Much of the way of we think, feel and act is a result of cultural upbringing

“An American asked why he calls the brothers of his parents and the husbands of his parents’ sisters by the same kinship term, is likely to reply, ‘Because they are all uncles,’ or he may ask, ‘What else could you call them?’ Were he asked why he doesn’t eat fruit salad or ice cream and cake for breakfast, his reply would likely be, that they wouldn’t be good, or that nobody does it, or that they aren’t suitable breakfast food. It is doubtful if he could make a Greenland Eskimo or a South Sea Islander understand how cold fruit juice, fresh fruits, boiled eggs, cereals with cream and sugar, or waffles with honey are particularly different from fruit salad, ice cream, and cake. If it isn’t the cold or the sweet, the fruit or the eggs, the cream or the flour — all of which we find acceptable for breakfast in other forms — then what is it? The simple fact is that people usually think, feel, and act as they do because they were brought up in a culture in which these ways were accepted, not only as good and right, but as natural.”
–Ina Corinne Brown, Understanding Other Cultures (1963)

Posted by | Comments (5)  | May 25, 2010
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

5 Responses to “Much of the way of we think, feel and act is a result of cultural upbringing”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Most people (even if they’re 40 years-old) wouldn’t dare question their parents or elders. It would be wonderful if adults would “wake up” and realize they’re adults who can make their own decisions. Perhaps the “culture” they were raised in was a bit distorted. They could choose to “break out” and attempt something new — start their own traditions. Questioning ones beliefs is the first step.

  2. Tim L. Says:

    This also explains why most people believe what they believe from a religious standpoint. When something has been drilled into your head every week for your whole childhood, it’s hard to wake up one day and renounce it all. That’s why, whether they choose to believe it or not, most devout Christians would instead be devout Muslims if they had grown up in Saudi Arabia, or devout Hindus if they had grown up in southern India. They didn’t “decide” to become Christians—they were groomed to be by their upbringing and by the peer pressure.

  3. Erick Says:

    Tim, same could be said for American students who become Athiests. They were groomed by their peers, etc etc.

    Just because something is part of your culture doesn’t mean its wrong.

  4. jmm Says:

    one of the best parts about travel is that it drops the lense of the strange suddenly over the normal and we can start to see “breakfast” from the outside

  5. OOH! » Says:

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