Re: Is language necessary for preservation of culture?

CharlesDexterWard (
Wed, 08 Jan 1997 01:55:37 -0800

Noel Dickover wrote:
>I think there is a question of
> whether it is even possible to retain a culture in a new setting. In
> some basic sense, a culture is tied to its surroundings. This includes
> the natural environment, the social sturctures, the political system, the language, the (people's interpretation of their) past history of that
> group of people, etc.

I see your point, and agree. Any given culture is in no small part
reflective of its original surroundings (physical environment, political
& social institutions, language and history).
Until I learn otherwise, I will hold true the fact that culture may be
temporarily retained by any particular group, though with the passage of
time this ability lessens to the extent that assimilation is unavoidable.

>While one might argue that the adults who moved from the "homeland"
>might still act very similar in their new surroundings, their kids will
>adopt very different patterns of interaction.

Yes, but this presents a question concerning time. Exactly how many
generations are required to pass before any particular tradition is lost?
Some traditions, although they may be abhorred by the more recent
generations, may still be adhered to regardless of their being "outdated"
or "old-world" in nature.

Furthermore, what do you think about immigrants' adherence to values
which have since been forgotten in their county of origin? For instance,
many of the young Greek immigrants in the 1960's have retained certain
values which are not seen in Greece today. In many ways, the people who
moved here decades ago have held on to customs and traditions to a much
higher degree than their countrymen abroad, and have consequently become
more "old-world".

Auf Wiedersehen