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Culture of Africa

The Culture of Africa encompasses and includes all cultures which were ever in the continent of Africa.

The main split is between North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, which is in turn divided into a great number of ethnic and tribal cultures. The main ethno-linguistic divisions are Afro-Asiatic (North Africa, Chad, Horn of Africa), Niger-Congo (mostly Bantu) in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, Nilo-Saharan in parts of the Sahara and the Sahel and parts of Eastern Africa, and Khoisan (indigenous minorities of Southern Africa.

The notion of a "Pan-African" culture was discussed in seriousness during the 1960s and 1970s in the context of the Négritudemovement, but has fallen out of fashion inAfrican studies. The wide distribution of Bantu peoples across Sub-Saharan Africa, encompassing parts of Western Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa as well as Southern Africa is a result of the Bantu expansions of the 1st millennium AD. The wide use of Swahili as a lingua francafurther establishes theBantu peoples as a nearly "Pan-African" cultural influence.


Africa is home to innumerable tribes, ethnic and social groups, some representing very large populations consisting of millions of people, others are smaller groups of a few thousand. Some countries have over 20 different ethnic groups, and also are greatly diverse in beliefs.

African Art and Crafts

Africa has a rich tradition of [http://africanpaintingsgallery.com/Nomadic%20tribe%20with%20Baobab%20trees arts] and crafts. African arts and crafts find expression in a variety of woodcarvings, brass and leather art works. African arts and crafts also include sculpture, paintings, pottery, ceremonial and religiousheadgear and dress.

African culture has always placed emphasis on personal appearance and jewelry has remained an important personal accessory. Many pieces of such jewellery are made of cowry shells and similar materials. Similarly, masks are made with elaborate designs and are important part of African culture. Masks are used in various ceremonies depicting ancestors and spirits, mythological characters and deities.

In most of traditional art and craft of Africa, certain themes significant to African culture recur, including a couple, a woman with a child, a male with a weapon or animal, and an outsider or a stranger. Couples may represent ancestors, community founder, married couple or twins. The couple theme rarely exhibit intimacy of men and women. The mother with the child or children reveals intense desire of the African women to have children. The theme is also representative of mother mars and the people as her children. The man with the weapon or animal theme symbolizes honor and power. A stranger may be from some other tribe or someone from a different country, and more distorted portrayal of the stranger indicates proportionately greater gap from the stranger.

Folklore and traditional religion

Like all human cultures, African folklore and folktales represent a variety of social facets of African culture [http://www.toptags.com/aama/tales/tales.htm]. Like almost all civilizations and cultures, flood myths have been circulating in different parts of Africa. For example, according to a Pygmy myth, Chameleon hearing a strange noise in a tree cut open its trunk and water came out in a great flood that spread all over the land. The first human couple emerged with the water. Similarly, a mythological story from Côte d'Ivoire states that a charitable man gave away everything he had. The God Ouende rewarded him with riches, advised him to leave the area, and sent six months of rains to destroy his selfish neighbors.


The continent of Africa speaks hundreds of languages, and if dialects spoken by various ethnic groups are also included, the number is much higher. These languages and dialects do not have the same importance: some are spoken by only few hundred persons, others are spoken by millions. Among the most prominent languages spoken are Arabic, Swahili and Hausa. Very few countries of Africa use any single language and for this reason several official languages coexist, African and European. Some Africans may also speak different languages such as Malagasy, English, French, Spanish, Bambara, Sotho, and many more.

The language of Africa present a unity of character as well as diversity, as is manifest in all the dimensions of Africa. Four prominent language families of Africa are:

  • Afro-Asiatic
  • alcoholic beverages. Although types of alcoholic beverages and social attitudes toward drinking vary around the world, nearly every civilization has independently discovered the processes of brewingbeer, fermentingwine, and distillingspirits.

    Alcohol and its effects have been present in societies throughout history. Drinking is documented in the Hebrew and Christian bibles, in Greek literature as old as Homer, and in Confucius’s Analects.

    Social drinking

    "Social drinking" refers to casual drinking in a social setting without an intent to get drunk. Good news is often celebrated by a group of people having a few drinks. For example, drinks may be served to "wet the baby's head" in the celebration of a birth. Buying someone a drink is a gesture of goodwill. It may be an expression of gratitude, or it may mark the resolution of a dispute.

    Free drinks

    Various cultures and traditions feature the social practice of providing free alcoholic drinks for others. For example, during a wedding reception, free drinks are often served to guests, a practice that is known as “an open bar.� Free drinks may also be offered to increase attendance at a social or business function. They are commonly offered to casino patrons to entice them to continue gambling. In the United States, fraternity houses on college campuses often serve free beer to attract potential pledges.

