to my chagrin. Culture, for me, is first and foremost, an individual’s way of life. Culture is thus an agglomeration of various aspects of an individual’s personality traits, characteristics, choices, opinions, beliefs, and actions. Each of these individually constitute one data point in that person’s cultural matrix. Combined they add up to thousands of data points that make up the person’s culture as a whole. This cultural makeup is in a constant flux, as the individual works upon becoming aware of facets of this matrix, and also refines previous data points.

When a good portion (hundreds) of these data points match with other individuals, and is acknowledged as such, it forms what we term group culture, the same for organisational culture, societal culture, and religious culture. Few influential people in society try to impose their culture onto the general populace, in the guise of culturing them. Initially it seems to work. but eventually it wears off, like a balm, since you can no more rub your culture onto someone else and expect it to stick, than you can donate blood to someone and expect to convert their DNA to yours. It is when people wake up to the fact that there is no culture, global, national, regional, or local, beyond what is restricted to an individual’s culture, will they stop trying to ape someone else’s beliefs, and get some of their own. The reason so many people have a common culture, is due to their unconscious surrender of their self to the group. When you are not aware of your own self, taking the group’s identity for your own is a natural progression.

But remember, your culture dies with you, and if you choose not to acknowledge its existence, it dies even before you. There is only one culture as far as you are concerned, and it is yours. The sooner you realise this, the faster your woes about not gelling with the group culture will disappear. Else they will forever keep chafing you from the inside, until you die, or it dies.


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