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>Our cultures: differences and similarities

Our cultures: differences and similarities


The aim of this project is to prove that each culture is unique, but all our cultures are equal. If people don't know history and traditions of their country they don't have future as a nation. If they don't respect other peoples' traditions they don't deserve to be respected by them.

Age range
10 - 18
Natalia Sizova
Project stage
In progress
Last update
12 years ago
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The word symbol is derived from the Greek word symbolon. In ancient Greece it was a custom to break a slate of burned clay into several pieces and distribute them within the group. When the group reunited the pieces were fitted togheter (Greek symbollein). This confirmed the members belonging to the group.

A symbol is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On maps, crossed sabres may indicate a battlefield. Numerals are symbols for numbers (amounts). Every language consists of symbols. Personal names are symbols representing individuals.
cro traditonal clothes.jpg
The picute above symbolizes one of very many traditional folk costumes


1. Social Organization
Families/Friends/ Religious groups/ Social classes/ Occupation/
Interest groups
- social classes : a way to rank people in order of status
What can social class be based on?
Money/ Occupation/Education/ Race/ Etc.
2. Customs and Traditions
- rules of behavior (written and unwritten)
3. Language
4. Arts and Literature
- teach about a culture’s values
- promote cultural pride and unity
5. Religion
Monotheism : belief in one god
Polytheism : belief in more than one god
Major World Religions
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism
6. Forms of Government
People form governments to provide for their common needs
Democracy : people have supreme power
Republic : people choose leaders to represent them
Dictatorship : a ruler or group holds power by force
7. Economic Systems
Four types
a. Traditional : people produce most of what they need to survive
b. Market : basic economic questions are answered by buying/selling goods and services
c. Command : government controls answers to economic questions
d. Mixed : individuals make some economic decisions, the government makes others

Stage 1. Symbols of our countries.

All countries have their symbols. These may be flowers, trees, animals, musical instruments etc Let our students name these symbols, make their drawings or photos, tell stories, legends or poems about them.

CULTURAL HERITAGE OF CROATIA - via a couple of videos









Stage 2. Holidays and festivals.

Some holidays are celebrated in most countries, others are very special. Which holidays and festivals do you have in your country? Students can write short descriptions of the most important ones. They can also present photos or other materials.

Croatian Easter bread dolls or primorski uskrsne bebe are made with a slightly sweet yeast dough wrapped around colored hard-cooked eggs. They are usually dyed red, but more vibrant colors are creeping into the tradition. They look charming when laid on the plate at each guest's place setting for Easter dinner. If you don't mind how the finished product looks, get the kids involved. They'll love coloring the eggs, rolling the dough and braiding it.
Makes 12 Croatian Easter Bread Dolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 cups milk
1 package active dry yeast
2 large beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
12 large hard-cooked colored eggs
Scald milk and cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, butter and salt, mixing well. Add the yeast-milk mixture and half the flour, and beat well. Add remaining flour gradually, until a smooth, soft dough forms (you may not use all the flour or may require more).

Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat both sides, and let rise, covered, until doubled. Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes.

Divide dough into 36 equal pieces (divide dough into 3 pieces, then each into 3 pieces again, then each into 4 pieces). Cover and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Using 3 pieces per doll, roll into 3 (12-inch) long ropes. Begin by aligning the 3 pieces side by side. Put an egg near the top of the ropes. Pull the center rope down over the middle of the egg, tucking the end under. Pull the left strip over and down under the right side of the egg, and the right strip over and down under the left side of the egg. It doesn't really matter how you do it, as long as some of the colored egg shows through. Braid the remainder of the rope, below the egg, and pinch the bottom ends together.

Place doll on parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with remainder of dough balls. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise slightly. Egg wash the dolls with 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. By the way, the hard-cooked egg tastes just fine after being baked. The yolk might have a green sulfur ring around it but that doesn't affect the taste.
easter bread.bmp
Check this movie made by school kids from Bal Bharati Public School on Diwali.


Winter Holidays in Ukraine
Winter is the most festive season in Ukraine. The main winter holidays are St Nicholas Day (December 19), New Year's Day (January 1), Christmas (January 7), Old New Year (January 14) and Epiphany (January 19).There are also other holidays and festivals.

