Culture & Traditions

Cultures and Traditions takes a look at how people interact with each other. This might be through sub-cultures, relationships, fads or religion and spirituality.

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Shabbat is the holiday that is central to Jewish life, occurring every Friday at sunset to Saturday night. But what is it and how is it observed?

By Dave Roos

You've surely heard it in the movies even if you've never used it. So who came up with the phonetic alphabet and why is it used?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

The Jewish High Holy Days commemorate concepts such as renewal, forgiveness, freedom and joy.

By Samuel L. Boyd

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The roots of the Taliban's religious beliefs – Deobandi Islam – can be traced to 19th century colonial India.

By Sohel Rana & Sumit Ganguly

Dr. Anthony Fauci has famously said he hopes the handshake never comes back. If it doesn't, is the elbow bump the most logical greeting to replace it? If it's not, what is?

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

Sharia, which is Islamic law, can strike some people in the West as draconian and harsh. Is this an accurate portrayal?

By Dave Roos

Victorian etiquette wasn't just about sending a thank you note or holding a door open. There were a jillion rules of propriety to observe. How many of these do you know?

By Alia Hoyt

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Whether these people knew it or not, their famous last words made a real statement. How many can you figure out?

By Alia Hoyt

A scholar of religion explains why the Islamic New Year never falls on the same date and depends on the sighting of the moon.

By Igbal Akhtar

In both Hebrew and Greek, letters have numerical values, so many people, both in the past and today, saw hidden meanings in words as well as numbers found in the Bible. Here are just a few examples.

By Dave Roos

You might think it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But you're wrong. And anyway, that's a song, not a word.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Some words are extra important. Enter capitalization, the perfect way to show just why such words are special. How adept are you at knowing what to capitalize? Take this quiz and find out!

By Alia Hoyt

He makes just one brief appearance in Genesis, yet he's been seen as a precursor of Jesus Christ. What was he really and how did he become associated with Jesus?

By Dave Roos

Afrofuturism isn't just about placing a Black person in a futuristic landscape. It takes into account the challenges Black people face and allows them to imagine futures of their own making.

By Yves Jeffcoat

The New Testament is full of tense exchanges between Jesus and the Pharisees, who often tried to trip him up in legalistic debates. But who were the Pharisees really and what did they believe?

By Dave Roos

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There are some 50 Chinatowns in America and hundreds more in other countries. What led to their creation and will they survive into the next century?

By Tara Yarlagadda

In this age of electronic communication, the art of letter writing has all but been lost, but the knowledge necessary to address an envelope is something we all should certainly possess.

By Francisco Guzman

There are about 170,000 English language words currently in use. So, we're bound to mess up some of them. Take this quiz and find out what common words you might be misusing.

By Alia Hoyt

‌It's one of the largest religions on Earth but little-known in the West, where its practitioners are often mistaken for Muslims or Hindus. What else should we know about the Sikh faith?

By Dave Roos

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Many Jewish people will affix a mezuzah, a decorative case, to the doorframe of their houses. What's the significance of this?

By Dave Roos

Some words, like "cat" or "dog" are easy enough to spell. Others, however, cause quite the spelling frakas. Or is it fracas? Take the quiz to determine your spelling IQ!

By Alia Hoyt

Lao-tzu was the legendary Taoist philosopher whose words sound profoundly modern. They help us maintain a sense of harmony in an often-chaotic world. Here are five of his sayings to ponder.

By Dave Roos

Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs have been forced to abandon their long-standing practices around mourning the dead as COVID-19 overwhelms the country. What are they doing now?

By Natasha Mikles

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Asian Americans continue to challenge injustice and a rising tide of hate crimes directed at them, while mainstream narratives fail to address their bravery, history and struggles.

By Tara Yarlagadda

An obscure passage in Genesis mentions a group of superhumans who were the offspring of angels and women. Why was this included and what does that have to do with the Watchers?

By Dave Roos