Why the concept of ‘culture’ is problematic

The existence and use of the word ‘culture’ has a fundamental problem. It is inherently selfish and the brewing ground of stereotypes.

The word culture, quickly makes us self-conscious, defensive and proud. We jump into defining the boundaries of it and desperately try to promote its uniqueness.

I want to question the fundamental necessity of it. Why do we at all need to define it, promote it, push it? Isn’t this whole concept equally problematic as nationalism?

I am a Bengali. And I am proud of it. And because of the beauty of Bengali ‘culture’ of openness and pluralism, ironically, I also deny participating in any blatant marketing of it. I carefully judge the limits of celebrating a culture and pushing it to undermine others.


23rd April, 2018; 10:15

Then suddenly while reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari:

”Ever more scholars see cultures as a kind of mental infection or parasite, with humans as its unwitting host. Organic parasites, such as viruses, live inside the body of their hosts. They multiply and spread from one host to the other, feeding off their hosts, weakening them, and sometimes even killing them. As long as the hosts live long enough to pass along the parasite, it cares little about the condition of its host.

In just this fashion, cultural ideas live inside the minds of humans. They multiply and spread from one host to another, occasionally weakening the hosts and sometimes even killing them.”

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