There are a few different meanings of the word culture
The definition we will use today is the following:
culture |ˈkəl ch ər| - the customs, arts, social institutions, attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group ( Webster's Dictionary )
C ulture is the way we learn to look at the world and how we function in it. Our culture is taught to us by our families, friends and communities. From these people, we learn what foods to eat, what kinds of houses to build, how to communicate, and how to behave. Cultures can be defined in many different ways: by region, nationality, religion, and race, to name just a few.
Most teachers and students of English agree that knowing about Western cultures makes it easier for students to communicate effectively with Westerners . Some reasons for this are quite obvious. For one thing, knowing about Western culture helps students better understand English. For example, it can be hard to understand Americans if you don't know anything about baseball because you may not understand what expressions like "strike out" and "throw a curve ball" mean.
For another, understanding Western culture helps students avoid doing or saying things that would be offensive to a Westerner . For example, students are less likely to offend Westerners if they know that Westerners don't consider it polite to ask a woman's age or to ask people how much money they make. ( The Amity Foundation )
Perhaps it’s too simple to make broad generalizations about what’s most important to a country or culture
Let’s pretend you decided to study abroad in the United States and once you arrived, your new friends ask you to explain the differences between living in China and living in America. Could you do it? It might be harder than you think. . .
What would you say? Can you think of some particular ways in which our lifestyles differ?