Culture in Sports
Sports have contributed to the building of civilizations and can be seen as one of he pillars upon which the human civilization was built. Those who belittle of the role of sports in people’s history and culture are not right. The evidence to the role sports played in human culture is clear-cut in the human history. The Roman empire is one of the greatest empires in which sports flourished and was annually celebrated in the Olympic games that set off BC in Olympia in Greece. The role of the Olympic games as one cultural element can never be denied in gathering people.
This was assured once again when the new Olympic games was set off again In the nineteenth entry. Herein, It can be mentioned that stadiums and sports halls became the temples of culture and sportsmen became the bearers of the highest cultural values(Dun]a, et al, 2007). The issue of the relationship between sport and culture Is really awkward because lots believed that sports cannot be part of the culture of any nation. However, this article is specifically focusing on showing that sports are nothing but an original part of the culture of nations.
This article has been decided on to shedding light on culture , its definitions, sports as a component of culture, the ultra of sport in Europe, culture of sport in The Middle East and the culture of sport in Africa because I myself have a strong belief that sports contributed and is till contributing to the culture of any country. This is in addition to discovering that there is very little literature focusing on sport as an element of culture and the relation between culture and sport especially in the MEAN (Middle East and North Africa) region In spite of the so many achievement that have been made by sport and sportsmen In this region.
Definition of culture: A variety of definitions for culture were provided over years. However, each definition represents the personal point of view of the reviewer that provides the definition . Kookier and Chuckhole suggested a number of definitions that exceeded 200 definitions for the concept of culture in their book, “Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions” (Kookier and Chuckhole, 1952). Howard & Sheet (1969), stated that culture refers to the collective mental programming which people in a society have.
Their definition supposes that almost all the Individual’s activities are directed by his or her own culture and sport Is certainly one of those activities. According to Hawkins et al. 1983) culture was defined as “That complex whole which Includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, law, morals, customs and any other capableness and habits acquired by man as a member of society. ” It is important to show here that regular way so it is one part of the culture.
To others culture can be defined as “A way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. ” When culture is related to one country, it is to be called national culture. When it is related to one division of a country or community, it can be called sub-culture. When it is concerned with an organization, it is called corporate culture. People are not born with their cultures, but culture is to be acquired and learned.
Sports and culture: It is believed that sports have become a part of culture because some cultures always play a type of a sport that they like. They may have invented some kind of sport and always played it. Let us take one popular example which is the cultural sport of one of the most advanced nations all over the world . Let is the USA. The Americans believe hat one very important part of their culture is the sport of baseball. We can ask any American: boy, girl, old man, student, scientist, or whatever comes to our minds. What is your favorite sport? And nine of each ten will certainly reply Baseball. But, Why?
Because it is their cultural sport. They invented it and lived with it. Baseball and all its components have become part of everyday USA inhabitants’ life. “Baseball remains a uniquely American art, a celebration of folk culture”. Sport and culture in Europe: It has always been known that Europe is nothing but a mix of so many cultures. In other words, the European culture can be described as a chain of overlapping cultures. It is a mix of the East and The west, of the many religious attitudes, of the many political movements of the many arts and sports… Etc. The Europeans are by nature traditionalist in a frame of freedom.
The European nations are several and almost every country or region has its own culture. Each region in Europe is said to be well-known from the others by its type of music, literature, food, clothes, language and if they speak the same language, they have different dialects and accents. Sport is also another part that distinguishes Europe from any other part of the world. Sport in Europe is as very old as its culture. We can say that sport has been an important fact in each part in the European cultural expression. In their culture children from the age of 10 have to go to any kind of sport academy to learn the basics of sport.
So that when they grow up, they don’t have the trouble of adapting to it. Many sports were established by the time of Ancient Greece. Sports in Greece which is the main part of the European culture became such a very important part of heir culture They invented the Olympic Games, which is the most important sports event all over the world and where all the different cultural trends meet. Football is another cultural aspect of the European everyday life. It is almost impossible to find a young man or woman in Europe who doesn’t know about football and who has a team to support.
Football was introduced in its modern issue in Britain, that land of football in the nineteenth century. The Europeans think that Football is not only the most popular sport in many regions of Europe as well as the world but also a social, ancient continent. Football is the most important part of the European sports culture. They follow it eagerly and practice it regularly. European sports and especially football has a huge influence on other parts of the world as well as its influence on the other elements of the European culture. Sports in Europe dominate the economies of the old continent, dominate its music, dance and food.
People eat what the football stars eat and wear what they wear. Football decides to a large extent when marriage ceremonies are held … Etc. As a result of their professional sports. Europeans or people who are involved in their sports, view it as a Job. Which means that the players have to play in any kind of circumstance . Famous as it is with all the forms of sports and well known of the Olympic Games as it is European sports are one main component of its culture. The way people view sports and their importance arises several questions in the minds of those who are unaware of the importance of sport.
The Europeans always think of sports as the gateway to health and fitness. Sport is an everyday habit that must be practiced by those who are willing to feel healthy. And those represent the huge majority of those who live there. Sports culture in the Middle East: The Middle East is the area that includes both of Western Asia and Northern Africa. It includes all the Arab countries. The culture of this area is so rich and has its roots thousands of years ago in the Islamic civilization and pre-LULAS as well. The culture of the Middle East countries is unique.
They have their very traditionalist and restrictive way of living, clothing, music. Sports for people in the Middle East region never was of that importance that I have Just mentioned about it in Europe. It has always been believed that women are not allowed to practice sports because it can be shame that a woman get dressed in short clothes, run, Jump and kick. In the Middle East Area many believes really existed about sport and were inherited to the generations to follow. Some regions considered sports is merely a waste of time.
