Difference Between Tradition and Culture (With Table)

Tradition, as well as Culture, is mostly misinterpreted by every human being. Many people don’t know the clear meaning of Tradition and Culture with their particular and highly important differences.

Tradition vs Culture

The difference between culture and tradition is that culture is a bundle of ideas, behavior, customs which represents a particular group of people and society while tradition is about ideas and beliefs given from generation to generation. Anyone can change and adopt culture according to their will, but tradition is just like our identity which can’t be changed since we grew up with tradition and its value.

Culture is just like a guideline that is learned by humans in the process of socializing. Culture teaches a person how to dress, talk, walk, behave, and stand out in the society and the criteria of being a respected individual. Whereas; Tradition is a folk custom passed down by the particular folks with the concern of the past origins.


Comparison Table Between Tradition and Culture

Parameter of ComparisonTraditionCulture
By definitionTradition is ideas and beliefs which is passed from one generation to another generation.Culture is a collective term to identify ideas, behavior, and customs.
ObservationTraditions are mostly unique from one family to another.culture is observed among a group of people.
Sum TotalTradition is a part of the culture.Culture is a total of traditions.
CreationTradition is created by individuals.Culture is created by society or a group of people over a long time interval.
AudienceAncestors, families, forefathers.Teenagers, religious communities, and societies.
Time IntervalTradition is the permanent belief that is carried for thousands of years.Culture is flexible with time, we can change and adapt as per our wish.
ExamplePassing property and valuable treasury from grandparents to the new generation from time to time is a symbol of traditional values.In India, the removal of shoes and sandals before entering any religious place is a symbol of cultural values.


What is Tradition?

Tradition is a safe-giving of treasure in the form of statements, property, values, beliefs, etc from generation to generation by oral expression or by practicing. Tradition, in short, is a treasure gifted by our forefathers or ancestors. Usually, Tradition is seen as a belief or behavior shared down within a group or society.

The main motive of tradition is to preserve the past origin and spread importance and keep behavior and beliefs immortal. The word tradition is derived from the Latin word- tradere which is a synonym to transmit or to handover or to give it for keeping it safe. Tradition helps one to form the structure of the foundation of our societies or families.

The word originally came into existence by Roman Law while referring to the concept of legal transfers and inheritance. Later on, it outshined keeping basic root as passing from one to another.

National holidays, national anthems are also considered as a part of the tradition. Even the small gesture of saying thank you is considered as a tradition if it is passed out from one to another. In short, whatever beliefs, ideas, etc is passed from one to another is known as tradition.  Tradition in simpler words is not sticking on the past but also to value and treasure it throughout the lifetime.

An example of Tradition is as follows:

  1. Thanksgiving in Christmas
  2. Property
  3. Mother’s engagement ring

What is Culture?

Culture is qualitative values in a person or society that arises from a concern of how what and when a person behaves or beliefs.

The word culture is treasured from the Latin word- Cultura which represents cultivation. Culture comprises human artificial intelligence, manifestations, and creative way of living life in particular. Culture is very vast in terms of exploring i.e Culture of Country. If we talk about India and its Indian Culture then it’s a never-ending conversation. India has different cultures in different states. Culture collectively comprises of arts, folk dance, food, languages, festivals, manners, way of presentation, and flavors and procedure too. In other words, Culture is a bundle or a full package deal of every single belief of tradition combining altogether from birth to the death of humankind.

Example of Culture is as follows:

  1. Norms: informal or unwritten rules.
  2. Festivals: Diwali, easter Sunday, Raksha Bandhan, Holi, Navratri, etc.
  3. Languages: English, Hindi, Spanish, Gujarati, Marathi, French, German, etc
  4. Holidays: Religious Holidays etc.
  5. Food: Italian food, Indian food, etc
  6. Architectures: Different architectures from all over the world like the Taj Mahal from India, the Eiffel Tower from Paris, etc.

Main Differences Between Tradition and Culture

  1. Tradition is a treasure of life and culture is a way of living a life.
  2. Tradition is a part of culture whereas culture is a sum of traditions.
  3. Tradition is made out of past origins whereas culture is a choice to change as per sophisticated way to live by.
  4. We can adapt and change the culture by our choices, whereas tradition can’t change that easily.
  5. Tradition is belief and culture is a collection of beliefs.



 Both of these words – tradition and culture always come up when we talk about the values and prestige of individuals, families, groups of people- community, society, and nation. On contrary, tradition is observed occasionally and culture is observed specifically.

As a whole, culture is all about how we pray, how we eat, and how we present ourselves and tradition is about how we behave according to occasions and different situations in our life. Tradition and culture – together create the identification of a particular society, nation, or community. In short, tradition connects us with past and cultural attributes at a particular place, time, and occasion. Culture can be traditional but tradition cannot be a culture.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.1834-4461.1993.tb02457.x
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/001418400360634
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