Driving the staff, and being part of some interesting conversations, I often hear the words "It is my culture". This always gets me going. As I point out to the girls,my father is British and so my culture includes Empire building and shooting black people that disagree with me.They usually get the joke. The most usual application of the idea is in an anthropological sense which wiki tells me, has two meanings namely; (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and (2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.
So anthropologically,"culture" is seen as a dynamic adaption that allows creative development of identity and the development of strategies to manipulate our experience and thus our environment. This is a big contrast to the popular usage in our country which implies the opposite, an often inflexible adherence to practices and beliefs that reinforce the worse stereotypes of difference and separation between different peoples. Think Madiba vs Malema. One is a true Xhosa who reveres his traditional beliefs while understanding that to develop there must be a creative blending of all our people, the other who is not sure where he belongs, who calls on what he believes to be his "culture", to create separation and discord, so that he can have power and so promote his enjoyment of Sushi and Johnny Walker. ????
Now I'm really confused. There was a guy called Hendrik Verwoerd. He died long ago. I could swear he has been reincarnated as JM.