Culture and Society
China has an ancient culture with rich history, cherished traditions, and developed ethics. Chinese society is divided into three social classes: the lower class, the middle class, and the upper class. Buddhism and Confucianism are the most popular religions in China. Many basic notions, such as family relations and respect to the ancestors are largely influenced by filial piety, a part of Confucian philosophy. Chinese families are usually nuclear and often have only one child. Sometimes, grandparents live together with their children’s families to help raising their grandchildren.
China has advance system of arts and entertainments, both indigenously Chinese and foreign. For instance, Kung Fu and other martial arts native to China are widely spread on the territory of the country. Nevertheless, such musical genres as hip hop, pop, and rock are becoming more and more popular in China, too. Chinese movie production stemming from Hong Kong is also well developed. China has unique cuisine, one of the main components of which is rice. Tofu cheese is a popular Chinese meal that often replaces meat products, such as chicken or pork. China has ancient traditions of literature, painting, and opera.
Egypt is a bright beautiful country embracing a lot of contrasts. Society of Egypt has its own peculiarities. Egyptian families tend to be extended: there are usually two or more children in one family. Egypt encompasses five social classes: elite class, upper class, middle class, lower middle class (working class), and poor class (homeless and unemployed). The main religions in Egypt are Islam (Sunni and Shia), Christianity (Coptic Orthodoxy, Greek Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism), and Judaism.
Egypt is famous for the fruits of the civilization of Ancient Egypt, including pyramids, paintings, sculptures, architecture, and other forms of art. Traditions and celebrations in modern Egypt involve various marriage rituals, funeral rituals, Prophet’s birthday celebration, and many others.
India, commonly called Land of Gods, is famous for its ancient culture and abundance of different religions. The most popular religions are Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Many languages are spoken in different parts of India. 22 of these languages were recognized as official (Scheduled Languages). Indian population consists mostly of men. The largest group embraces people from 25 to 54 years old. The biggest cities are New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
Indian national dress varies by regions and religions. The most famous national dresses are sari, churidaar kurta, sherwani, and dastar. Art and architecture of India have many interesting examples. One of the most famous is Taj Mahal. Indian yoga practice is famous all over the world. It appeared during the period of Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. India has also ancient literature tradition. The first epics and poems were composed in about 1400BC-1200BC in Sanskrit language. The most popular sport in India is cricket. The most famous celebrations and holidays are Holi, Diwali, Makar Sakranti and others. Indian Bollywood is a famous center of movie production.
Iran is a conservative state with numerous traditions. Social structure of Iran is based on families as social units. Family values are important part of the culture, as the concept of family in Iran is more private than in many other countries. Women are protected from outside influences: for instance, it is inappropriate to ask Iranian about his wife or other female relatives. Iranians are responsible for their families, which are usually small, 1 to 2 children, but the extended families are popular. Iran has the following social classes: upper class, propertied middle class, salaried middle class, working class, independent farmers, and rural wage earners.
Iranian dance culture is developed. The traditional dance styles are tribal and regional. Persian dance and music are performed during the celebrations of Mehregan (the autumn equinox), Yalda (the winter solstice), Norooz (The spring equinox and Persian New Year), or simply at birthdays and weddings. Those events are multi-generational. Iran also has developed musical tradition. Music reflects moral characteristics, as well as political, social events, and geographical features. Iranian music includes two branches: pre-Islamic music and post-Islamic music. The oldest literary works are the scriptures of Zoroastrianism and the Pahlavi written in Parthian and Sassanian Iran. Iranian art is spread in the country and manifests itself in the architecture, sculpture, etc.
Italy has been a world center of arts for many centuries. Italian society is based on a family. In the Northern regions, nuclear families are the most popular. In the South, extended families can be noticed more often. 93% of the population are native Italian speakers. Catholic Church has a great influence on the society.
The famous examples of Italian architecture are Coliseum, Cathedral of Milam, Florence Cathedral, Leaning tower of Pisa, and Canals of Venice. Italy was a home for many famous artists and sculptors: Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello Botticelli, Bernini, Raphael, Michelangelo, etc. Classical music and theatrical art are important parts of Italian culture. Film industry is developed, too. Italian cuisine was influenced by several nations. The most famous dishes are pizza, pasta, risotto, etc. Italians pay much attention to fashion and accessories. Milan is considered the capital of fashion. The most popular national sport in Italy is soccer.
The culture of Kuwait has been forming under the influence of other states and thus is quite diversified. The society of Kuwait consists of people that represent different nations and cultures. Only around 40% of the population is Kuwaiti. Other large national groups include people from different Middle East countries, Iran, and India. About 60% of population is male. Families in Kuwait can be nuclear or extended. People belong to different tribes.
Traditions of Kuwait include family ties, arranged marriages, and different celebrations. There are many museums in Kuwait: Kuwait National Museum, Kuwait Modern Art Museum, Kuwait House of National Works, Historical and ancient and traditional Automobile Museum, Kuwait Police Museum, and others. Kuwaiti theater movement is considered the oldest on the GCC, dating back to 1922. In addition, Kuwait has developed traditions of music and literature.
The culture of Lebanon is also ancient and diversified. The society consists mostly of nuclear families. The extended family is not popular because grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives live in their own places. However, the respect to the elderly is strong. Social classes exist mainly in the mountain communities where royal families live.
Many customs and traditions of Lebanon remain unchanged in the modern times. They include, for example, wedding receptions, Eid visit to the family, sheesha, Sunday lunches at the grandparents’ house, and some others. The most popular religions in Lebanon are Islam, Christianity, and Druze. Three main languages spoken in Lebanon are French, English, and Arabic. The majority of people speak Arabic, though it has several dialects in Lebanon. There is also a large Armenian community.
Serbia is a country embracing different ethnicities, thus its culture also is a melting pot where different traditions merge and co-exist. There are many nations and cultures in Serbia. The largest ethnic groups are Serbian (82.9%), Hungarians (3.9%), Bosniacs (1.9%), and Roma (1,4%). In Serbia, different religions are confessed:.84.1% of population is Orthodox, 6.24% are Catholics, 3.42% are Muslims, and 1.44% is Protestants. There are many languages in Serbia: Serbian, Albanian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romani, and others. The largest cities are Belgrade (population 1.2 million), Novi Sad (220,000), and Niš (180,000).
The culture of the United Arab Emirates is formed not only by Arabs, but also by other nations that live in this country. Because of fast economic development, the UAE has many immigrants. Only 20% of population is Emirati. Other Arab and Iranian people represent 23%, and South Asians – about 50% of population. Most people in the UAE are Muslim (76%). There are also Christians (9%), and representatives of other religions. The UAE has old and rich Arabic culture. However, as it was mentioned above, more and more immigrants bring their national cultures with them. The UAE has also rich literature traditions. The famous writers and poets are Man’a Saeed Al Otaiba, Hamad Bin Khlifa Bo Shihab, Aaref Alshaikh Abdulla Alhasan, and many others.
The culture of the UK is famous all over the world. It is based on the cultures of different nation who live there: English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh. The population of the UK consists of many ethnic groups. Most families in the UK are nuclear. They live separately from grandparents and other relatives. 20.5% of families consist of unmarried couples. Most British are Christians (71% of population).
There are many famous celebrations in the UK, for example, May Day. English cuisine is interesting and has many different dishes. The UK is famous for its Highland dance. It is the style of competitive solo dancing that developed in the Scottish highlands. The perfomancers dance on the balls of the feet. Scottish music played on pipes is famous, too. The UK has developed literature tradition. William Shakespeare is a famous poet, playwright and actor.