Culture refers to the lifestyle or rather a system of tradition that dictates the thought and even action of a given group of people in a society. It gets its expression in the language, beliefs, customs and even food thus offering a direction for effective successful living. Culture gives one identity of the everyday symbols, customs, body language; food and social cues which becomes very difficult to lose overnight. Cultural adaptation is the processes through which an individual undergoes in order to adjust to another culture different from his normal way of life.
Different countries or environment have differing cultural practices and its common for people to feel disoriented when they leave their familiar surrounding to a different environment or countries. It is quite true that culture restrains our behavior because it plays a vital role in our day to day lives. Culture socializes us into a given way of life and is responsible for determining who we are and our view of the entire world. Who we are does not only depend on our nature and personality but also the culture that surrounds us.
Humans are sum and substances of nature, personality and the culture all of which contributes importantly to the final individuals. Our culture affects how we think, how we behave, who we are and how we respond to our surrounding and it is easily transmitted from generation to generation through the parents, education systems and even peers. Since culture is greatly embedded in our nature and personality, that is, culture is a central ingredient in the production of a human person; it’s a big huddle to adapt to other cultures.
However, we are daily confronted with issues that call for modification, recreation and even elimination of some of the elements of our cultures. For effective cultural change to be obtained there is need to understand the underlying differences in the current culture and the culture one wants to create. Our culture is transformed by our daily pressure on what old tradition that needs to be dropped, how to combine the diverse elements of cultures that surrounds us and the daily decision of the new ideas to be included in the culture.
Cultural change is possible when we define precisely the culture we are building and use those terms to inflict the necessary changes we want to make in the existing culture. As groups of people migrate from places to come together they tend to merge cultures and finally come up with a common cultural practice for all. The most common element of culture that experience drastic changes is the language especially when the groups are interested in trading with each other, they will need a common mode of communication thus the language would be quickly changed to ease trade.
However, there are other elements of culture that cannot be wholly eradicated, such as food preferences and the norms that outlast the reason for their development. For cultural change to be effected all the stakeholders must be willing to change. The social nature in humans that tends to drive them to share their experiences and knowledge with others is another powerful tool in effecting cultural change. Reference: Samuel P. Huntington. Cultures Presentation: Colorado College’s 125th Anniversary Symposium, February 4, 1999.