What is the difference between ethnic culture and national culture?
Blood relationship, that is, common origin, joint economic activity and residence - these are the basic principles of communication that originally determined the ethnic culture of the people. Therefore, it is also said that ethnic culture is the unity of “soil and blood”.
The concept of ethnic culture
Ethnic culture- a certain set of behavior of participants of a particular ethnos in certain conditions, the totality of its stereotypes The concept of ethnic culture is inextricably linked with the concept of ethnicity, belonging to which is determined by the heritage of ancestors, history, common language and / or dialect, symbolism systems, such as religion, mythology and rituals, as well as appearance and folk art.
Life, the specificity of appearance and behavior, food, moral values, customs and traditions, folk craft - these are the areas covered by ethnic culture.
Ethnic culture is divided into material (household items, tools, clothing, weapons, etc.) and spiritual (information contained in the collective memory of the people and passed on to generations, folklore).
Factors of the formation of ethnic culture
- Climate - this factor affects the life, the economy and even the culture of any ethnic group. For example, prolonged rain showers in Vietnam, which often flood rice fields, contributed to the emergence of a unique puppet show on the water. Likewise, it affected the type of Vietnamese housing: houses were built on high piles to save from flooding.
- Language - plays an important role in shaping the unique language picture of the world among the people, creating its own expressive means of speech, etc.
- Religion - sometimes affects the formation of different ethnic cultures among peoples who speak the same language but do not correspond to each other in religious beliefs. For example, in the former republic of Yugoslavia, Serbo-Croat was the common language, but at the same time the Croats profess Catholicism, and the Serbs - Orthodoxy.
- Endoethnonym - the self-name of the people - also affects its ethnic culture.As we know, not every nation calls itself the same way as other ethnic groups call it. For example, the Hungarians call themselves Magyars, Jews - Yegudims, South Koreans - Hanguk Saram, North Koreans - Choson Saram, etc.
- The national character - it is also called the “soul of the people” - is a set of permanent psychological traits that manifest themselves in the behavior of the ethnos. These are acquired traits; therefore, the mental factor is not transmitted from ancestors, it does not work from birth, but in the process of educating ethnic groups.
Ethnic and national culture
Awareness of different ethnic groups of their belonging to a particular nation is the moment of origin of the national culture. The difference between ethnic culture and national culture lies in the fact that national culture does not require consanguinity and close living on the site.
The only territory, which can be limited to the national culture, is the territory of the state, the aggregate of whose ethnic groups it turned out to be, because a nation is impossible without a state. It always strives for statehood and the assimilation of ethnic communities that fill it.
But ethnic culture completely dispenses with state borders.Let us recall even an example of such an ethnic group as the Gypsies, who do not have their own state, are settled all over the world, from Europe and the USA to South America and Africa, but at the same time they have their own, unique ethnic culture. Or the Jews, whose resettlement around the globe goes far beyond the borders of Israel, but their ethnic culture is preserved even within the framework of different states.
A parallel can be drawn between the national and ethnic cultures, as between the general and the particular.Ethnic cultureis the basis for the national - and there can be many such ethnic cultures, since each ethnic group has its own. Take for example Switzerland. Four ethnic cultures coexist in this country: the culture of the German-Swiss, Italian-Swiss, French-Swiss, and even Roter-Swiss people, who together form the national Swiss culture.
However, this does not mean that a national culture is a commonplace set of ethnic cultures; it is united by a large, namely, a synthesis of ethnic and social. In other words, if ethnic culture is determined by the mores, folklore, language, behavior, as we noted above,then national culture finds its definition through social and political institutions, as well as the media. The intelligentsia: scientists, artists, poets, etc. - this is who created the national culture of a particular society. Unlike the collectivism of ethnic culture, individual creativity plays the main role here.
The basis for the development of national culture can become the dominant ethnic culture - the one that expresses the majority of citizens of society. For example, if we consider the culture of the peoples of Russia, the overwhelming majority of ethnic groups are Russians. This means that the culture of this ethnos has the greatest influence on the entire culture of the nation as a whole.
You can approach the definition of the following signs of national and ethnic culture:
- Ethnic culture is fairly conservative; it tends to keep in itself obsolete norms, traditions, in contrast to the national culture, which seeks to develop, move forward and create something completely new.
- Ethnic culture is closed to the new and the unknown, while the national one readily contacts with diverse cultures and takes note of the best that they have achieved.
- Ethnic culture is trying to leave in its framework of everyday, linguistic, behavioral characteristics, and national culture seeks to erase these differences.
You can also learn about the details of the ethnic structure in Russia here: