The bases of cultural society

A society is a group of people who have a common view when it comes to any political, religious or scientific matters — or it can be more simply defined as a number of individuals living together in a community. Within this community, customs and beliefs guide individual actions and they, together with the ideas and behaviours of individuals, constitute culture. A cultural society, therefore, is a society based on norms, history and religion.

Norms are the informal understandings that govern the behaviour of the members of a society.

In a cultural society, norms serve as the guidelines for acceptable beahviour: how to act and what to say are dictated by these unwritten rules. Norms, when practised over time, become culture which then becomes the base of a cultural society.

An example of this culture-creation is the most common form of greeting: the handshake. In medieval times, shaking hands was etiquette for knights. As time progressed, the gesture passed on to more and more individuals. At present, a handshake is a universal method of greeting someone and  is used as a symbol of agreement and peace.

Such norms play an important role in the building of a cultural society.

Likewise, religion is also one of the pillars of a cultural society. Different religions call for different ways of thinking and ways of living. The culture of demographic is therefore duly influenced by the religion of the same. For example, Muslims pray five times a day in the direction of Mecca. This detail has become integral to their culture and is inseparable from their cultural society.

It is also interesting to note how historical events continue to influence our lives and culture. In Nepal, during the Malla dynasty, when King Pratap Malla had lost his son, his queen was beseeched with grief.

The king could not bear to witness his wife’s sorrow and so, to show his queen that she was not the only who lost family, he made the citizens who had lost their family members in that year gather in the square.

This gathering was named Gai Jatra. This still  continues today as an important festival. This event in history has significantly shaped the culture of Newari society.

Religion, norms and history are all important parts of our life. These abstract forces make up our culture which later helps to make the base of a cultural society.