Compare and contrast socio-cultural of northern Europe and Middle East. Human beings differentiate and organism themselves into functioning communities from a particular terrain or location. This grouping into functional behavior or manners is what we name as society that relates to communal living. Communal living includes social classes, problems as well as matters affecting human welfare. Every society has its own norms, a common or a dominant culture. Culture is described to be distinctive ways of living influenced by the ethnicity and the society’s’ believe system built up by the group of people from the same community.
Culture incorporates the arts, artifacts customs, rituals and architecture of building and the people (Gee, up 234). Thus solicitude refers to the changes to residents’ everyday experiences as well as to their values, way of life and intellectual and artistic products. There are 40 countries across the terrain of Europe. Many of them have their own language and lifestyle. From a logical geographical grouping, Northern Europe also known as the Scandinavian countries consists of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Demark and Finland (Manning, up 239). This group is also known as the Nordic countries. Fig 1: Nordic Countries
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These five countries come under the purview of the Nordic Council. Since 1948, the Nordic Council (Number 1995) made an agreement stating free movement of capital and labor. In other words, no passport is required to travel between the Nordic Countries and this to some extent creates challenges for some researchers collating the numbers for travel statistics. Fig 2: Middle Eastern countries While Morocco, Mali, Tunisia, Egypt are sometimes grouped with Middle East (Manning, up 353) geographically, Israel & Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and
United Arab Emirates forms the political grouping of Middle East. For the purpose of this purpose we will analyses the latter to explore the socio cultural aspects of Middle East. Functions of a community from the particular terrain or location are influenced by its education, religion and climate conditions. From these three broad categories other factors branches out. Education Politics Media and Technology Music and dance Religion Cuisine Social Norms Festivals Climate Fashion As we explore the three broad categories, we cannot isolate cultural factors as independent or they belong only to a particular group.
For example, fashion can be influenced by climate conditions as well exposure deriving from education and/or religion (in and people from the Islamic terrains). No doubt cuisine is induced by religion in the Islamic countries, a climate condition for instance during winter warrants different type of food consumption in the Nordic countries. Education is deemed to be a prerequisite fundamental necessity for future growth and prosperity. In fact, education equips the academic credentials of arithmetic, literacy for development as well as the foundation for social behavior.
The Nordic Countries offers education to its people with an aptitude to research that s equivalent to international excellence of quality and strength. After leaving the formal education system, when the individual is facing common challenges of the economy (either at work or out of work scenarios), he will be able to exchange information and improve his ability to adapt to the changes in labor market and current requirements. On the contrary, the Middle Eastern education system does not recommend cognitive problem-solving skills.
Instead the students are encouraged to memories answers to pass the exams. This leads them to be passive learners. With complete coverage on Oman Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the culture and customs is a must have for every high school and public library shelves. In other words, the education in the Middle East is very much enclosed and kept within the box or the circumference of their traditions. From the observation presented at figure 3, unemployment for Middle East (and North Africa) is highest compared to the rest of the world.
This could be because Middle Easterners are passive in their learning skills and when Job market requires creativity and problem solving proficiencies, Middle Easterners are unfamiliar with he requirement because the schools did not train them to do so. This does not very much encourage foreign investment into the region and many businesses could be out of business due to the growing competition in the external environment. This contributes to high unemployment rates.
Compared with other countries, there has been great progress made in terms of gender equality in the Anodic Region. Politically, the proportion of women as members in the Parliament is at the top of the international scale (Noreen. Com). There is also a solid support where the territories enjoy close, trusting political partnerships with each other. It is difficult to find associations or organizations in any of the Nordic countries that do not co-operate with corresponding organizations in the other countries. (Noreen. Com).
On the contrary, there is a growing degree of distrust between the power-holders and their citizens with the latter no longer believing that the present regimes are acting in the interests of its people. The public has lost respect for the process in place and they are simply no longer willing to be appeased by the promises of various reform measures. (GAR analysis) Due to this distrust even within the countries; there has been social unrest in most entries in the Middle East. Anything can be changed on a moment’s notice in Middle East (Manning. Up 356). There is a growing uncertainty amongst the dwellers (GAR analysis).
