Tradition vs Culture: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tradition refers to customs, beliefs, and practices passed down through generations within a particular group or society.
  2. Culture is a broader concept encompassing the values, norms, beliefs, customs, arts, and practices shared by a specific group, shaping their way of life.
  3. Although both terms relate to shared practices and beliefs, culture is a more comprehensive concept that includes traditions as one of its many components.

Tradition vs. Culture

Tradition refers to specific practices or rituals that are carried out by a community.  Culture encompasses a broader range of beliefs, values, customs, arts, and practices that shape a community’s way of life and worldview, as they provide a sense of continuity and belonging.

Tradition vs Culture

Culture is just like a guideline that humans learn while socializing. Culture teaches a person how to dress, talk, walk, behave, and stand out in society and the criteria of being a respected individual.

Whereas; Tradition is a folk custom passed down by particular folks concerned with past origins.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonTraditionCulture
By definitionTradition is ideas and beliefs passed from one generation to another.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, and forefathers.Teenagers, religious communities, and societies.
Time IntervalTradition is a permanent belief carried on for thousands of years.Culture is flexible with time; we can change and adapt as we wish.
ExamplePassing property and valuable treasury from grandparents to the new generation from time to time is a symbol of traditional values.In India, removing shoes and sandals before entering any religious place symbolizes cultural values.


What is Tradition?

Tradition is a safe giving of treasure through statements, property, values, beliefs, etc., from generation to generation through oral expression or practice.

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Tradition, in short, is a treasure gifted by our forefathers or ancestors. Usually, Tradition is seen as a belief or behavior shared within a group or society.

The main motive of tradition is to preserve the past origin and spread its importance and keep behavior and beliefs immortal.

The word tradition is derived from the Latin word- tradere, a synonym for transmitting or handover or giving it for keeping it safe. Tradition helps one to form the structure of the foundation of our societies or families.

The word came into existence through Roman Law, referring to legal transfers and inheritance. Later on, it outshined keeping basic roots as passing from one to another.

National holidays and national anthems are also considered a part of the tradition. Even the small gesture of saying thank you is considered a tradition if passed out from one to another.

In short, whatever beliefs, ideas, etc., are passed from one to another is known as tradition.  Tradition, in simpler words, is not sticking to the past but also valuing and treasuring 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 arise from how, what, and when a person behaves or believes.

The word culture is treasured from the Latin Cultura, which represents cultivation. Culture comprises human artificial intelligence, manifestations, and creative way of living.

Culture is vast in exploring, i.e., the Culture of the Country. If we talk about India and its Indian Culture, then it’s a never-ending conversation. India has different cultures in different states.

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Culture comprises arts, folk dance, food, languages, festivals, manners, way of presentation, and flavors and procedures.

In other words, Culture is a bundle or a full package deal of every single belief of tradition combined altogether from birth to the death of humankind.

An 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 worldwide, 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 a sophisticated way of life.
  4. We can adapt and change the culture through our choices, whereas tradition can’t change that easily.
  5. Tradition is belief, and culture is a collection of beliefs.
Difference Between Tradition and Culture


Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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