Have you ever noticed how similar cultures exist across the globe? Sometimes we travel to a faraway place and are surprised to see many customs and traditions comparable to what we have seen in our part of the world. It may be cuisine, music, dance or any other traditions that is being followed there for hundreds of years, just like in our homeland. For example, a music instrument looking like Indian flute and known as a daegeum exists in the old traditions of Korea as well. They also have a music instrument known as haegeum which looks like an ektara that Mirabai used to play in Rajasthan, the only difference is that a haegeum has two strings.

The point here is that cultures across continents have similar but independent origin and evolution. Most of them have some form of ancient dance where people gather in a circle, hold each other’s hands and move around in celebration on the tune of music. It happens in various parts of India and Africa evidently. Similar folk dance forms also exist in many parts of Europe. The traditions related to celebrating the birth of a child, or mourning the death of a relative might also resemble in most parts of the world.

Speaking of cuisine, most of the basic recipes are similar throughout the world. Preference of food also do not change much in most places, although we find variations and improvisations in different societies. Offering favourite food to the revered god is a common practice and so are donations of food to poor people. In most parts of the world, we also find festivals attached to the harvesting of crops.

So, the question is that if our origin and evolution are so much similar, what divides us? If we do share common emotions and cultures, what makes our differences so stark that create conflicts? Is it really the incompatible customs or any other factors that create these divides? It is worth exploring question, especially at a time when we are facing deadly conflicts and deep hatred in the world. Rather than focusing on the distinctive characteristics, can we not link our societies through commonalities? Instead of lamenting our divergence, can we not pay attention to uniting elements? If we genuinely try to find out, it will be evident that our dissimilarities are much more subtler than our resemblances.

Developing an attitude to find a uniting factor between cultures and people can help us looking at others more respectfully. After all, we have to coexist in this world because as of now there is no other place for us to go to. So why not create more harmony among peoples and cultures than the disparities? Why not enjoy the varieties and likeness for the attainment of peace in society and our life?