Interfaith Health Care Association of Manitoba

Each day we look at how we can still grow and even flourish amidst a pandemic. Today we look at how Culture and Community can facilitate health and resilience.

When it comes to nurturing resilience and spiritual health, culture and community offer rich resources. Many of us have experienced our spiritual well-being nurtured through cultural and community events and traditions.  In the moments when our culture and community thrive, so too does the spirit within us.

Culture can include the customs, arts, institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or social group1.   It can guide our behaviours, how we interact with others, and how we interpret one another’s actions. Our culture can also shape how we experience health, illness and loss.  

When we speak of community, we think of things like a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals2In community, we can grow in appreciation for the need and value of our connections with others. In our connections to others, our place in the world is discovered.

Connecting with your own culture and community might take the form of ceremonial dress, music and dancing, the rituals of a congregation or the practices around the autumn harvest. Parts of your culture may be related to your abilities, the values or views you hold, your occupation or the language you speak. When we grow to know our own culture and know the cultures of others, we can see more clearly where we meet, where we may differ and where we can come together to learn from and celebrate life with one another. ​

When people are cut off from their culture and community, historically or through the pandemic, we’ve learned that great harm can occur. But in community and through culture, our spirit comes alive.

 

1Oxford University Press (2020) culture. In: Lexico.com, Available at: https://www.lexico.com/definition/culture 

2Oxford University Press (2020) community. In: Lexico.com, Available at: https://www.lexico.com/definition/community