Culture is born in a region. It is the way people of a region lived for centuries. The climate and the natural resources of that region dictated their way of life. Cultural traits transferred from generation to generation and so the new born by virtue of inheritance quickly adapted to that region and cultural ethos.

Culture promoted communality. People left their homes,  came out into the streets and participated in communal activities. The festivals marked the seasons, the rites grew out of their beliefs, the education comprised of their knowledge of the region they lived in, it’s soil and the climate and the place it occupied in the Celeste. The attire and the adornments of its members, primarily female, symbolized its cultural identity.

Religion, as history attests to it, began in a region that has already bred a culture. Culture predates religion.

A member of a culture underwent a phenomenal transformation in the psyche and thereby became a conduit for the divine to express itself through the person. This person then proceeded to articulate the discoveries in the language and symbolism of that culture.

A whole paraphernalia of rituals grew around these divine utterances and their interpretations (impossible to distinguish as time went by).

Religion then extended from a personal affair to a communal belief system. The group of people from among the community and closest to the so-called realized person arrogated to themselves the right to proclaim and pontificate in the name of the divine and lorded it over the whole community. Religion was thus subsumed under the culture and became entrenched and bound by it.

Culture may change over time, adapt to new situations, borrow from other societies, or devise new ways of living in a world that is compellingly cooperative, rather than communal and therefore isolating in its function.

Religion, thanks to its cultural base, is also subject to change, and the rise of fundamentalism is a reaction to prevent it.

However, it is important to note that it is not religion per se that is changing. Rather, the change is seen in the manner in which it is practised.

Religion, as it is experienced by the person in question, cannot change, for it is over for and with that person.

One may adopt a religion, but not a culture, for it is easy to practise the rituals and hold the beliefs, but culture is a whole lot more than that. It is what produced you in the first place: the dress you wear, your mannerisms, your gut reactions, language and everything you identify as the ‘me’.

e experienced the divine transformation. Rather than propounding a new religion or a sect, they explained the essence of divinity in the language and beliefs of that culture.

It appears that religion belongs neither to a region nor to any culture. Rather, it is expressed by and for individuals and therefore not a cultural or communal affair.

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