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Culture in Flux: Adapting to a New Culture

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What does it mean for something to be “in flux?” It means continuous change, whether it be in behavior, music, technology, and culture. Cultures are always in flux because they are bound to progressively change and adapt overtime. In cultures and traditions, the diversity of people and their difference in views is what contributes to the development of art and thought. This enables reaching new heights, as well as allow for individuals to learn more about various cultures.

In this course, identifying distinct cultures and their traditions have been valuable. To acknowledge what has been observed, experienced, and believed, it was compelling to also highlight how cultures are continuously changing over time. The Greek amphora, a twin-handled vase made to resemble a trophy, was made to be a precursor to modern-day Olympic games. The art depicted on the amphora is significant because it resembles the most distinctive, prestigious, and aesthetically pleasing shapes and designs of antiquity. Considering the mixture of cultures and individuals within those cultures that emphasize its effect on one’s thought, the two major monotheistic religions, Judeo-Christian and Islamic, share the same idea that idolatry (the worship of an idol) is not allowed. In an article called “The Sin of Idolatry” published by Rashid Alamir, it is stated that, “In the Judeo-Christian religions Idolatry is the mother of all sins. In Islam, it is considered Shirk and the only unforgivable sin. The Sikh religion strongly prohibits idolatry. Yet all of these religions are widely engrossed in committing idolatry” (Alamir 4). Alamir highlighted that many religions praise idols without acknowledging that they are committing idolatry. Regardless, if the religions are aware of praising idols or not, they share the same opinions when the topic of idolizing figures other than their one and only God surfaces.

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Japanese art and culture is greatly influenced by Chinese art and culture. Due to their similarities in art, lifestyle, literature, etc. they have both impacted each other in many ways. In an article called “The Spread of Chinese Civilization to Japan” by Peter Stearns, he maintains that, “Japan imported a wide range of ideas, techniques of production, institutional models, and material objects from the Chinese mainland. After adapting these imports to make them compatible with the quite sophisticated culture they had previously developed, the Japanese used what they had borrowed from China to build a civilization of their own” (Stearns 1). Then, Stearns discusses that, “Often transmitted from China through Korea, Buddhist religious beliefs and art forms enriched Japanese culture at both the elite and popular levels. At the Japanese court and in the peasant villages, these new influences were blended with well-established indigenous traditions of nature worship, which came to be known collectively as Shintoism. Thus, the Japanese developed a unique civilization from a blend of their own culture and a selective importation and conscious refashioning of Chinese influences” (Stearns 3). Over time, both cultures’ have changed and became unique in their own ways. Japan developed many unique things, but of course, it was mostly based off of Chinese art and culture from the beginning, ultimately creating its own art and culture. This exemplifies cultures in flux because of its continuous change overtime. Because of the influence of Chinese culture, Japanese culture was and still is able to flourish into its own civilization.

During it all, cultures diversify with one another, but entails a collection of similarities that can be found in the cultures. Cultures become a more complex form from a simple form because of its development and influences overtime. Both the art and the views in many cultures are filled with foundations that create civilizations. This results in certain cultures being in flux, adapting to new standards that are set by their counterparts.   

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