Jan 17, 2012
“Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life.” (Octavio Paz, 1914-1998)
Since the disappearance of Neanderthal man (about 100,000 ago), there is only one human species on earth: Homo sapiens, sapiens. Aborigines from Australia, Hopis from New-Mexico, dwellers from large European, American and Asian cities, Hans from China, Inuits from Greenland, nomad shepherds from Sahel, Berbers from North Africa, Zulus from South Africa, managers from Singapore, traders from Cairo or Dubai, hunters-gatherers from Amazonia, all of us have the same genetic heritage. And yet what diversity, what cultural richness!
What we call culture (s) refers to both infinitely varied forms of civilizations, a vital need for everyone to strengthen its roots to grow well and the multiple creations and inventions that enrich the world. Culture is not a passive capital, it is active, progressive (cultura comes from the Latin verb colere: taking care, cultivating, ornamenting, exercising). Its large field – the arts, education, entertainment, lifestyle – always generates innumerable interactions within the human community.
Any cultural activity sharpens thinking and creativity, develops cooperation, expands the personality, enhances sensitivity. Any creation acts as an antidote to uncontrolled impulses and open to diversity because ”being cultured is being crossbred with others’ culture.”
To pass onBeing human is receiving knowledge from others in order to live, whether survival knowledge of prehistoric man or laws of quantum physics for today researchers. Thereby every human being learns how to think and to act.
Access to knowledge is the way to live better, but for many this path is tortuous, which limits their personal development. Allowing everybody to be educated and thereby to open oneself to the sources of knowledge that modern means of communication pervade the entire planet is a key issue. We see that in what youth set in motion when the instruction progresses, now as before.
Raising the level of knowledge is not acquired or accepted everywhere. Even in developed countries, many more needs to be done to open culture to all.
Humanity has accumulated knowledge, techniques, works, ways and customs, of an infinite variety. We are thirsty of that richness, the recognized masterpieces or popular art. There will never be too many initiatives to facilitate this sharing which opens the mind, develops tolerance and shows that humanity is one behind the differences.
Being integrated and still able to contest
By receiving the culture of their people, human beings acquire the signs of recognition that integrate them to their group, they become able of social life, they discover the world beyond their personal experiences. By opening up to other cultures, different but equal, they broaden their horizons to the size of all mankind.
At the same time, they learn how to judge and to challenge certain views of their group, they acquire the strength to refuse, to be indignant, to commit to more universal values??.
The globalization of the world and its means of communication has broken cultural boundaries, geographically and aesthetically. We access the arts and customs of all known civilizations. Forms of mass culture diminish the distinction made between high culture and popular culture.
This democratization of culture in all media opens up new fields of social action motivating for those who want to act in its environment.