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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Canadian Thanksgiving is on Oct. 12 this year. How does it differ from the American version? And what other Canadian holidays do we need to get up to speed on?

By Dave Roos

More states are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. What's prompted the switch and how you do celebrate it?

By Dave Roos

Born in 1207 as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, the Sufi mystic and Persian poet wrote a staggering amount of verse, and is still beloved and widely influential to this day.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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The Latin language may be dead, but this phrase, which originated 2,000 years ago, is still used in legal and financial docs. So what does it mean?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you've ever expressed the charming idea that you have a buttload of something – a buttload of laundry to do, a buttload of tacos to eat – you may have wondered what the measure of a buttload actually is and where the phrase came from.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Ever found yourself in a pickle and wondered, "Hey, why the heck do we call it a pickle?" Let's see if we can swim through the brine and find out.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

The phrase (which means to ride in the front passenger seat of the car) seems like it might have come about during the Wild West. But it actually took a detour through Hollywood.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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The term Latinx has emerged recently as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina, but not everyone is on board. In fact most Hispanics haven't even heard it before.

By John Donovan

The most famous Quaker (the one on the oats box) is not even a real person. And this religious group, best known for its pacifism, has had much success in a sweeter area of food: chocolate!

By Dave Roos

You know that time in summer when everything slows down and not much is going on? The German word sommerloch neatly sums it up. But where did it come from?

By Dave Roos

Thanks to COVID-19, big celebrations are canceled. So it's no surprise people aren't saying 'Happy Birthday' with a simple card, but with a huge yard sign instead.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Floriography — the association of flowers with special virtues and sentiments — has been a practice from antiquity to the present day.

By Carrie Tatro

The name Karen has somehow become the universal term for the angry, white woman. But when and how did that happen?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

From the worlds of politics, professional baseball and old-time boxing came a term still in use today to describe someone who has a left-handed predilection.

By Laurie L. Dove

The July 14 holiday celebrated by the French is way more complicated than the term "Bastille Day" might suggest.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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You didn't ask for a cigar. Maybe you don't even like them. So why is someone abruptly denying you one?

By Nathan Chandler

In TV shows and movies, sometimes an angel of death appears to tell some unfortunate soul their time on Earth is over. But where did this idea come from? And what if you tell the angel, "I'm not ready?"

By Dave Roos

'Take it with a grain of salt' means to be skeptical about something. But where does the phrase come from?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Why do conversations about race get so awkward? And what are some ways to keep them friendly and productive?

By Alia Hoyt

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The @ sign is so much a part of the internet that it may surprise you to know it's been around for at least 1,500 years.

By Dave Roos

Are Hindus polytheistic? Do they worship cows? And how does yoga fit into this religion? We answer some of the most-asked questions around Hinduism.

By Dave Roos

The majority of Native Americans speak the English language, so how many Native American languages are still in existence and being spoken today? It's a complicated question.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The practice of shamanism has mystical and spiritual connotations, but it's not tied to any specific religion or creed. So, what exactly is shamanism?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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These quirky clay figurines sprout "hair" seemingly overnight. But what is it that has made the Chia Pet an international sensation for 40 years?

By Patty Rasmussen

In the popular imagination, hell is depicted as a place of fire, presided over by Satan dressed in red and holding a pitchfork. But depictions of hell have actually evolved over time.

By Dave Roos