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Culture and its Role in the World

The world of our today is full of problems. Wars and threats of terrorism, increase border security, political tensions, and high profile of religious prejudice, racism, corruption, heightened mistrust, conflicts, hunger and anxiety about the future are all threatening our peace. But there is hope in culture.

The world of our today is full of problems. Wars and threats of terrorism, increase border security, political tensions, and high profile of religious prejudice, racism, corruption, heightened mistrust, conflicts, hunger and anxiety about the future are all threatening our peace. Some religions and minor races still face systematic discrimination and stigmatizations. They still do not know how to be accepted as part of our global society, as a result they allow their precious, social and cultural life die.

Ideally, religion should have been a force that binds us together as global family. Cultures of all should have been designed, as a tool to transmit the message of oneness and unity, but opposite is the case. World major religions are not at peace; many sectarian groups and culture groups have emerged in recent years to put to a stop the western culture and hacked many innocent souls down to death in the name of religion. These are the offshoot of those who absurdly pursue the insane agenda of separatism and violencein their recourse. They freely use God in funding their campaign bigotry, racial prejudice and genocide. So, bigotry has become a cancer to our world. It uses God, it uses religion, it uses culture, it uses education and it possesses politics and politicians. We pay a terrible prize for this as it breeds increased lack of knowledge of others and their ways of life. As a result we suffer cultural stigma; we hide our real identity, we struggle to sell our right because we want to be accepted not for who we are but what we are. This is a culture prize and if this anomaly it creates continues, the whole idea behind the global goal will hardly be achieved. That is to say that humanity is not going to find a way to survive if we do not find a way to live together.

We are all of such layers of interrelationships. We feel for people when problems continue to plague them. We do this because it is humane to carry others along when we can; we put a smile to their faces. Yet, these problems are becoming a barrier to this hand we are extending to them. We sometimes do not see the good in others. Our colors are gradually loosing its meaning and cultures are dying by day. These cultures because they are not transmitted had lost its position in the world of man and now other people’s culture is gradually making an inroad in our life. We loud it, we praise it, we preach it, we tolerate it and yet we are not appreciated even for who we are. We are really loosing socially transmitted pattern of life.

Culture is powerful tool that can be used to create awareness surrounding these issues as well as a way to help people through these painful experiences. Culture is like underground rivers that run through our lives and relationships, giving us messages that shape our perceptions, attributions, judgments and ideas of self and others. Culture is powerful often unconscious, influencing conflict and attempt to resolve conflict in imperceptible ways. Arts on the hand help see the world in clear form just the way culture does. It defines man and is rooted in human dignity. This essay describes culture, how it can shape our society for better and how it can contribute to the realization of the objectives of a better and problem free society. It also gives practical recommendations and captures on how culture can build the society with stress on mind moralization and sensitizations. The essay concludes with the way forward if these recommendations and objectives are realized within the targeted timeframe, for a better world.

Cultures are more than language, dress and food customs. Cultural groups may share race, ethnicity or nationality, but they also arise from cleavages of generation, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, ability and disability, political and religious affiliations, language, gender – to name only a few. Cultures are embedded in every conflict because conflicts arise in human relationships. Cultures affect the way we name, frame, blame and attempt to tame conflicts. Culture is always a factor in conflict, whether it plays a central role or influences it subtly and gently. For any conflict that touches us where it matters, where we make meaning and hold our identities, there is always a cultural component.

The fact that culture is characterized by the vital ideals of human kind, individuals, society and in general is an indication that it has a morally sanctioned goal - to unite the world and proffer lasting solutions to our many problems. No culture is too important and no culture is not important.

There is no one size fits all approach to solving the huge problem in the world today, since culture is always a factor it should therefore be treated with dignity. Cultural fluency is therefore a core competency for those who intervene in conflict or simply want to function more effectively in their own lives and situations. In the light of these, I make these recommendations;

- Analysis and understanding of people’s cultural life, cultural values and cultural needs and expectations of people,

- Affirmation of the authentic cultural values and cultural heritage,

- Building up of a global cultural identity and apparel affirmation of cultural identifies of different ethnic groups,

- Development of cultural infrastructure and introduction of new technologies in cultural activities,

- Establishment of links between culture and education, as well as between education and different cultural industries, particularly mass media,

- Ask close-ended questions which often eliminate confusion on a particular aspect of culture,

Finally, cultures are lenses through which we see the world; a time tested solution to manyproblems of our time. It is a tools for resolving some sophisticated pressures of a turbulent society, improve relations between people , and help them find hidden creativity while encouraging collective action against adverse challenges threatening our lives and barriers separating us. In as much as we can, we work to transform the life of every individual that walks though our doors, leaving a lasting impression in their memories forever. By showing love and reciprocity, understanding and solidarity, we join hands in support of one another. And once we are through, we encourage recipients of ourselfless spirit and collective action to show similar concern. There is hope.



Emmanuel Ugokwe is a Nigerian writer, a trained film producer, a translator and a journalist. The last son of a retired local school teacher, Mr. Phinihas and school-teacher mother, Mrs. Rebecca Ugokwe. Emmanuel Ugokwe is a founder of Popular age youth foundation of Nigeria, an NGO with a difference. Since the birth of the NGO he is working on integrating the youths and women in social change.
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