    A further example is the “ladies drink free� policy of some bars, which is intended to attract more women customers (who would attract more men to the bar).

    Large corporations (especially in Japan) may have a favored bar at which they hold private functions that offer free drinks to attendees.

    Session drinking

    Session drinking is a chiefly British term that refers to drinking a large quantity of beer during a "session" (i.e. a specific period of time) without becoming intoxicated. A session is generally a social occasion.

    A “session beer,� such as a session bitter, is a beer that has a moderate or low alcohol content -— in the UK this would be no more than 4% ABV. The classic session beer is a bitter of about 3.7% or a dark mild of 3.2%.

    In the United States, a recent session beer definition has been proposed by beer writer Lew Bryson. His Session Beer Project blog includes a definition of 4.5% ABV or less for session beer. Followers of this definition include Notch Brewing, a session only beer brand. The Brewer Association has adopted a new category within their Great American Beer Fest competition which states a "session beer" is from 4.0%-5.1% ABV. In December 2010 BeerAdvocate and Dogfish Head Brewery announced their Extreme Session Beer project which focuses on beers that are 5.0% ABV or under that rely on different ingredients and brewing practices.

    Binge drinking

    Binge drinking is sometimes defined as drinking alcohol solely for the purpose of intoxication. It is quite common for binge drinking to occur in a social situation, which creates some overlap between social drinking and binge drinking.

    Some researchers use a low-threshold definition in which binge drinking refers to a woman consuming four drinks, or a man consuming five drinks, in one sitting. But because drinking occasions can last up to seven hours, many such bingers never become intoxicated. Clinically and traditionally, however, binge drinking is defined as a period of continuing intoxication lasting at least two days, during which the binger neglects her/his usual life activities (work, family, etc.).

    The concept of a "binge" has been somewhat elastic over the years, implying consumption of alcohol far beyond that which is socially acceptable. In earlier decades, "going on a binge" meant drinking over the course of several days until one was no longer able to continue drinking. This usage is known to have entered the English language as early as 1854; it derives from an English dialectal word meaning to "soak" or to "fill a boat with water". (OED, American Heritage Dictionary)

    University students have a reputation for engaging in binge drinking, most famously in the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Northern Europe, and Belgium. Some reasons for this propensity for binge drinking are that many university students are living on their own for the first time, are free of parental supervision, and are among peers.

    It is widely observed that in areas of Europe where children and adolescents routinely experience alcohol early and with parental approval, binge drinking tends to be less prevalent. Typically, a distinction is drawn between northern and southern Europe, with the northerners being the binge drinkers. As early as the eighth century, Saint Boniface was writing to Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury, to report how "In your diocese, the vice of drunkenness is too frequent. This is an evil peculiar to pagans and to our race. Neither the Franks nor the Gauls nor the Lombards nor the Romans nor the Greeks commit it".

    It is possibly, however, that "the vice of drunkenness" was present in all European nations. The 16t

Quantitative trait locus

Quantitative traits refer to phenotypes (characteristics) that vary in degree and can be attributed to polygenic effects, i.e., product of two or more genes, and their environment. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) are stretches of DNA containing or linked to the genes that underlie a quantitative trait. Mapping regions of the genome that contain genes involved in specifying a quantitative trait is done using molecular tags such as AFLP or, more commonly SNPs . This is an early step in identifying and sequencing the actual genes underlying trait variation.

Quantitative traits

Polygenic inheritance, also known as quantitative or multifactorial inheritance refers to inheritance of a phenotypic characteristic (trait) that is attributable to two or more genes, or the interaction with the environment, or both. Unlike monogenic traits, polygenic traits do not follow patterns of Mendelian inheritance (separated traits). Instead, their phenotypes typically vary along a continuous gradient depicted by a bell curve.

An example of a polygenic trait is human skin color. Many genes factor into determining a person's natural skin color, so modifying only one of those genes changes the color only slightly. Many disorders with genetic components are polygenic, including autism, cancer, diabetes and numerous others. Most phenotypic characteristics are the result of the interaction of multiple genes.

Examples of disease processes generally considered to be results of multifactorialetiology:

Congenital malformation

Adult onset diseases

Multifactorially inherited diseases are said to constitute the majority of genetic disorders affecting humans which will result in hospitalization or special care of some kind.

Multifactorial traits in general

Generally, multifactorial traits outside of illness contribute to what we see as continuous characteristics in organisms, such as height, skin color, and body mass. All of these phenotypes are complicated by a great deal of interplay between genes and environment. The continuous distribution of traits such as height and skin colour described above reflects the action of genes that do not quite show typical patterns of dominance and recessiveness. Instead the contributions of each involved locus are thought to be additive. Writers have distinguished this kind of inheritance as polygenic, or quantitative inheritance.