Women are discriminated and their freedom and rights have been subjected to restrictions, let alone the number of women politicians or being members in the parliament. The political situation is driven by the education of the countries. When more women today hold Jobs previously deemed as inappropriate for females than ever before, the Middle Eastern women face systematic discrimination in both laws and social customs. These women are also significantly underrepresented in the senior positions in politics. When women are not given equality in the social system, this inequality has spread to the citizens as well.
On the other side, the Nordic countries The media and technology are driven by the political situation in the region; the advancement of the countries depends on the media (social media) and the technologies (industrial) it adapts or embraces itself into. The citizens from the Nordic countries are avid users of social media (backbone). Iceland and Norway are both in the top 10 countries in regards to backbone penetration in the population. Eyeing a countries where freedom of speech is totally accepted, the entities freely express their thoughts in the media platform.
Fig 4: Backbone friends in Nordic Countries In terms of technology, the Nordic countries are ranked high in the Global Information Technology. They have also been high in adopting and implementing information and communication technology for their increased growth and development. Fig 4: Social Media Usage Even when there are a high percentage of social media users in the Middle East, they discuss music films, their own communities and sports and refrain from making comments on politics. There is no freedom of expression in these countries and people are often afraid to have a brush with the authorities.
Dubbed and ABA Dhabi have been emerging in the world’s eye over the past decade as exotic hotshots, wealthy and upcoming nations from oil production. They continually advance in the means of technology. But it is not the same situation for the other Middle East countries. The set back in the Middle Eastern countries in this situation alone is they are either not willing to share best practices with the other neighboring countries or the other Middle Eastern countries are not willing to keep heir options open to learn the ropes of business from Dubbed and ABA Dhabi. In this group, are they selfish or are they stubborn?
Music and dance are the heart and soul of every society. Some melodies, rhythms, dances are unique to a particular society. The Nordic countries music is folk based Despite sharing some traditions each countries has its own other traditional folk dances and rhythms are borrowed from the Europeans. However dancing in circles is part of Nordic folk traditions. Like other societies, the Nordic region also uses Strings, a Fiddle that belongs to the violin family and the Winds namely clarinet and Romania. In the Middle East the music is influenced from the rhythms and instruments of different countries namely India, Greece including Central Asia.
The String instrument they used is the pear shape Lute that has four to six strings. The percussion they use are the tambourine and they also include the finger cymbals to add the high rhythmic line. In addition the ‘dumber which is a form of drum that is made of ceramic clay and goatskin is used along with the flutes as their Wind instrument. What we call “belly dancing ” is the theatricals’ version of their natural dance called ‘Racks Belated’. In the native dance the ‘belly dancing” is danced by both men and woman. This dance is not about sex and seduction, but it is about celebrating, expressing Joy and having a good time.
The common denominator to unite people of different language and cultures is religion. The Nordic Region is a multi-religious region. The dominant religion in all the Nordic countries is Christianity. In fact Christianity replaced the Norse religion about 1000 years ago. Prior to this, the whole population in principle belonged to the Catholic Church. Islam is the second largest religion in the Nordic countries with 2. 5% of the population being Muslim. The immigrants from Asia in the post war years brought several other religions; Buddhism, Hinduism and Schism to the Nordic countries.
The Middle Easterners are differentiated by their religion. Except for Israel and the Palestine territories, most people in the Middle East practice Islam. This apparent uniformity has a number of different sects within Islam. In Israel, 82% of the population are Jews who practice Judaism. The Lebanese and the Syrian practice another monotheistic religion known as Drupe, who is a sect of Islam that split from the Shih’s, the majority religion in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain. There is a small percentage of Christians living in the Middle East. Despite having multi-religion, there is hardly any racial or religious war in the Nordic countries.
In those region, citizens learn to tolerate with the multi-religion. The interfaith in a region is about learning to live together with differences rather than trying to erase the boundaries between the religion which is apparent within the regions of Middle East. Typical food in the Nordic countries is very individualistic. For example sandwich and beer (Demark), rye bread (Finland), fish, lamb and the diary product (Finland), gravy, tosses, meat and vegetables all mixed together (Norway), rotten-flavored, sour Baltic herring (Sweden). Despite being an ‘open society, there is a government monopoly on selling of hard alcohol in stores.
