Tag Archives: Cultural

Cultural Anthropology in the Context of Mathematical Modeling


Cultural anthropology is the commonly world used term today, generally refers to the study human in existing society. The origin of cultural anthropology had been used by Marcel Mauss contribution. Marcel mauss contribution depends on Durkhiem social organism. He divides anthropology into three enquiries.

In ethnography, anthropologists seek to understand the total study of a society, generally, simple description of society. Ethnolgy is the term used to understand the regional comparison between two or more societies.
Aforesaid said two ethnography and its comparison insight the light of anthropological knowledge. My present work is to examine above two points can be explained through mathematical analysis.


In simple algebraic modeling supports to understand it. Here I represent some mathematical (specially algebraic contribution) language to understand it.

Society = S1, S2, S3, S4…S

Ethnography = E

Ethnology = EL

Anthropology= A

Now the x and y number of societies are studied.
(X=s1 and Y= s2)

In the first case ethnographic study was done.Therfore the algebric resultant is ….

The ethnographic study of the s1 society =Ex
The ethnographic study of the s2 society=Ey

So, the Ethnology = EL =Ex ~ Ey or Ex – EY ( compare denotes with the symbole “-“)

Let the equation ……EL = EX – EY…………………….(1)
Again anthropology =A = EX + EY + EL…………….(2)

Now represented above two equation and its product ,

We get easily

A = Ex +Ey + (Ex – Ey)

…. . . or, A = Ex+ Ey + Ex – Ey

or, A = 2Ex

Now x is the numerical value of s1 society . Society or s is the collection of s1,s2, s3……S-n societies. We may represent at present it in below………..

A = 2 ES.
So it may said that at least two society or more is needed to investigate anthropological significance. On the basis, culture likely to be responded with analysis of Ethnology. The regional Ethnographic comparison states the magnitive field of culture.

The Meaning of Chopsticks in Chinese Food Culture

I remember that, when I was little, there were lots of riddles for kids. My grandma used to ask me time to time one of them in particular: ‘There are two equally tall brothers, they have good brotherhood, and are always together, but whenever they walk, it is like they are wrestling all the time. Guess what they are?’ A pair of chopsticks! Even today, I still think this is the best description of chopsticks.

Chopsticks are definitely the symbol of Chinese food culture. On the dining table, almost everything is picked up and brought to mouth by using chopsticks (apart from soup). From picking up the rice from the bowl, every piece of food on the plate, to picking the small tiny bones from the fish or eating half meter long noodles, or even cutting off some piece into half; all can be done by chopsticks. So the traditional way of laying the table is always having a pair of chopsticks along with a spoon placed next to the rice bowl, no knives, and definitely no forks.

Chopsticks are normally made of wood, bamboo or silver, or even gold. The price can greatly vary because of the quality of the wood. Some chopsticks with good quality wood like achiote and very fine details can be very pricey.

Gold chopsticks were used by the ’emperors’ or ‘royals’ to distinguish their unique position, but silver chopsticks were more common. It is said that using silver chopsticks was the best way to check if the food was poisoned, as there would be a mark shown on the silver chopsticks if there was poison in the food. Not surprisingly, all those emperors needed to take pre-cautions.

Furthermore, silver chopsticks are probably the most ‘healthy’ ones, as the wood ones can be rotten after washing many times, and become not hygienic.

Chinese chopsticks have normally a kind of rectangular shape, and are longer and thicker, comparing to Japanese ones, for example. This is because of the traditional metaphor of ’round sky and square ground’, so the tip of the chopsticks is always in ’round’ shape, while the other end is square. However, nowadays, the slim and all round shape chopsticks are also very popular.

At one time, ‘chopstick culture’ was very popular again. I mean, the design of the chopsticks. On the upper part of the chopsticks, there are some pictures or words, normally are from famous influential traditional Chinese paintings or poems. These are very interesting to look at. So people can get some ‘cultural education’ while eating.

As for how to use chopsticks, there is no secret. We normally start using chopsticks at very early age, then you would develop your own habit to hold them. Different people, however, would hold chopsticks differently.

One of the most common ways of doing it is to first hold the pair of chopsticks upright, make them stand at same level, (you can hold them against on the table surface if it helps); and use the ring finger to support, index finger to hold the other side, while middle finger helps to make the movement more mobile. It is really a matter of practice.

Saying that it is a cultural thing, it is not only because of its usage on the table, there are also many phrases or stories symbolized by chopsticks. For example, the story of ‘united strength’, I think most of us have heard of that one.

There was a dad who had three sons, who always fought against each other. One day, at the dad’s dying bed, the dad asked the sons to hold a bunch of chopsticks in their hands, and said, ‘now try to break one chopstick’, the sons did easily, then the dad said, ‘now try to break a bunch of chopsticks in your hands’, the sons found it was very difficult to do so, almost impossible. The dad looked at the sons; they understood that only unity is strength. The following story is dad died peacefully, and the sons made a great future by working together.