Culture can be defined as all the behaviours, ways of life, arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed from generation to generation. Culture has been called “the way of life of an entire society”. As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, norms of behaviour -as law and morality – and systems of beliefs, as well as the arts.
The values of culture help the future generations to know how to escape from bad practices and evils in the societies such as drug abuse, child abuse, stealing and any other kind of bad behaviour which is not proper to society. Ethics are passed by adult to young ones through informal education. The following are the major importance of elements of culture:-
(a) Language is used in a particular society to convey message. Language is also an identity of a nation. For example Kiswahili in Tanzania identifies the nation of Tanzania among other nations in the world who use different languages such as English, French and German. Language can be used to unite, educate and inculcate the sense of awareness to youth.
(b) Sports and games promote unity, cooperation and friendship among the social members. This is because sport and games collect people together for sharing different ideas to build a better society.
(c) Crafts in particular, provide the household with necessary materials such as furniture, pots and baskets which are used daily. Some of them can be sold and provide money to people, hence a source of income
(d) Traditions are also worthwhile for example; Initiation ceremonies prepare the young boys and girls to make part their responsibility in the society as adults. They promote people from childhood to adulthood. Some traditions and customs are worth –for example marriage and burial ceremonies because they collect and bind together at times of problems and pleasure and share different ideas.
(e) Customs help societies to adopt briefly certain cultural values like dressing style, eating habits, hairstyles etc. which are sometimes worthwhile for acceptable in certain occasions – e.g. in wedding ceremonies.
(f) Art helps us to express our feelings, attitude and events in a very enjoyable way – e.g. through songs, drama and pictures.
(g) Recreations bring refreshment to a person after hard work. They help persons to relax and gather energy before they engage in production again. Hence recreations are important to man.Ideology is another important cultural element because it lays down the principles and conditions to be followed by a given society. Thus, it provides a guideline to how people should live in a given place and time.