People there never seemed interested to do sports. The tough living conditions in most of the Middle East area was behind there deliberate negligence for sports till very near decades. The only sports that were done there were horse riding, hunting, wining and running. These sports mainly suited the nature of the desert and sea environments that exist in this region. However, Islam urged people to practice sports and to teach them to their children. Horse riding as one of the traditional and cultural sports in the Middle east has a very cultural and traditional root in the area.
It is worth mentioning that horse riding developed gradually till it became one of the most popular and well-known sports for its achievements. It is known that people used horses in the early days for transportation of their goods and items. With the appearance of vehicles and the gradual disregard towards horses as transports , people began to focus on using their horses in races, and Jumping barriers. These two cultural and traditional sports have their roots in the Middle East area and refer to the greatness of the area.
This was behind the natural lead for the Arabian champions in these ports. The Islamic culture that spread all over the Middle East area encourages people to practice sports at all levels under conditions of following restrictions imposed by the societies on women’s practicing of sports and the way in which people of the Middle East live. It can be noticed that in the recent times many societies of the Middle east began to witness a cultural change due to the dealings and the follow up to Western and their cultural practices.
Many people changed their culture and began to get new concepts and attitudes towards sports. These concepts are said to be set in their own minds and habits and are going slowly to be part of their culture. These changes are supposed to focus mainly on the attitudes towards culture. But by the time we witnessed a great change in the Arabian mentality and attitudes in a way that gave the opportunities to those women to racist and participate in sports teams, these women were also allowed to compete internationally and there are champions whose achievements are unique .
IANAL Al- Metalwork is the Moroccan runner who might have added to the culture of the sports in The Middle east area when she won an Olympic Medal in the 400 meters running competition in Los Angelo 1984 Olympic games. Football is said to be one of the most favorite sports in the Middle East area. Many national teams in The ME region have made a lot of achievements by participating in the Football World cup. People are crazy about football and follow their teams whenever they go and purport by their hearts.
This proves that people of the Middle East face such as the cultural restrictions or the difficult life conditions in such countries as Egypt, they support and practice sports eagerly. Culture and sport in Africa: It can easily be noticed that the African culture is really exciting. Each African nation includes variable and different mixtures of cultures that belong to each tribe. Each African nation is found to include various tribes whose languages and lifestyle are completely different from even the neighboring tribes. Countries as small as Uganda have more than 30 tribes.
The South of Africa has been found to be totally different from The North of Africa in some parts of culture and any other important factor. In the North of Africa, there had been , many civilization. Countries of northern Africa are places where cultures were brought up since the early days of humanity. Egypt is one place where culture is found everywhere in people’s clothes, food, music, sports, language and so The culture of sport in North Africa is inherited. People practice sports everyday and without any restrictions. Of course there are some factors that control the society, however sports are allowed everywhere to everyone.
In Libya Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia sports have been known before lots of things. Football is the most popular sport there attracts millions of practitioners. Sport as a culture is the most dominant idea in the South of Africa. Sports there is something practiced by nature . Due to the nature of life in South Africa, people have to run, Jump, hit and kick to earn their living. They are practicing sports by nature there. In a country such as South Africa which is an apparent mixture of cultures Sport is a great way to unite South Africans different cultural groups.
However, efferent sports enjoy different cultural fan bases (soccer is mostly black-dominated, rugby mostly Afrikaner-dominated and cricket mostly English-dominated). Africans tested and if they are talented enough, the clubs or the any kind of sports institute will take them and develop them to be top class players. All in all, African nations have always been known for their poverty. People work from hand to mouth. The opportunities they have to practice sports are rare. And in case they have opportunities to practice any sport, this sport must be inexpensive and costs them nothing at the same time.
Culturally, this was behind the nature of sports the African rate used to practice. Due to the tough nature of the continent that is characterized by altitudes , long costs, deserts and the forests, people have those very strong bodies and large lungs that enable them to play athletics especially running races, spear throwing, high Jump, all those sports. The Africans are said to excel in these sports and practice them easily and natural because they do not cost them any money and brings them high profits. These sports are encouraged in the African cultures and have roots in their heritage especially those very poor countries of the
South such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria…. Etc. Conclusion: To conclude, cultures have always been referred to as the way in which people live, their norms, values, habits, food, costumes, languages, music and even their sports. This shows the importance of sport as one of the elements composing culture and one of the elements that contribute to the process of making humanity, civilization and the style of people’s life . And since sports are regarded as something that is shared between a lot of cultures, it is important for the survival of these cultures and the individuals that belong to these cultures.
The regions that have been discussed in this articles have things in common when we talk sports. They have all witnessed the importance of practicing sports for the good of the people’s fitness and well- being. People who belong to these cultures have never gone without sports and admitted that sport is a must and its existence in their lives cannot be denied. However, certain differences do exist between these cultures when we stress the element of sport in this culture. Europe seems to be the most moderate place where sports are practiced without restrictions.
People of Europe clearly and biblically admit the importance of sports for their own good. We can rarely find any European who does not practice sports in his everyday life routine. Europeans know and appreciate the role of sports and confess it is part or the main part of their culture. It is alleged at the same stage that their work organization in their organizational culture appreciate and encourages the roles of sport in their individuals’ lives. On the other hand Africa and the ME areas have certain things in common when we refer to the role of sports in their culture.
Both of them have apparent reference to sports in their ancient cultures and heritages. They both have tough living conditions apart from the ICC states. Sports in the African culture depends on the nature of peoples’ lives that is tough. Due to the nature of land and swimming, mountains, altitudes and cost, the Africans excelled in running swimming and jumping. People of the Middle East area especially those of the ICC area have long rooted cultural spots . Horse riding is widely and culturally celebrated and practiced. The Islamic teachings direct people there to teach their children such sports.