Stage 3. My favourite holiday/festival/tradition.

Each of us has his/her favourite tradition, holiday or festival. Let us write about them and share our opinions, impressions and feelings. Then we will know each other better!

Stage 4. Traditional folk arts and crafts.

Speaking about folk arts and crafts we find out more about our history and culture, about our ethnic heritage. Please, help your students to tell each other about these national treasures, then all of us will become richer.

front page 013.jpg
front page 014.jpg
Bridge the Gap
No more strife we want on Earth
It’s enough than one can bear,
We lose a lot to be recovered,
It’s now time to have peace
and hope reign over our planet.
They call us children ignorant!
but they are childish indeed,
fighting over petty things,
as we do for playthings!
For them Earth is a toy to play
See how they distorted it!
Opposite of its former being,
God we thank you for
Making more sensible than
Our ignorant elder beings.
Together shall we march ahead
To perform the undone task
Of bridging the gap prevailing
among us human beings.
A single entity the whole world
will become for us all,
Thus making all humankind,
Global citizens of our world.
Prafful JNV Bhiwani India.

Stage 5. Each culture is unique, all cultures are equal.

Students compare customs and traditions of different countries, express theis thoughts and feelings, make conclusions.


The goal of the festival is to establish and sustain various contacts among former Bukovinians and their ancestors of different nationalities scattered all over the world. It has become a tradition in Chernivtsi  to hold this festival during City Days – on first Saturday and Sunday in October. Traditional gala-concert gathers all groups in one program; audience observes ancient customs and traditions on a big stage.

Microsoft PowerPointORISSA.ppt 1.4 MB

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messages: 12 | pending: 0

Let's comment

I invite all the partners on this project to give their valuable comments about each other's contribution and also what thei students learn from the project.

[ ]
Neelakshi's opinion,DPS Refinery,Panipat(INDIA)
14 years ago
Dear sir, I went through the website of elangauage after s long period of time. I saw the photographs and was also able to find one of my painting. I liked the articles under Our Culture:Difference and Similarities. I came to know that the symbol of Ukraine is Geulder rose and the oak tress is the poetic symbol for a boy in Ukraine. Neelakshi Class 8
Enjoy our similarities and celebrate your differences!
14 years ago
Dear colleagues, I strongly believe that our joint work really shows the diversity of our cultures and prove how much we have in common. The symbols of our countries help us to learn more about each other's folklore, traditions, history and geography. Many of our holidays have similar meaning (even if they have different names) and the ways of celebration are very much alike. And our national costumes, works of artistic crafts are real masterpieces. At the same time each of our cultures is unique, with its own history and traditions. Learning more about each other, sharing our national heritage we help our students realize the real beauty and eternal values of our world. Thanks a lot for your great contributions. Natalia Sizova.
Re: What next?
14 years ago
First, I want to make a slide show of products here in order to encourage and inform our students about this project. We can exhibit the on our club pano. then I make my students to produce works to share with you. but ı don't know how to send and publish the products.ı would be pleased if you can help me.
[ ]
Re: What next?
14 years ago
Dear Sedat, You can add files and slide shows to eLangugaes. Select one of the add buttons on the page, and choose the "File" option. Then you need to search for the file on your computer. When you have found it, press save. More help available here.Help guides>> E-mail me if you are stuck
Re: Enjoy our similarities and celebrate your differences!
14 years ago
hi!!! This is Nishi from GAIL DAV PUBLIC SCHOOL I am happy to be a part of this project started by you. I would like to be in touch with u. I have added a few pictures of dance performance by students of our school on our indian culture .I would like to know your comments . waiting for ur reply Nishi
Re: Enjoy our similarities and celebrate your differences!
14 years ago
Dear Nishi and all the colleagues from India! Our teachers and students are greatly impressed with the wonderful photos and other resources from your country. The costumes and dances are fabulous, it's like travelling to a fairy land. I'd like to add that people in Ukraine have known and loved Indian culture (dances, songs, costumes, literature and films) for many years. Thanks a lot!
[ ]
Re: Enjoy our similarities and celebrate your differences!
14 years ago
I saw ur message n was hppy to knw tht u liked our photos.our students hv also saw ur country's photos.they r wonderful n I would be hppy if u mail me sme more photos n oher resources.Thanks NISHI
Enjoy our similarities and celebrate your differences
14 years ago
hi from Turkey we have just joined this project .we are very pleased to join and have opportunity in order to meet you. we have added only one tulip picture for now but in a short time we will introduce our lovely country Turkey's culture.
[ ]
Re: Enjoy our similarities and celebrate your differences
14 years ago
You are welcome to the project OUR CULTURES. Thanks a lot for the wonderful tulip! We are waiting for your future contributions and hope to find out more about Turkish culture, customs and traditions. Best wishes!
[ ]
dream destination-matribhoomi east of india
14 years ago
Namaste to all of you, I Sunipa Acharya welcome you to join our project dream destination and send some photographsof your country's tourist palces ,culture sothat we can visit your country.I and many of my students ,eager to know about Europe .I have uploaded some ppt presentation of Eastern India -ORRISA,KOLKATA,ARUNACHAL PRADESH. Thanks, Sunipa, GAIL DAV PUBLIC SCHOOL,GAIL GAON, U.P,INDIA
[ ]
International Dance Competition,DPS Refinery,Panipat - 25th February 2010
14 years ago

