Cultural Analysis

1301 Words6 Pages
Humanity in the past, present and future is layered. Within this layered structure, there exists extreme variety and difference. However, one thing that seems to exist constantly in every crevice or aspect involving the interacting of human beings is the idea of being part of a culture. Culture is often considered difficult to explain but ultimately it can be defined if it fulfills certain requirements.

Culture exists as a grouping of values that are continuously taught with a degree of precision and organised teaching of such through various channels. What develops as a result of reaching and achieving these values is a feeling of inclusion and unfortunately a level of ostracism for those who are considered to have failed. It is no wonder
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Although the ethics and automatic rules that exist are often not the same in all societies, what always remains is the idea that there are certain ways in which all individuals should conduct themselves and that if they do not conduct themselves in the authorised manner by the culture , they will be judged. (Foucault 2005: 179)

At this point, we can conclude that a culture of a specific region develops as a result of the influence of history , environment, religion as well as the development of the region. With this knowledge , we cannot progress without understanding that when analysing individual cultures, you must break them down into their individual characteristics and take all of these characteristics into account. This is where one of the most controversial theories of analysis comes into play in the form of ‘cultural relativism’.

Cultural relativism asserts the fact that each culture has its own type of coherent understanding (Heintz 2009 : 5.) In other words, a culture must be judged in context of its history, origin as well as the people who follow it. There are many examples that exist in various cultures where practices can be often viewed as primitive and often
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However, many factors of Tibetan belief systems ,environment and way of life must be taken into account’ when analysing the ritual. The practice of sky burial is Buddhist and is locally known as Bya gtor. This directly translates into ‘alms for the birds’in the local language. ( “Give My Body To The Birds : The Practice of Sky Burial”2014 )

In region of Tibet where the religion of Buddhism is so intrinsic to Tibetan identity that it forms part of the culture, it is automatic that the practice of Bya gtor can only be understood from the Tibetan point of view. In the Buddhist religion , it is important to show benevolence to all living things including animals. In believing that the body acts as some kind of casing for the soul and that when the person dies, the body is deemed irrelevant as the soul is to be renewed within another , the act of ‘sky burial’ seems to suddenly exist as an automatic thing.

On a more practical level, ‘sky burial’ may be seen as a rather lazy ritual but in reality, it is the only applicable burial technique considering the condition of the Tibetan landscape. The landscape is one of poor soil (it is covered by a layer of permafrost) as well as very little wood. This means that a ‘normal burial’ or the act of cremation is almost
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