We know that our present list of cultures represented on TOTA is far from complete. If you see that a culture important to you is currently missing, please request it here!
Armenia is a great recommendation, and that sounds promising! We already have a few Armenian-focused articles, also, so it seems like an obvious choice.
Malaysian : )
Armenian and Malaysian are now in our culture list. :)
Brain science cultural. This is an area of rapid expansion in the arena of science today but the history of the brain, and the different cultures that believed what the brain represented as an extension of self, drives deep into the heart of various ancient cultural behaviors. It is a bit peripheral to objective cultural labels but crosses all the boundaries of the world. What did the ancient Armenian’s believe with respect to the brain and the self, how about the Japanese? The Mayans or the Incas? When did science start realizing what the brain represented - is the grey matter all of who we are? Today brain science is its own culture based on empirical and repeatable data, but we still do not understand why we are what we believe we are. The ancients were not tangled up in science, they used all types of subjective views on what we were and how we were supposed to be based on cultural norms.
Not sure how you add this but articles to follow as soon as I can get to it.
Chris: that sounds like an absolutely fascinating subject (and one I contemplate often)…how does imprinting affect brain development? How do different philosophical/cultural/linguistic influences effect brain function, even perception…? It also seems important to consider the fundamental methodology of such study itself, and how it might taint results (is it a broad or narrow sample? Is it trying to prove a specific premise? How are the inherent subjective aspects being accounted for? Etc). I am generally plagued by such concerns whenever I study a culture in particular…
One of my favorite takeaways from this project has been the chance to glimpse worldviews very different from the materialist philosophy I grew up with. I think we lose a lot of meaning when we focus too much on the physics and chemistry of our existence, as useful and interesting as they can be. I agree that theories of consciousness might fit better as a topic than a culture in our current system, though we plan to expand into lifestyle-based cultures as well. It could also make a fascinating group! Either way, I’m looking forward to reading more about it. :)
I would absolutely love to read an article (or a series of articles) on the subject of how different cultures view the brain’s relationship to the self or how those views affect culture and visa versa. Modern science seems to place nearly all of what we consider “us” inside the brain, wherein the ancients didn’t seem to hold it in such high regard. There is evidence that the ancients performed brain surgery, implying that some at least appeared to understand the importance of the brain as an organ, but did they understand the correlation between behavior and the brain? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1000-years-ago-patients-survived-brain-surgery-but-they-had-live-with-huge-holes-in-their-heads-180948185/
Honestly, if I had more time I would start researching this entire field immediately.
I think Basque culture would be a really fun addition. Their language is unrelated to any other as far as we know.
Great idea Isaac!
lost boys of Sudan, (two countries) Congo, syria, cuba
Good suggestions, Craig! Cuba is listed as a culture already. For Congo, we do have the culture of Kongo people listed, but that is somewhat different than the Republic of the Congo. And Sudan is another tricky case. It seems both nations are very culturally diverse. Do you think it would be best to have Sudanese and South Sudanese cultures?
Syrian and Basque are now set up and in our system. :)
…it has occurred to me that both the Metis and Romani would be fascinating (and potentially controversial) inclusions. Regardless, it can become difficult trying distinguish between modern “nationalities” and historically distinctive cultural identities…?
Hi Kirk! Those are both great suggestions, but I’m not certain we have enough authoritative sources to represent those cultures well, particularly the Romani. If you or anyone perusing this thread have suggestions or leads there, please share!
French Canadian! A subset of Canadian, and 100% different…. Thank you, I’m just now learning about this site! It’s quite nice!
Thanks for the suggestion, Denise! I’ll add that culture now. It will get an icon next week.
Tongan! I have lots of Polynesian friends who would benefit and enjoy from content about their culture :)
…@morrisonl: I wholeheartedly agree (as I write this from Kea’au on the Big Island). This is precisely the reason why we have included ‘Oceania’ as a continental distinction in our metadata: to help enable more accurate representations of Pacific Island culture(s): “Tongan” is a cultural distinction regularly encountered hereabouts…and “mahalo” to you, because every such suggestion is one step closer to representing the amazing breadth of culture that still exists on this planet… I routinely find such revelation both humbling and compelling: however, the most difficult portion of this Sisyphean task (as far as it seems to date) is compelling members of a given culture to speak for themselves (in their own voice), for we do not necessarily wish the role of of ‘anointed expert’ upon our endeavors, but rather that of ‘facilitator’… far too much history is based upon “interpretation” and far too little upon actual “cultural experience” it seems to me…? Regardless: thank you for the suggestion!
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Luke, Tongan has been added to TOTA’s culture page. Thanks for the suggestion!