Thus, due to the nature of polygenic traits, inheritance will not follow the same pattern as a simple monohybrid or dihybrid cross. Polygenic inheritance can be explained as Mendelian inheritance at many loci, resulting in a trait which is normally-distributed. If n is the number of involved loci, then the coefficients of the binomial expansion of (a + b)2n will give the frequency of distribution of all n allele combinations. For a sufficiently high n, this binomial distribution will begin to resemble a normal distribution. From this viewpoint, a disease state will become apparent at one of the tails of the distribution, past some threshold value. Disease states of increasing severity will be expected the further one goes past the threshold and away from the mean.

Heritable disease and multifactorial inheritance

A mutation resulting in a disease state is often recessive, so both alleles must be mutant in order for the disease to be expressed phenotypically. A disease or syndrome may also be the result of the expression of mutant alleles at more than one locus. When more than one gene is involved with or without the presence of environmental triggers, we say that the disease is the result of multifactorial inheritance.

The more genes involved in the cross, the more the distribution of the genotypes will resemble a normal, or Gaussian distribution. This shows that multifactorial inheritance is polygenic, and genetic frequencies can be predicted by way of a polyhybrid Mendelian cross. Phenotypic frequencies are a different matter, especially if they are complicated by environmental factors.

The paradigm of polygenic inheritance as being used to define multifactorial disease has encountered much disagreement. Turnpenny (2004) discusses how simple polygenic inheritance cannot explain some diseases such as the onset of Type I diabetes mellitus, and that in cases such as these, not all genes are thought to make an equal contribution.

The assumption of polygenic inheritance is that all involved loci make an equal contribution to the symptoms of the disease. This should result in a normal curve distribution of genotypes. When it does not, then idea of polygenetic inheritance cannot be supported for that illness.

A cursory look at some examples

Examples of such diseases are not new to medicine. The above examples are well-known examples of diseases having both genetic and environmental components. Other examples involve atopic diseases such as eczema or intercultural communication, which is also used in a different sense, though) is a field of study that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in similar and different ways among themselves, and how they endeavour to communicate across cultures.


The Cold War, the United States economy was largely self-contained because the world was polarized into two separate and competing powers: the east and west. However, changes and advancements in economic relationships, political systems, and technological options began to break down old cultural barriers. Business transformed from individual-country capitalism to global capitalism. Thus, the study of cross-cultural communication was originally found within businesses and the government both seeking to expand globally. Businesses began to offer language training to their employees. Businesses found that their employees were ill equipped for overseas work in the globalizing market. Programs were developed to train employees to understand how to act when abroad. With this also came the development of the Foreign Service Institute, or FSI, through the Foreign Service Act of 1946, where government employees received trainings and prepared for overseas posts. There began also implementation of a “world view� perspective in the curriculum of higher education. In 1974, the International Progress Organization, with the support of UNESCO and under the auspices of Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor, held an international conference on "The Cultural Self-comprehension of Nations" (Innsbruck, Austria, 27–29 July 1974) which called upon United Nations member states "to organize systematic and global comparative research on the different cultures of the world" and "to make all possible efforts for a more intensive training of diplomats in the field of international cultural co-operation ... and to develop the cultural aspects of their foreign policy."

In the past decade, there has become an increasing pressure for universities across the world to incorporate intercultural and international understanding and knowledge into the education of their students. International literacy and cross-cultural understanding have become critical to a country’s cultural, technological, economic, and political health. It has become essential for universities to educate, or more importantly, “transform�, to function effectively and comfortably in a world characterized by close; multi-faceted relationships and permeable borders. Students must possess a certain level of global competence to understand the world they live in and how they fit into this world. This level of global competence starts at ground level- the university and its faculty- with how they generate and transmit cross-cultural knowledge and information to students.

Interdisciplinary orientation

Cross-cultural communication tries to bring together such relatively unrelated areas as cultural anthropology and established areas of communication. Its core is to establish and understand how people from different cultures communicate with each other. Its charge is to also produce some guidelines with which people from different cultures can better communicate with each other.

Cross-cultural communication, as in many scholarly fields, is a combination of many other fields. These fields include anthropology, cultural studies, psychology and communication. The field has also moved both toward the treatment of interethnic relations, and toward the study of communication strategies used by co-cultural populations, i.e., communication strategies used to deal with majority or mainstream populations.

The study of languages other than one’s own can not only serve to help us understand what we as human beings have in common, but also assist us in understanding the diversity which underlies not only our languages, but also our ways of constructing and organizing knowledge, and the many different realities in which we all live and interact. Such understanding has profound implications with respect to developing a critical awareness of social relationships. Understanding social relationships and the way other cultures work is the groundwork of successful globalization business efforts.

