Culture Articles

Contrary to what you might think when listening to older relatives recount stories of past Christmases (you know the ones, where they tell you about the good old days and explain that things are not quite like what they used to be) the festive season has indeed changed. Things are not the way they used to be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, wouldn't it be terrible if things always stayed the same?

Read more: How Christmas Has Changed

A few days ago I bought one of those women's magazines that try to tell you what to wear, what to think and how to treat your mate.  I've bought the same magazine in French, but I wanted to practise my English a bit.  So, do you know what the most impressive thing about it was?  The number of advertisements: about one every two pages!  And do you know what almost all of them portrayed?

Hey women!  "Be sexy!  Be slutty!  Be arousing!"

Read more: Women in Advertising

We usually celebrate our birthday in the UK with a birthday party, our friends send us birthday cards, someone bakes a birthday cake (with a candle for each year), and we get those all important birthday presents (wrapped in birthday paper and ribbons), just to celebrate surviving another year.

In our family all the birthdays seem to come at once. There is one at Christmas, one in February and then we have to wait until mid summer when they come thick and fast. Even the newest addition to the family was born on August 10th, her great grandfather’s and uncle’s birthday.

Read more: Birthdays


Our ideas about ourselves and the world around us - who we are and how we fit in - arise out of our relationships with our parents in our toddler years. If parents are suffering from the pain of traumas past, that can easily be passed onto the toddlers they nurse and, before they know it, the child will have developed whole ways of thinking and being in the world that has incorporated that pain.

Because of this, our general cultural background has an enormous effect on our psychology. Everything from the way we celebrate success, to the way we mourn our dead to the way we cope with illness is substantially influenced by cultural norms, as well as the way we perceive the world around us and, indeed, the way we perceive ourselves as individuals. The extent to which our cultural heritage plays into our own self image is often underestimated - it's almost like the invisible elephant in our psyche.

Read more: Culture and Thought - How Culture Can Affect The Way You Think