What is the overview of this project?
After selecting and experiencing a cultural event, you will write a four-page paper that illustrates your
understanding of diverse cultural perspectives. You are strongly encouraged to attend a cultural event in
person, but if you are unable to do so, you may experience an event through available forms of media, such as
a learning-based television program or Internet video. (It is required that you see and hear the event.
What is the definition of a cultural event?
Cultural events include traditions or celebrations. We find these in forms of festivals (culturally-specific games,
dance, music, food), performance, religious ceremonies, or rites of passage – all rooted in cultural history.
Therefore, the primary cultural event you choose must revolve around a cultural tradition or celebration that is
currently practiced AND encompasses historical significance for that culture in the country of origin.
What do I need to do first?
Choose ONE primary tradition or celebration in its own setting (country of origin) representing a culture
different from your own country of origin that you experience (either in person or online). After experiencing it
in other cultures, only ONE of the secondary traditions may be from your own country of origin. To reiterate,
you will have one primary cultural event and two comparison/contrast events, all three from different places
around the world.
What are some examples of cultural events that I might consider?
Getting started on a project is often the most difficult part. Some of you may already know exactly what you
want to experience and write about, either you have already experienced it through travel, or you have always
been fascinated by an even you plan to experience online. That’s great! But if you aren’t sure and would like
some ideas, here are a few:
A Traditional Japanese Wedding Ceremony
Japanese Traditional Wedding // Kenichi & Ayaka (Links to an external site.)Japanese Traditional Wedding //
Kenichi & Ayaka
Igbo Traditional Wedding
Imo State, Nigeria
Igbo Traditional Wedding- Uchechi & Amobi (Links to an external site.)Igbo Traditional Wedding- Uchechi &
Dogon Mask Dance
Village of Tireli, Dogon in Mali (West Africa)
https://youtu.be/whAY9R-_7ac (Links to an external site.)
Dance during Aboriginal Initiation Ceremony
Dance during Aboriginal Initiation Ceremony, northern Australia (1) (Links to an external site.)Dance during
Aboriginal Initiation Ceremony, northern Australia (1)
The Massed Pipes and Drums – Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Massed Pipes and Drums – Edinburgh Military Tattoo – BBC One (Links to an external site.)The Massed
Pipes and Drums – Edinburgh Military Tattoo – BBC One
Midgard Viking Festival
Viking Festival in Norway (Links to an external site.)Viking Festival in Norway
Day of Dead Cemetery Vigil
Day of Dead Cemetery Vigil – Oaxaca, Mexico (Links to an external site.)Day of Dead Cemetery Vigil – Oaxaca,
There is a whole world out there, filled with people who continue to practice cultural traditions and enjoy
cultural celebrations. The above list is a tiny sampling of them. You may choose one as your primary cultural
event, or you may choose a cultural event of your own. If you are in doubt about whether the event will be
suitable, please consult with your instructor.
What types of questions should I try to answer when writing my paper?
Overall, remember to watch, listen, observe, learn, compare, contrast, and research! Use 1st person in your
paper, describe what you experience. Expand on what you experience and what you learn. Here are some
questions to keep in mind:
Questions for primary cultural event:
What is the cultural event you experienced? Did you attend in person or watch it online?
What did you hear and see? What stood out to you while experiencing this event?
What was your initial impression of the culture when you experienced this event?
What did you learn about the event through research? Consider current practices and historical relevance.
Has there been outside influence on the cultural event?
Is the event being practiced the same now as it has been historically? Elaborate and exemplify.
Questions for secondary cultural events:
Be sure you have chosen two cultural events that serve a similar purpose to your primary cultural event in
other parts of the world. (If your primary event is a festival of cultural history, your two secondary events should
be festivals of cultural history as well. For example, you do not want to look for Viking Festivals in two
additional places around the world. You want to look for festivals celebrating cultural identity in two other places
in the world.)
What two other cultural events did you choose?
What is their country of origin? (Remember, one can be from your own country of origin, but the other must be
from another part of the world.)
What purpose do two cultural events serve, and why is this similar to your primary cultural event?
How are they similar or different from your primary cultural event? (Consider food, music, dancing, singing,
decorations, or dress.)
Did you find any evidence of cultural influence, inspiration, or sharing across your chosen cultures?
What do your chosen cultures have in common? (Think about basic beliefs and behaviors of the people.)
Why do you think cultures around the world practice similar events and share common beliefs, and what does
this say about human beings and culture, based on what you have learned this term?