is always a lot to say about culture and humanity, I had it on my column two
years ago, but the conditions, human conditions, keep changing. But let us
determine first, what is culture and what is humanity in connection with
is…so many wise people have written about it…culture in my opinion is a
two-sided phenomenon, first as it should be: a betterment or refinement of the
individual in society by education and to create a distinct distance to other
living creatures, the animals, by our sense for values and reason. We say
proudly of us that we are the erect and thinking species. On the other side it
also contains the interpretation of being human = weak, easy to manipulate, to
take, rob, lie and kill for egoistic reasons or to protect one’s own tribe. According
to the anthropologist A. Hoebel culture is…. “an integrated system of learned
behaviour patterns which are characteristic of the members of society and which
are not the result of biological inheritance”.
the cultivation of soul and mind through education and development to ‘overcome
the original barbarism…’….you will find all these interpretations in
now what is humanity? Humanity, as virtue, is said to be focusing on ‘tending
and befriending others’ ……??? Here I have my big question mark.
I was deeply discouraged to write anything at all, I was speechless opposite
the happenings in our close vicinity, in Israel and Gaza. About the disaster in
Syria ….hardly anybody speaks about it anymore, it has become an everyday
reality; in Libya, in Iraq, the expulsion of the Christian community….ok, what
else….Ukraine and the shooting down of an airplane full of innocent citizens, a
terrorist group in Nigeria abducting 200 children.
you be able to apply the definitions of culture and humanity I have written
down above? These are pirate methods or
perhaps our world has the feeling that it gets overcrowded and sends hate and
pests over our heads so that we extinguish ourselves and thus solve the
is true and a fact that many world inhabitants stand up and protest against
Israel’s methods of war and genocide and even Jewish people all over the world
join the protest; artists and intellectuals raise their voices as they did just
recently in Nicosia at a poetry evening created by the Artists and Writers
Union. Poems for Peace, poems for the children of Palestine. I wrote about it
on my website….and here I have a poem by Aliye Ummanel that finishes with the
"They are killing children in Palestine,
The children who are the guards of our humanity,
They are killing our humanity in Palestine."
when I look through the media on the internet, in newspapers, in facebook and
similar nets: people go on taking selfies showing that they enjoy life, they
display the work they are doing, the food they are eating, the music they love;
media report that the actress Miss X is half naked, badly dressed, and that
other prominent people do this and that….and the report on children and women dying,
hit by bombs sent by their direct neighbour, is mentioned in-between. You keep on scrolling
to the next news shaking your head sadly. Is this culture? Is this humanity?
can we do, you are asking? We can do a lot, also with the little means we have,
just by being a bit less selfish and turn our eyes on the hard fact that if we
continue like that we are going to destroy all our values. Whoever can should
raise their voices, fathers and mothers, children and their teachers, men and
women in the street.
and the respect for it, is the basic value of culture and humanity, and love and peace is
motor that keeps it running.
I have often raised the question: Where are the religious leaders of our world,
those whose holy books speak of love and peace and respect for each other.
Where are they?