Are culture and ethnicity the same?

The color of the skin the features of face, etc have been considered as criteria for human classification from ancient times.  No matter how much we have improved in technology, living conditions and physical appearances by heavy makeup and cosmetic procedures, in fundamental things in him tends to be the same old prehistoric man.  The stereotypes in humans resemble the person in appearance and racial affinities to the prehistoric man, no doubt. This characteristic is more pronounced in the whites in the European countries. Discrimination based on color of skin or race was rampant in the world all over during the last century, though it has reduced its sharpness, the evil has not got totally abolished.


Every person is naturally born in one of the countries in this world which was not by his choice, but by fate. The race of the parent of the child forms the initial identity of him. Now consider the case of a boy born to an Indian couple living in US. That boy will automatically get the citizenship of America.  The word ethnic is a derivative of the Greek word ‘ethos’ which means foreign people. This word is usually used to refer to the racial affinities and does not have any derogatory meaning.


In a ethnic group there can be different groups of people who share the same customs, rituals and beliefs which are handed over to them by their ancestors. This method of sharing is more complex and more efficient than the modern electronic methods.  These shared practices gives each group a sense of individuality and identification. These practices and manners followed by a group of people living in an ethnic unit forms the culture of that group or the so called tribe. The culture of a tribe or ethnic group is personified in its artifacts, language, literature, dressing, habits and rituals etc of the people.

Differenced between ethnicity and culture

Ethnicity is related to the racial characteristics of a person. Culture on the other hand is related to the set of beliefs, practices of social life, morals and values of the society  that reflect their way of life.

Mediterranean, Hispanic, Asian, Black etc refer to the ethnicity of an individual. It has no reference to the country where a person is born. Ethnicity has nothing to do with the place of birth. But it relates to the country of origin.

Culture is handed over from generation to generation and has some sort of sense of identification of a person.  It is often reflected in the art and literature forms of a particular group of people.

Categories:   Culture & Society