Do beliefs inform cultural expressions or do cultural expressions inform beliefs? I know that in philosophy and science, the philosophers and scientists respectively observe [externally] the life and the cultural expressions of people in order to formulate what laws, principles and beliefs inform and drive those actions. No one assumes that some of those actions, especially those used in communication between members of a community, are meaningless or causeless.
A JAPANESE GREETING
For example, if you observe a Japanese greeting, you will notice that people greet each other with a slight bow. If you are an external observer, this cultural expression will of course make you curious, and if you approach a Japanese person and ask them about it, they will explain to you that it is a sign of respect and how far one bows down actually indicates how much respect the one bowing has for the other person. Continue reading The Cross and Hip Hop Culture