Aiyo, That Mad Girl ! aims to be a blog that not only curates culture and lifestyle experiences but also acts as a sort-of independent social commentary from the view point of this 20-something girl from India. An attempt at a daily journal if you will.
First, let’s see what Culture and Lifestyle really means, perhaps then you’ll probably begin to get why I’m such an inveterate sponge about it all … of all that happens around us, influencing us and connecting us, etc., etc., blah blah, pondering my life away, like we were always meant to be. (or so they all philosophize).
Anyway, now we all do know these two words very well, apart from hearing it part of some very boring speeches and some superly stupendous pitches- we definitely know it’s all around us, but we may not exactly be able to quantify or know all the far-reaching meanings and the might and weight these two words carry. So here you go, educate yourselves, look deep within and then without. The rest, well, and how it all applies… keep reading this blog to find out.
cul.ture : (ˈkʌltʃə) – [kuhl-cher]
|1.||the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action|
|2.||the total range of activities and ideas of a group of people with shared traditions, which are transmitted and reinforced by members of the group.|
|3.||a particular civilization at a particular period|
|4.||the artistic and social pursuits, expression, and tastes valued by a society or class, as in the arts, manners, dress, etc|
|5.||the enlightenment or refinement resulting from these pursuits|
|6.||the attitudes, feelings, values, and behaviour that characterize and inform society as a whole or any social group within it|
(Source : Wikipedia)
Wikipedia goes further to expostulate,
( Please continue to read this only if you are in the mood and reaaaallly want to know this thoroughly, it is interesting but only if you can focus for the next 5 minutes ok ? )
When Culture (Latin: cultura, lit. “cultivation”) first began to take its current usage by Europeans in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century (having had earlier antecedents elsewhere), it connoted a process of cultivation or improvement, as in agriculture or horticulture.
In the mid-nineteenth century, some scientists used the term “culture” to refer to a universal human capacity. For the German nonpositivist sociologist Georg Simmel, culture referred to “the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history”.
In the twentieth century, “culture” emerged as a concept central to anthropology, encompassing all human phenomena that are not purely results of human genetics.
Specifically, the term “culture” in American anthropology had two meanings:
(1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and
(2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.
A distinction is current between the physical artifacts created by a society, its so-called material culture and everything else, the intangibles such as language, customs, etc. that are the main referent of the term “culture”.
- Language : the oldest human institution and the most sophisticated medium of expression.
- Arts & Sciences : the most advanced and refined forms of human expression.
- Thought : the ways in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the world around them.
- Spirituality : the value system transmitted through generations for the inner well-being of human beings, expressed through language and actions.
- Social activities : the shared pursuits within a cultural community, demonstrated in a variety of festivities, phenomena and life-celebrating events.
- Interaction : the social aspects of human contact, including the give-and-take of socialization, negotiation, protocols, and conventions.
A lifestyle is a characteristic bundle of behaviors that makes sense to both others and oneself in a given time and place, including social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions. Each person chooses a unique lifestyle to go about their daily lives with. A lifestyle defines who you are and how you choose to deal with many conflicts and issues that arise in your life. Although people like to think of a lifestyle as something of their creation, lifestyles are often influenced by many outside factors. Those outside factors often make many people have the same lifestyle, and therefore makes us inauthentic people.
A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual’s attitudes, values or worldview. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. Not all aspects of a lifestyle are entirely voluntaristic. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.
The lines between personal identity and the everyday doings that signal a particular lifestyle become blurred in modern society. For example, “green lifestyle” means holding beliefs and engaging in activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller carbon footprint), and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities. Some commentators argue that, in modernity, the cornerstone of lifestyle construction is consumption behavior, which offers the possibility to create and further individualize the self with different products or services that signal different ways of life.
Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, intimacy, and more. All of these aspects play a role in shaping someone’s lifestyle.