Except in Demark, alcohol beverage up to 3. 5% (alcohol) by weight can be sold in regular stores and can be sold to anyone older than 18. Drinks high content of alcohol can only be sold in the official government facilities such as restaurants and bars. Unlike the Nordic taste buds, Middle Eastern cooking contains different herbs, grains and spices. Some with lamb, other with beef or which cheeses instead of meat. Attain is used as the foundation of many good Middle Eastern recipes. One of the great aspects of Middle Eastern cooking is the ability to substitute ingredients for what is available or for personal taste.
The Middle Easterners include pita bread (the oldest type of bread) and hummus (a chickpea paste) is used as dip in their diet. Ark is a distilled alcoholic drink favored in the Middle East. Ark has high alcohol content and often nicknamed as the “milk of lions” in the Middle East. Ark is most commonly served in social settings or gatherings, such as dinner parties, restaurants ND nightclub. In the Nordic Countries an individual is characterized by his Lutheran Heritage to be very firm and fast. They are often very uncomfortable with the cheek kissing and too much hugging.
When handshakes are regarded as important, they do not possess the same firmness as handclasps of European or American in the Middle East. On the contrary to the Nordic regions, touching and walking hand in hand by two male is common in the Middle East. They hug each other and even kiss if close friend. This is even common with the officials at meetings. If the men does not like you, he will strain and not being touched. The western practice of sunbathing on beaches is seen as both unwise because of potential health risks and immoral because of traditional taboos against body exposure.
In the Middle East, this will sometimes generate hostility, which can be expressed in crime against tourists (Gee, up 236) this also includes indulging in publicly intimate sexual behavior, which is acceptable or tolerated in the Nordic Festival Each country of the Nordic region has its own list of celebrations. Just for music celebration, Frost festival is conducted in Denmark, Coma festival in Norway and 013 is a month-long international festival of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, design, cuisine and film to highlight the diverse cultures of each Nordic countries.
This festival is not influenced by religion but by climate; the summer. There are also celebrations during Christmas with the traditional visits to friends and relatives and exchanges gifts accompanied with grand feasts. In the Middle East, Malawi-UN-Nab (The Prophet’s Birthday) is celebrated with processions being held and homes and mosques are decorated. While with charity and food being distributed, stories of Prophet Muhammad are narrated with children exciting poems. A Ramadan takes place in the ninth month is the Islam calendar. This is a time for prayers, friendship and thinking about how to help others.
Did el-Kefir (feast of the Sacrifice) is the second most important feast in the Muslim calendar. This feast celebrates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son to prove his obedience to God. The Arab Gulf states have managed to maintain their traditional culture, adapting it to modern life. However most of their festivals are centered around the religion. This is also an influence on the educational system to keep their customs and rituals alive. The Nordic observe their religious practice to observe Good Friday, Easter and Christmas but they include other forms festival to live life beyond religion.
Climate/ Fashion The Nordic regions fashion changes with the climate. With flip-flops, short shorts and tiny tank tops, the Nordic Countries fashion becomes less class-differentiated and more relaxed and more skin exposed in summer. During winter, an individual will be wearing at least three layers of clothes; a base, middle and an outer layer, which also includes headband, cap including a shawl. The climate in the Middle East in hot and the heat can be treacherous from time to time. Despite that, it breaks known moral, religious or social codes to be clad in too little clothing.
The men and the women in the Middle East are clothe from head to toe, some even covering the fingers. While the younger generation in the Gulf states who are exposed to western culture and likely to emulate their dresses and habits, it can be positive for them while the same can be seen as dangerous and negative trend to the older or more traditional residents. Conclusion Calculators is one of the three impacts on tourism (Gee, poppy) and tourism holds a significant position in the substantial political, economic and social restructuring recesses (Morgan et al, up 112).
Tourism development reflects on price liberation’s, deregulation, appropriation, infrastructure upgrading including currency convertibility. (Morgan et al, up 112). For this reason, projection of safe, stable and welcoming environment to encourage foreign direct investment and and culture, nature and ideals of sustainability must also be taken care of while exploring the cultural aspects. Culture-seekers are fascinated by different way of life. They are intrigued by how other people express their culture via distinctive customs, food, art and so on. (Manning, app).