Over time, some traditions are dropped out of a culture because they are dangerous or due to their arduous nature. Due to education and increased awareness, newer generations become flexible to change and look at concepts like religion and culture with a broader perspective and have a liberal view about them. So some rituals or customs become less rigid, some are replaced by simpler ones and some are discontinued.
Due to the exposure to various cultures across the globe, people adopt some aspects of other cultures. This affects what they teach their children, thus influencing the culture of their future generations and in a small way, leading to a cultural change. Social thinking undergoes a transition and so does culture. Gender roles change. For instance, traditionally, the males were meant to work and earn for their family, while women stayed at home and looked after the children. Today, these roles have changed. In many families, women work away from home, while men take care of the kids.
All cultures change in time although their rate of change varies. It's often seen that the politically or economically stronger countries influence cultures in other parts of the world, and lead to social changes worldwide. An example of this is the influence of American and European cultures on other countries.
The geographical location and climatic conditions of a region have a direct effect on the living conditions of the inhabitants. The climate, for instance, may influence the traditional clothing and food habits of the people living there. The geography of a region has an impact on the occupations of its inhabitants, and thus their lifestyle. It influences the art forms, sports, and other activities the people engage in, thus defining their culture.
Some traditions are created with a cultural or political purpose or in the interest of the nation. They are passed down from one generation to another. These include holidays, festivals, beliefs, and rituals. Similarly, art and literature is also passed down through generations, thus shaping the culture of that community and taking years to form.
A country's history has a major role in the formation of its culture. Even the political changes in the country's history influence its culture. In case of monarchies, each ruler has an influence on the culture of his people. The forms of government also influence a country's culture. Other countries ruling a nation impact the culture of its people. Even after attaining independence from foreign powers, the people are not freed from their cultural influences.
The cultural values of people in a particular country are affected by those of the people from neighboring countries. When people from different geographical locations come together, they influence each other's cultures. Trade between two countries, migration of people to different parts of the world, and travel for educational or recreational purposes are some examples of how cultures cannot stay separated. Cultures that evolve around the same time show similarities because they have developed together. Some blend to create shared cultures. No culture can make itself immune to external influences.
What are the elements of culture? Language, symbols, values, and norms are among the important elements of culture. Our religious beliefs, customs and traditions, art, as also history, taken together can be considered as the cultural elements. They give a meaning to the concept of culture. All these are important for our overall development as individuals.
Despite the efforts of the older generations to pass cultural values to the forthcoming generations, sadly, many are unaware of their own culture. Some things are lost in translation and some may be removed on purpose. Some aspects are not correctly or completely understood while some are not accepted. This may even lead to the end of old cultures. The sad truth is that many may have the knowledge of the world but only some have a complete knowledge of their culture.