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All over the earth, people have the same basic needs. Everyone needs food, clothing, and shelter. People need these things just to stay alive. By living and working together, people are able to meet these needs.
As you read this article, you will find that each group of people meets its basic needs in different ways. You will also learn that as people work together they develop a special way of life. The way of life belonging to a group of people is called its culture. A group's culture includes all the ways that its people live, think, believe, and feel. All people have a culture. Cultures result as people as groups of people work together to meet basic needs.
All people have the same basic needs. But different cultures meet their needs in many different ways. For example, everyone must have food. What people eat, however, often depends on the customs of their culture. Customs are social habits or ways of living in a group. It is customary in some cultures to eat a lot of beef and chicken. In other cultures, it is a custom never to eat meet.
Peoplw also need shelter. The kinds of shelter people build is another part of culture. Homes vary for different reasons. They often vary from climate to climate. for example, In warm areas many people build open, airy homes. In some tropical rain forests, houses are built in stilts high above the ground. This protects them from rising rivers and helps to catch breezes.
The way people dress is also part of their culture. In a hot and humid climate people wear light clothing. It might be just a strip of cloth wrapped around the body. How might clothing be different for people living in a cold climate?
-Living And Working Together
The ways people develop to live and work together form another part of their culture. For example, people developed language to communicate with one another. Today more than 3,000 languages are used by the cultures throughout the world. Without languages, how would important ideas and skills be passed from parents to their children?
All over the earth, people are organized into social groups. In many cultures, the main social group is the family. Clubs and teams are other social groups.
A group of people bound together by the same culture is called a society. Societies vary in the things that they make and the ways that they make them. The people in one society might make only a few kinds of goods, such as wooden bowls or clay pots. To make them, they use simple tools like a knife and a wood-fired oven.
People in another society might make many complex goods like automobiles and airplanes. To make such goods, they must use highly complex tools, like machines and computers.
-Values And Culture
People of all societies have always felt the need to find the answers to basic questions in life. How should people act toward one another? What is right and what is wrong? What is the purpose of life?
The way people answer such questions often depends on their values. Values are the beliefs, or ideals, that guide the way people live. Values are an important part of every culture. A culture's values reflect what its people believe that they should deal with one another as equals. In some other cultures, people believe that one person or group stands above the rest.
Such values affect how people are governed. Government, or the established form of ruling, is another part of culture. In the United States, the belief in equality helped form a government in which the people elect leaders in free elections.
Values are also a part of religion. Religion is a belief in God. Members of a religion have a common way to worship their God. The beliefs of a religion help its members answer questions about life's mysteries.
Thousands of religions have emerged over time. Some religions, such as Judaism and Christianity, teach that there is one God. Others teach that there are many gods. Some religions are widespread and are shared by many different societies.
-The Legacy of Different Cultures
Each culture is built upon a legacy from the past. A culture's legacy is made up of the gifts it has received and the gifts it has given. A legacy is handed down, from one generation to the next. While you explore many new regions of the earth, try to discover what is unique about them. What are their legacies? What are their achievements? How have they contributed the world history and caused today's world to be a better place?
You will discover that the people of the earth speak many different languages and have many different values. You will learn that there are many different systems of government and religion. You will also learn about societies that have built upon the legacies of even earlier people.