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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The Mad Hatter makes quite an impression in the 'Alice in Wonderland' books and movies. But the expression 'mad as a hatter' actually predates this character. So, where did the term come from?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more widely known as the Mormon church, can generate a lot of questions: Is there really special underwear? Is it a cult? We bust some myths.

By Dave Roos

Today's gospel and blues music and the freedom songs of the civil rights movement all have historical roots in traditional slave spirituals, which were songs of sorrow, but also jubilation at the promise of freedom.

By Tara Yarlagadda

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Sign language interpreters provide critical lifelines to the deaf community, especially during crises. So who exactly are these superhero signers?

By Stephanie Vermillion

It started out as a small movement in Jamaica that went worldwide with the popularity of reggae music. Today you can find Rastafarians on every continent. But what is Rastafari really all about?

By Dave Roos

Xenophobia, or the fear of immigrants and strangers, has a long, unsettling history in the U.S. and across the globe. What makes this prejudice so prominent during hard times throughout history?

By John Donovan

The Pledge of Allegiance started as just part of a marketing campaign to sell flags. But along the way, it became something much much bigger.

By Dave Roos

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Punctuation can really make or break a sentence. Test your knowledge of basic (and not-so-basic) punctuation conventions by taking this quiz!

By Alia Hoyt

We all learned about grammar in grade school, but some of us retained the knowledge better than others. Test your knowledge of the finer points of English with our quiz.

By Alia Hoyt

The books that make up the Bible were written over a span of 1,000 years. During that time, many other religious writings were also produced. So, who decided which would be part of the Bible and which would be left out?

By Dave Roos

The company is known for compiling thousands and thousands of off-the-wall records set by others. But does it hold any records of its own?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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If someone calls your tastes 'bourgeois,' should you thank them or shake a fist? You might have to check first with Moliere, Marx or Migos to be sure.

By Dave Roos

Movies often pit dark-robed, masked ninja assassins against elite samurai warriors. But just how accurate is our modern outlook on these two Japanese fighters?

By Mark Mancini

Henna tattoos seem to be everywhere and all the rage, but the rich tradition behind this beautiful form of body art began as a wedding staple in ancient India.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The Hindu religion considers cows holy. But that's certainly not why we utter the expression. So what's the story behind it?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Baseball, hot dogs, mom and apple pie. Of all these iconically American things, the apple pie holds a special place in the lexicon of American symbolism, but why?

By Tara Yarlagadda

Even if you hardly know your beta from your zeta, chances are you've used Greek letters at some point in your life. What are they and why are they so common?

By Alia Hoyt

The typical manger scene features Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and an assortment of animals. But in Catalonia, Spain, there is one more character: a figure with his pants down taking a poop. But why?

By Nathan Chandler

Halos and robes and wings are how most people think of angels, but these heavenly beings are actually a lot more complex than their popular image. How much do you know about angels' roles, ranks and responsibilities? Take our quiz to find out!

By Alia Hoyt

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White elephant. Mean Santa. Yankee swap. These are the holiday parties we live for. But if it feels like yours is getting a bit tired, we've got 10 rules to liven it up this year.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

Obituaries do more than just let the world know someone died. They're a chance to pay tribute to someone, advocate for a cause or even settle a score.

By Dave Roos

It's one thing to say it. It's another thing to update the church's official instruction book.

By AFP

And it's expressions like 'fake news' (instead of information fallacieuse) and 'cool! that are to blame.

By AFP

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Does anyone really know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Or a hurricane and a cyclone? You're about to learn with the answers to this quiz!

By Alia Hoyt

Once this skinny mark of excitement was mainly the provenance of excited teenage girls and inexperienced novelists. But now we're all peppering our sentences with exclamation marks. Is this a good thing?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus