Cultures around the world have sets of identical charateristics all of which people identify them with, but just because you have some of these traits don’t mean that that is your culture, at this times of modernization cultures have been mixed but you can still use this to refer to a person of a certain culture.
The belief that certain ideals, concepts and life skills are essential and should be taught to all students in a society is the concept of essentialism. Different cultures in the world have different ideals of the concepts that should be taught to the young ones in the society. These vary according to the setting of the society in terms of the economic activities of the society and the way of life for members of the society. A society will consider certain skills essential if its lifestyle is related to the skill.
Examples of Essentialism that is from the lifestyle of the society:
The Maasai community who are found in the East African country of Kenya find it essential to have young warriors who have been trained through all levels of proving their bravery. The Maasai morans (young warriors) have to go to the forest as a group and kill a lion; this is done to prove their bravery and is considered as part of the transition from childhood to adulthood. The maasai culture has made it essential for a young warrior to go through this process to assure the society of protection due to the presence of brave warriors. The presence of young warriors is necessary in the Maasai community because it is a pastoral community and is in constant wars with their neighbors who are either raiding to steal their cattle or in conflict for pastoral land, the young warriors will defend the community in times of war. Therefore all young men undergo the process of proving their bravery.
The Khoisan community who are found in the Kalahari desert are many hunters and gatherers, for this reason the society finds it essential to teach hunting skills to all young men just before the start their own families as a way of learning how to provide food for their families. Every young man must learn how to work with a bow and arrow for hunting purposes; also they must learn how to set traps so as to capture animals. Their lifestyle of hunting and gathering has made it essential for every young man to learn how to hunt in order to provide for their family.
The Bukusu community that live in the western parts of Kenya have a male circumcision culture that is unique and can be used to identify with them. The circumcision ceremony is conducted early in the morning, where all young men who are ready to be circumcised parade in the village naked with mud smeared all over their faces. The young men dance around the village being led by an old man traditionally who should circumcise them, they then go to the circumcision ceremony which is conducted in the public. During the circumcision every young boy who is going to get circumcised places grass on his head, the grass is only supported by the mud on the young boys head, this is done to signify bravery and readiness to become a man. If the grass falls off from the boys head he is beaten up and not referred to as a man because he is shaking and has caused the grass to fall, but for those who go through the ceremony without grass falling off from their heads they are embraced by the society as men. This practice during male circumcision is unique to the Bukusu community, the culture of the Bukusu community makes it essential that for every young man to transit to adulthood he must be brave, during circumcision the bravery of a young man is signified by standing still throughout the whole process and hence the grass not falling off from the head.
The New Zealand culture of celebrating the Waitangi Day, every 6th of February. The Waitangi day is a day celebrated by the New Zealanders to commemorate the signing of the Waitangi treaty which made New Zealand a part of the British Empire. The people of New Zealand have a public holiday to commemorate the Waitangi day.
The Yugur community which is a minority community found in China also has a unique culture and how they conduct their weddings is quite peculiar. During the wedding ceremony the bridegroom shoots three faceless arrows to his bride then he breaks the arrows and the bow in the ceremony. They believe that that signifies forever the bride and the groom will live in love. The wedding ceremony lasts for two days; the first day of the ceremony is at the Brides house and the festive ceremony on the second day is conducted in the grooms house. During the first day, the grooms relatives bring gifts of hada to congratulate the bride’s family. The most sacred and awaited for moment by a Yugur girl is the ceremony of putting on the headdress, a headdress song is sung as her mother hairdresses her, and for her that is the most exciting moment. This wedding culture is unique to the Yugur people of China.
The Han ethnic group of china has 18 steps of marriage which are unique to them. The steps are
Engagement – a man and woman exchange their families archives to prove their engagement after a proposal has been made.
Presentation of money and presents – the bride goes to the grooms home a few days before the wedding and presents the family with gifts.
The bed of the couple is prepared and positioned, sheets are spread on the bed so that the couple can find a ready bed in their room on the night after their wedding day.
The brides family delivers dowry to the grooms home on the day before the wedding, this is a symbol of her fortune.
A ceremony is conducted to the ancestors, this is done to pray for their blessings and to inform them on the wedding news.
The bride is delivered to her groom by her sister or her father.
A celebration of fireworks is conducted on the way to and from the brides home.
The brides family shares a farewell dinner where she receives blessings from her family me,bers.
A young boy holding a tea tray awaits the bridegroom and on arrival the groom is given a red envelop with money as a sign of appreciation
The bride is veiled by her father before leaving his house.
During departure the parents of the bride splash a water balloon behind the bridal car to signify that they will not interfere with the affairs of the new family.
On departure from her home the bride throws a fan out of the car to show that she will not take anger to her new home.
The bride is received in her new home.
The new family worships their ancestors in appreciation.
The couple enters the bridal chamber.
N.W.Sobania,2003,Culture and Customs of Kenya ,New York
Adam Yuet Chau,2013, Religion in Contemporary China,United Kingdom