Understanding Culture: A brief approach

Peace and Greeting, brothas and sistas,

I’ve been taking some time off the writing here, but one can see my brothas have been keeping you busy….peace to them (the Right Brothas, Eleyejah and Lazarus). You know, lately my mind has been occupied by thoughts about “culture”. I’ve been speaking to so many different people; young and old; on the streets and on these social networks, “culture” has been the focus of the conversation. What is Culture? I’ll tell you now, anthropologist and sociologist have always asked this question, regardless of the various definitions that have been associated with this, culture seems to be one of the most discussed topics in general, whether we know it or not, everything discussion involves and revolves around culture and every idea is one which is “cultured” – as people (individuals or community) we are “cultured”.

A culture is a way of life; it is how a person/people make sense of the world and define themselves in the world, as a part of the world. It is, the ‘spirit’ of a people and those people’s way of living and understanding life; their world and environment is their culture. Simple enough? This is just me thinking right now. After this particular post I‘m going to start working on a more thorough post, also giving you links and such for you to check out. But I want you to teach yourselves as well, that’s what you should also want. Read. Ask. Talk, Build and reason with people around you about these things. Google and Wikipedia can give you quite a lot to think about and also directy you to other sources that may serve as learning aid. They are simple, USE them. We need to learn, brothas and sistas, let’s educate ourselves so that we may educate the future aka our children, it’s that simple, life doesn’t end here and it doesn’t end with you. So play YOUR role.

Here’s a link I really want you to check out: http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/anthropology/

This link will take you to this quote from Fred Plog and Daniel G. Bates’s book titledCultural Anthroplogy(1988). Out of many definintions of “culture”, I feel this particular one can give you an idea on how to envision this and also the complexities that surround this concept. Imagine and envision “Hiphop Kulture” from this outlook:

Culture: The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning (p7).  – Bates and Plog, 1988

After reading this, I want you to challenge yourself and answering the following questions:

Ask yourself:

  • If this is the understood idea of what a culture is, how then is Hiphop a culture?
  • What is it that we commonly stand for as Hiphoppas?
  • What is it that unites us, what are we united under?
  • Do we share the same understanding of Our Culture? Should we? Why?
  • Define Hip Hop, for yourself, to yourself. Ask yourself – What is Hip Hop Kulture?

See how you answer these questions – and Remember, there are no wrong answers. No-one can really judge your understanding of YOUR culture, but this is a shared culture whose pioneers have defined and given to us all – let’s learn it, understand it and live it. So just answer as best and as sure as you can. However, do understand that we are trying to get to a “shared and common understanding” of what Hip Hop Kulture is, and as Hiphoppas, we MUST share the same understanding because Hiphop is the Kulture we live. So let’s not think like observers of the culture, let’s remember that We Are Hip Hop and that we’re not outsiders but are insiders in/of Hip Hop Kulture. We’re teaching each other here, so I encourage you to also share this with others, I’m sure the answers we all come with will be interesting.

P.E.A.C.E…. [Positive Education Always Carries Elevation]…. Feed on this for a bit.

Supreme (Brotha Hakeem K.S)

(Twitter:: Hakeem – @djsupreme7)