Sociology Index

Social Customs And Traditions

Customs and traditions are actions, behaviors, and standards that are shared and expected of a particular culture. People from different cultures act and behave differently depending on their customs and traditions. Social customs and traditions vary across nations and cultures. A good citizen is one who follows customs and traditions, was loyal to national ideals, and had a sense of social responsibility. Social customs and traditions leads to social culture, which is considered by most people to be the manifestation of national holidays, dress, cuisine, and linguistic characteristics. The influence of social customs and traditions on the world is immense.

What is a Custom? What is a Tradition? What are Social Customs and Traditions?

Social customs, social traditions, and social norms conceal how one race is privileged over another or how a group of people is disadvantaged because of their racial or ethnic membership. Some ancient social customs and traditions never change. Palestinian social customs and traditions are similar to those of other Arab countries and date back to when Palestine was a rural, agricultural society and life centered on the village and the farming calendar. A social custom is a commonly accepted manner of behaving or doing something in a particular society, place or time. A tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.

People have made up stories in the past in order to explain how the world and mankind began or to justify religious belief and social customs. Language is entrenched in social customs, linguistic codes and tacit assumptions, all of which shift in time and between communities. Social structure has also influenced culture and cultural structures at several different levels of human social development.

The role of social customs and conventions in the economy has had a small but enduring place in economic scholarship. Many Asian cultures, such as those of Japan and Korea, are group-oriented, in which emphasis is more on the good of the group than on that of an individual. Members of these societies would tend to sacrifice themselves for the good of the group; the survival of the group means more to society than that of a single person. 

What is the difference between Customs and Traditions?

All cultures and societies of the world have their unique customs and traditions that have evolved over a long period of time. Every society devises ways to maintain peace and order among its people and also to serve as a guide for interaction between the members of the society. Many people talk about customs and traditions as if they are one and the same thing. This is because of the fact that the two terms are used in the same breath and also because dictionaries treat them as similar meaning words. However, there are subtle differences between traditions and customs that will be highlighted in this article.

Traditions and customs are beliefs and practices that have evolved over a period of time and the only difference between a custom and a tradition seems to be the length of time and observance by a larger section of the society.
A tradition is a practice that has been passed down over generations and observed by most people of a society or culture while custom could be short lived and even observed at a family or individual level. All traditions could qualify as customs, but not all customs can be referred to as traditions. Tradition is certainly a belief or practice that has been passed over generations.

There is no clear cut definition of the word custom. Customs are practices that are followed by many people in a society or culture are termed as customs. Welcoming tourists from other countries by garlanding them and applying Tilaka or Tika on their foreheads is an Indian custom known all over the world. Similarly, folding both hands and holding them close to one’s chest while greeting a friend or acquaintance is also an Indian custom that is famous worldwide. Marriage is a social institution that is common all over the world but, in different societies and cultures, there are specific practices that are unique to those cultures only and are performed during marriage ceremonies.

There are customs are social practices that are common and are followed by most people in a society. There are customs that are individual and family based. Once a practice that a father indulges in is practiced by his son, it qualifies to become a custom. Then there are also local customs that are followed over a particular area only.

The most common and universal custom is that of shaking hands with people when a person is meeting them for the first time. Traditions comes from a Latin word that means to deliver. Tradition is a custom that is handed over by a generation to the coming generation and one that has been passed down over successive generations. A religious or social custom that has been passed down over generations becomes a tradition. It seems that customs slowly and gradually take the shape of traditions as they continue to be handed down the generations.

Social Customs and Traditions Around The World

Social Customs and Traditions In Argentina

Social Customs and Traditions In Philippines

Social Customs And Traditions In Bhutan

Social Customs And Traditions In Poland

Social Customs And Traditions In Cambodia

Social Customs And Traditions In Russia

Social Customs And Traditions In China

Social Customs And Traditions In Sri Lanka

Social Customs And Traditions In Canada

Social Customs And Traditions In Spain

Social Customs And Traditions In India

Social Customs And Traditions In Thailand

Social Customs And Traditions In Indonesia

Social Customs And Traditions In Korea

Social Customs And Traditions In Japan

Social Customs And Traditions In Malaysia

Social Customs and Traditions In Nepal

Romani Customs And Traditions

Books On Social Customs And Traditions

Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore - Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, Mary Anne Knab.

Family Traditions in Hawaii by Joan Namkoong, Michael A. Uno.

Culture and Customs of Venezuela by Mark Dinneen.

Culture and Customs of Somalia (Culture and Customs of Africa) by Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi.

Culture and Customs of the Congo (Culture and Customs of Africa) by Tshilemalema Mukenge.

North American Indian Life: Customs and Traditions of 23 Tribes by Elsie Worthingto Clews Parson, Elsie Worthington Clews Parsons.

Polish Weddings Customs & Traditions by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab.

Roman Myths, Heroes, and Legends (Cultures, Customs, and Traditions) by Dwayne E. Pickels.

The Middle East - Life in Saudi Arabia: Customs, Antics, Traditions, Habits, and Lifestyles of the People That Live, Work, and Play There - A Westerner's Perspective by K. Andrew Pulsifer.

Scottish Customs: From The Cradle To The Grave by Margaret Bennett.

Chronicle of Celtic Folk Customs: A Day-to-Day Guide to Celtic Folk Traditions Brian Day.

Culture and Customs of Mexico (Culture and Customs of Latin America and the Caribbean) by Peter Standish, Steven M. Bell.

You Eat What You Are: People, Culture and Food Traditions by Thelma Barer-Stein, Thelma Baer-Stern.

Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts : The Mystical Tradition of Ancient Egypt by Jeremy Naydler.

The Customs and Traditions of Wales Book by Trefor M. Owen.

Zululand, Its Traditions, Legends and Customs by L. H. Samuelson.

Timeless Traditions : A couple's guide to wedding customs around the world by Lisl M. Spangenberg.

Empty the Ocean With a Spoon: Growing Up With the Customs, Traditions and Superstitions of a Jewish Home Rosalie Sogolow.

Culture And Customs Of Ethiopia by Edmund Abaka.

Tibetan Sacred Dance: A Journey into the Religious and Folk Traditions by Ellen Pearlman.

The Jewish holidays, customs and traditions by Chaim Gross.

Chinese Customs And Traditions by Chang.

Discovering English Customs and Traditions by Margaret Gascoigne.

Lithuanian Customs and Traditions /Bilingual by Danute Brazyte Bindokigne.

Venezuelan folkways: Twentieth-century survivals of folk beliefs, customs, and traditions of Caracas and the Venezuelan countryside Dorothy Allers Kamen-Kaye.

The last of free Africa : the account of an expedition into Abyssinia, with observations on the manners, customs and traditions of the Ethiopians by Gordon MacCreagh.

Discovering Israel: Through its traditions, customs & concepts by Ernest Stock.