Lack of Nature in Western Culture

The passage from Snead that focused on repetition was really informative for me. He claims that the lack of repetition in Western culture is truly at odds with, not only the cultures of Asia and Africa, but nature itself. Honestly, after thinking on what he claims I end up completely agreeing. Western culture marks the seasonal changes with holidays that are more and more connected to consumerism rather than the actual nature based origin of the holiday. Christmas came to mind when reading this passage as these days, from this reader’s perspective, the holiday may still be considered a religious holiday but the underlying focus is on buying and giving gifts. The origin of the holiday itself, it is argued, not Christian at all, but an Anglo-Saxon festival to celebrate the winter solstice. This disconnect from nature is evidence for Snead’s point. The cultures and religions of Africa and Asia still focus on the natural aspect of the world, an example being Shintoism from Japan that focuses on nature exclusively for its spiritual basis. This passage really had me looking for examples of nature inspired festivals or celebrations in Western culture and I am still looking. Local communities may have summer festivities like Geneseo does, but these festivals are only repetitious in the consumerist aspects. The focus is again on buying things rather than celebrating the repetitious change in nature that is around us.

 

One Reply to “Lack of Nature in Western Culture”

  1. That is a very interesting point you brought up. I had never thought of the lack of the importance and of nature in Western culture. Many rituals and holidays in Non-Western cultures have to do with the connection of humans to the earth. Western cultural practices definitely focus on consumerism very often. This gave me a whole new aspect to think about when contrasting cultures from the Western to Non-Western places. Great point!

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