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Finding Out About Cultures:
Ways of Living

Americans have diverse backgrounds. Each group of people has a particular way of doing things -- speaking, eating, celebrating, worshipping. All of these things taken together are a people's culture. How do you learn about other cultures?

Where to Find It
People within a particular group may practice the customs and traditions of that culture. For example, some Chinese Americans may celebrate the Chinese New Year, or some Native Americans may participate in pow wows. But not every person in these groups will follow the same ways of living. Today, people all over the world are exposed to the ideas and ways of doing things of other cultures. People sometimes change their ways of living.

People express their cultures in different ways. You can learn about a people's culture by finding out about things like this:

beliefs dress art
language manners tools
food songs buildings
customs stories inventions

Each one of these can tell something about the way a people live, what they think about, and what they do.

Research Tip
You can look up a specific culture (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) under its heading in a card catalog.

How to Show It
Look at the list above. Think of three things that would help explain your family's culture to someone from another culture.

For more practice, try Finding Out About Cultures: A Native American Poem.

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