Language socialization can be broadly defined as “an investigation of how language both presupposes and creates anew, social relations in cultural context�. It is imperative that the speaker understands the grammar of a language, as well as how elements of language are socially situated in order to reach communicative competence. Human experience is culturally relevant, so elements of language are also culturally relevant. One must carefully consider semiotics and the evaluation of sign systems to compare cross-cultural norms of communication. There are several potential problems that come with language socialization, however. Sometimes people can over-generalize or label cultures with stereotypical and subjective characterizations. Another primary concern with documenting alternative cultural norms revolves around the fact that no social actor uses language in ways that perfectly match normative characterizations. A methodology for investigating how an individual uses language and other semiotic activity to create and use new models of conduct and how this varies from the cultural norm should be incorporated into the study of language socialization.

Global rise

Effective communication with people of different cultures is especially challenging. Cultures provide people with ways of thinking—ways of seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they talk the "same" language. When the languages are different, and translation has to be used to communicate, the potential for misunderstandings increases.The study of cross-cultural communication is fast becoming a global research area. As a result, cultural differences in the study of cross-cultural communication can already be found. For example, cross-cultural communication is generally considered to fall within the larger field of communication studies in the US, but it is emerging as a sub-field of applied linguistics in the UK.

As the application of cross-cultural communication theory to foreign language education is increasingly app

From Yahoo Answers

Question:Example.... Do i like mustard because people in my family (mom and dad) like mustard, therefore its in my genes to like mustard. OR Do i like mustard simply because i was introduced to it from a child and grew accustomed to it ?? Just curious also.... lets say my mother ate a lot of spicy food while she was pregnant with me... would that mean i like it as well because of that reason?? or should i say... Do the foods a mother eats while pregnant have an impact on the preferred tastes of the child??

Answers:Both. Some taste characteristics are inherited. Most children growing up are given a PCB test at one time or another. PCB is a bitter taste and is naturally found in foods like spinach. There is a great deal of variability in individuals as to their ability to detect the presence of PCBs. This trait and some others (like how many of any type of given taste bud you have) are inherited. On the other hand we learn what are acceptable food items in any given culture. This has a practical bent to it besides not eating somebodies pet. Humans don't have the greatest sense of smell and our best chemoreceptor is taste. Makes a great deal of sense if you don't learn about edibility through trial and error every generation.

Question:Cultural Universal - These are learned behavior patterns that are shared by all of humanity collectively. No matter where people live in the world, they share these universal traits

Answers:1. Emotions (Smiling, Crying) 2. Grabbing food with your hand and bringing it to your mouth to eat rather than stuffing your face into the food 3. Having some type of currency 4. Crime 5. All languages have a way of saying "hello" and "bye" 6. All cultures have gestures 7. All cultures have/had some belief in the supernatural 8. All cultures learning surviving skills 9. All cultures have good and bad people 10. All humans walk on their two feet. No where, in any part of the world do they crawl. These are just the obvious similaritys


Answers:Eye colour, & learning a language.

Question:What is accommodation in culture and what are examples of it? This is part of my homework and I don't get it. Thanks for any help!

Answers:The state of California prints its ballots in 102 different languages to accommodate all the cultures that live here.

From Youtube

The Culture of Belarus :Over 12 years we collected hundreds of photographs of the awesome art, music, dance, sculpture and general culture of Belarus. The students are ambitious to achieve success - whilst their teachers are enthusiastic, talented and dedicated.95% of these photographs were taken within 60 miles/100 kilometres of Chernobyl in the city of Mozyr. Most examples are the works of young students although also included are exhibits from a few of their teachers.Let us show that the culture of Belarus is indeed a jewel in world culture - no longer to be kept a secret. I will always look on the inhabitants of Belarus as the nation with sparkling eyes. The music is provided by the teachers and students of Art and Music School No2. Others may promote a different story but this is mine. Enjoy. Don

Live Cultured Fermentation :Google Tech Talk March 26, 2010 ABSTRACT Presented by Benjamin T Stanley. This presentation will consist of a brief history, process, and science of fermentation. It will cover specific examples of various categories of fermentation including alcohol production, dairy/cheese making, vinegar/pickling, and baking. Samples of various products will be shared and open to discussion with the group to talk about. Benjamin T Stanley is a young aspiring chef, currently in the Chicago-land area. He holds a bachelors degree in Culinary Arts and Sciences from Kendall College ( Chicago, IL). He has background in many facets of the food industry including management, catering, nutrition, service, fine dining, research, and development. He is a national ranked chef with La Cha ne des R tisseurs, and has a passion for learning and teaching anything relating to the industry. He currently works for Bell Flavors and Fragrances, a local flavoring and ingredient manufacturer, as an application chef. He assists in developing flavors, creating industrial formulations, and testing food products for worldwide consumption.