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Cultural practice generally refers to the manifestation of a culture or sub-culture, especially in regard to the traditional and customary practices of a particular ethnic or other cultural group. In the broadest sense, this term can apply to any person manifesting any aspect of any culture at any time. However, in practical usage it commonly refers to the traditional practices developed within specific ethnic cultures, especially those aspects of culture that have been practiced since ancient times.

The term is gaining in importance due to the increased controversy over "rights of cultural practice", which are protected in many jurisdictions for indigenous peoples[1] and sometimes ethnic minorities. It is also a major component of the field of cultural studies, and is a primary focus of international works such as the United Nations declaration of the rights of indigenous Peoples [2].

Cultural practice is also a subject of discussion in questions of cultural survival [3]. If an ethnic group retains its formal ethnic identity but loses its core cultural practices or the knowledge, resources, or ability to continue them, questions arise as to whether the culture is able to actually survive at all. International bodies such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues continually work on these issues, which are increasingly at the forefront of globalization questions[4].

Examples of cultural practice[edit]

  • Religious and spiritual practices
  • Medical treatment practices
  • Forms of artistic expression
  • Dietary preferences and culinary practices
  • Cultural institutions (see also Cultural Institutions Studies)
  • Natural resource management
  • Housing and construction
  • Childcare practices
  • Governance, leadership, conflict resolution
  • Power relationships
  • "Everyday life" practices (including household relationships)
  • Other practices not listed above


The question of what qualifies as a legitimate cultural practice is the subject of much legal and ethnic community debate. The question arises in controversial subject areas such as Genital Mutilation, indigenous hunting[5] and gathering practices[6], and the question of licensing of traditional medical practitioners [7][8][9].

Many traditional cultures acknowledge members outside of their ethnicity as cultural practitioners, but only under special circumstances. Generally, the knowledge or title must be passed in a traditional way, such as family knowledge shared through adoption, or through a master of that practice choosing a particular student who shows qualities desired for that practice, and teaching that student in a hands-on manner, in which they are able to absorb the core values and belief systems of the culture. The degree to which these non-ethnic practitioners are able to exercise "customary and traditional" rights, and the degree to which their practice is acknowledged as valid, is often a subject of considerable debate among indigenous and other ethnic communities[10][dead link][11], and sometimes with the legal systems under which these communities function. The difference between bona fide non-native cultural practitioners and cultural piracy, or cultural appropriation[12], is a major issue within the study of globalization[13] and modernization[14].

Evolution of culture[edit]

The evolution of traditional cultures is a subject of much discussion in legal, scholarly, and community forums[15]. It is generally accepted that all cultures are to some degree in a continual state of Sociocultural evolution. However, major questions surround the legitimacy of newly evolved cultural expressions, especially when these are influenced by modernization or by the influence of other cultures. Also, there is significant debate surrounding the source of evolution: for example, an indigenous community may accept the use of store-bought materials in the creation of traditional arts, but may reject requirements to apply for a permit for certain gathering purposes; the central difference being that one is an internal cultural evolution, while the other is externally driven[16] by the society or legal body that surrounds the culture.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_practice — Please support Wikipedia.
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293 news items

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:03:45 -0700

And as they offer alternatives to the standard method of reserving a table, the new technological possibilities force us to examine a cultural practice that first got going in 18th century France. OpenTable, a company that solely provides restaurant ...
Huffington Post Canada
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:03:45 -0700

It's a traditional cultural practice that instills in young people an understanding of Inuit values. That's why every Young Hunters program has three parts: short hunting trips, shop lessons where participants learn to make tools, and classroom ...
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:41:15 -0700

According to the minister, Fenacult promotes the integration of cultural practice, leading cultural agents to better the product quality to offer to the public. Fenacult serves as the point of promoting cohesion, unity and cultural diversity of Angola ...
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:03:45 -0700

In countries like Japan and Korea, spending a little money in the game is a normal cultural practice. I'm not there yet, but my kids will be. So much of everyday life in Asia revolves around the mobile phone, using it to buy a cup of coffee, paying for ...

Today's Zaman

Today's Zaman
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:41:15 -0700

Let's be clear -- street harassment is not about freedom of speech, it is not harmless, it is not a cultural practice, it is not something that women secretly enjoy, it is not something anyone is "asking for," it is not just "boys being boys." What ...
Insight News
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:03:45 -0700

In honor of this important month I realized that as an internationally board certified lactation consultant and midwife, I had not seen any articles in our local papers about this amazing gift that mothers can give to their children. What better gift ...

Yahoo!7 News

Yahoo!7 News
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:00:00 -0700

Locals have defended the hunt as a cultural practice, but Ms Keynes described it as a disgusting, bloody festival and a celebration of killing. “This is not for food, it is not for survival anymore; the people become crazed, they want blood,” she said ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Luanda — The minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva, said Saturday in Luanda that the National Culture Festival (Fenacult/2014) represents the reinforcement of the unity of the Angolan culture and contributes to show to the world what is done in the ...

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