What’s so special about everyday life?

If you ask people about culture, they often get confused.  It’s one of the most confusing words in our language.  People often think of ‘high culture’ or ‘cultural activities’ like going to the theatre, the opera or creating something aesthetic and ‘cultured’ like a piece of art, music or sculpture.  In reality culture reflects what we do every day, the normal and usual activities of our daily lives.  We are cultural and we produce and reproduce culture in everything we do.  So that means washing the dishes is a cultural activity (yes) and so too is cooking a steak medium rare and serving it with peppercorn sauce.  And so too is playing in the dirt (I did that) or responding appropriately to questions at a job interview.  All these activities constitute part of our everyday lives and are special and cultural because of how we do them and where we’re doing them.  We’re products of our environments, custodians of family traditions, moulded by the laws and rules of our lands, part of the social fabric of where we reside and creators of new as yet undiscovered and unknown futures.  All these things make up part of our everyday lives and it is the very mundane nature of these activities that makes them all special.

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