Dear friends,

Tomorrow we are celebtrate internationlism in our school.We are organising inter-house international Dance Competition.

Soon I shall be uploading the pictures and video of the same.

Yogesh Singla

DPS Refinery,Panipat


[ ]
14 years ago

Croatia is heaven on earth really!!

yogesh singla

Dear colleagues,
I strongly believe that our joint work really shows the diversity of our cultures and prove how much we have in common....
At the same time each of our cultures is unique, with its own history and traditions. Learning more about each other, sharing our national heritage we help our students realize the real beauty and eternal values of our world.
Thanks a lot for your great contributions.
Natalia Sizova.

tags iconPodcast

A beatiful Dalmatian song a capella

Listen now:
Listen later:
YouTube - Klapa Maslina - Da Te Mogu Pismom Zvati music video.htm 125.3 kB
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Many events in the history of mankind eventually fade into oblivion, but others, leave their indelible marks for the entire world to see. More than 350 years ago, the Croats initiated one such influential occurrence. Although started in the 17th century in a small region on the Adriatic coast, the consequences of this event are still very much evident the world over. 600 million people now wear the ubiquitous symbol of Croatia around their necks, close to their hearts.

Did you know that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie?

In his book, La Grande Histoire de la Cravate (Flamarion, Paris, 1994), François Chaille tells us about the appearance of this article of clothing and how it became fashionable.

"... Around the year 1635, some six thousand soldiers and knights came to Paris to give their support to King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. Among them were a great number of Croatian mercenaries led by a ban, or Croatian viceroy.

The traditional outfit of these Croats aroused interest on account of the unusual and picturesque scarves distinctively tied about their necks. The scarves were made of various cloths, ranging from coarse material for common soldiers, to fine cotton and silk for officers. This elegant "Croatian style" immediately enamoured the French, who were delighted by the new article of clothing, which had been previously unknown in Europe.

For the gallant French officers in the thirty-year war, the advantage of the Croatian neck scarf was its enviable practicality. In contrast to the lace collar that had to be kept white and carefully starched, the scarf was simply and loosely tied around the neck without need for any additional care. Just as elegant as the stiff, high collars, the new scarves were less awkward, easier to wear and remained visible beneath the soldiers’ thick, long hair.

Around the year 1650, during the reign of Louis XIV, the Croatian scarf was accepted in France, above all in court, where military ornaments were much admired. The fashionable expression, ’a la croate’, soon evolved into a new French word, which still exists today: la cravate. This innovation symbolized the height of culture and elegance. On his return to England from exile, Charles II brought with him this new word in fashion. Over the next ten years, this fashion novelty spread across Europe, as well as across the colonies on the American continent..."

Since that time in the 17th century, derivatives of the word croata have been present in many languages, (i.e., English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian), meaning cravat or tie. It follows then that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie, as France is the mother country of high fashion, Brazil of coffee, Switzerland of cheese and watches, Portugal of port wine etc.

For those who are looking for an authentic Croatian necktie, all roads lead to Zagreb.
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The Mediterranean as it once was

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