- Culture of Europe
The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of overlapping cultures. Whether it is a question of North as opposed to South; West as opposed to East; Orthodoxism as opposed to Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism; many have claimed to identify cultural fault lines across the continent. There are many cultural innovations and movements, often at odds with each other, such as Christian proselytism or Humanism. Thus the question of "common culture" or "common values" is far more complex than it seems to be.
The foundation of European culture was laid by the Greeks, strengthened by the Romans, stabilized by Christianity, reformed and modernized by the fifteenth-century Renaissance and Reformation and globalized by successive European empires between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus the European Culture developed into a very complex phenomenon of wider range of philosophy, Christian and secular humanism, rational way of life and logical thinking developed through a long age of change and formation with the experiments of enlightenment, naturalism, romanticism, science, democracy, and socialism. Because of its global connection, the European culture grew with an all-inclusive urge to adopt, adapt and ultimately influence other trends of culture. As a matter of fact, therefore, from the middle of the nineteenth century with the expansion of European education and the spread of Christianity, European culture and way of life, to a great extent, turned to be "global culture," if anything has to be so named (Vide. Sailen Debnath, "Secularism: Western and Indian," Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi).
The oldest known cave paintings are at the Chauvet Cave (France) dating from about 302,000 ago . The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity. Until the mid 19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor. Developments in Western painting historically parallel those in Eastern painting, in general a few centuries later. African art, Islamic art, Indian art, Chinese art, and Japanese art each had significant influence on Western art, and, eventually, vice-versa.
The earliest European sculpture to date portrays a female form, and has been estimated at dating from 35,000 years ago. See Classical sculpture, Ancient Greek sculpture, Gothic art, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Modernism, Postminimalism, found art, Postmodern art, Conceptual art.
- Classical Music : Important classical composers from Europe include Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume de Machaut, Pérotin, Guillaume Dufay, Orlande de Lassus, Jean-Baptiste Lully, J.S. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Chopin, Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Schoenberg, Bartok, Nielsen, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Puccini, Debussy, Rossini, Ravel, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Penderecki. Luciano Pavarotti was a contemporary popular opera singer. Orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra are considered to be amongst the finest ensembles in the world. The Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms are major European classical music festivals, and International Chopin Piano Competition is the world's oldest monographic music competition.
- Folk Music : Europe has a wide and diverse range of indigenous music, sharing common features in rural, travelling or maritime communities. Folk music is embedded in an unwritten, aural tradition, but was increasingly transcribed from the nineteenth century onwards. Many classical composers used folk melodies, and folk has influenced some popular music in Europe.
- Popular Music : Europe has also imported many different genres of music, mainly from America, ranging from Blues, Jazz, Soul, Pop, Rap, Hip-Hop, R'n'B and Dance. The UK has been most successful in re-exporting this type of music and also creating many of its own genres via notable movements including the British Invasion, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (that has been compared to Beatlemania.) and Britpop. Some major UK acts include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Elton John, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Sex Pistols, Eric Clapton, The Clash, Van Morrison, Dire Straits, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, The Who, Eurythmics, Dusty Springfield, The Cure, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Duran Duran, Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, Muse, Gorillaz, Robbie Williams, Seal, Bee Gees, Spice Girls, UB40, Amy Winehouse... Other popular European musicians are U2 (Ireland), Björk (Iceland), ABBA (Sweden), a-ha (Norway), Andrea Bocelli (Italy), Julio Iglesias (Spain), Nana Mouskouri (Greece/France), Kati Wolf (Hungary), Boney M. (Germany), Daft Punk (France), Charles Aznavour (France), Johnny Hallyday (France), Modern Talking (Germany), Scorpions (Germany), Rammstein (Germany), Ace of Base (Sweden), t.A.T.u. (Russia), Enya (Ireland), James Last (Germany), Doda (Poland), Jean Michel Jarre (France), Aqua (Denmark/Norway), Roxette (Sweden)... The Eurovision Song Contest. Main festivals : Glastonbury (UK), Wacken (Germany), Benicassim (Spain), Roskilde (Denmark). EMI is the largest European music company.
Neolithic architecture : Born in the Levant, Neolithic architecture spread to Europe. The Mediterranean neolithic cultures of Malta worshiped in megalithic temples. In Europe, long houses built from wattle and daub were constructed. Elaborate tombs for the dead were also built. These tombs are particularly numerous in Ireland, where there are many thousand still in existence. Neolithic people built long barrows and chamber tombs for their dead and causewayed camps, henges flint mines and cursus monuments., Architecture of ancient Greece, Roman architecture, Medieval architecture, Renaissance architecture, Baroque architecture, Beaux-Arts architecture, Expressionist architecture, Stalinist architecture, Deconstructivism.
Europe has produced some of the most prominent or popular fiction writers of all time : Homer, Sappho, Virgil, Dante Alighieri, François Rabelais, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Racine, Molière, Voltaire, Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, H. G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, C. S. Lewis, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Agatha Christie, Henrik Ibsen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Rudyard Kipling, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Alexander Pushkin, Taras Shevchenko, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Ivan Franko, Knut Hamsun, George Orwell, Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, Victor Hugo, Nikolai Gogol, Charles Baudelaire, James Joyce, Mary Shelley, Witold Gombrowicz, Albert Camus, Oscar Wilde, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, Daniel Defoe, Anne Frank, John Milton, Umberto Eco, Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Walter Scott, Beatrix Potter, D. H. Lawrence, Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm, Joseph Conrad, Terry Pratchett, Jonathan Swift, J. M. Barrie, Alan Moore, Anton Chekhov, Patrick Süskind, J. K. Rowling, Daniel Pennac, Sigrid Undset, Mikhail Sholokhov.
In 1897, Georges Méliès established the first cinema studio on a rooftop property in Montreuil, near Paris. Some notable European film movements include German Expressionism, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, Polish Film School, New German Cinema, Portuguese Cinema Novo, Czechoslovak New Wave, Dogme 95, New French Extremity, and Romanian New Wave. The cinema of Europe has its own awards, the European Film Awards. Main festivals : Cannes Film Festival (France), Berlin International Film Festival (Germany). The Venice Film Festival (Italy) or Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia, is the oldest film festival in the world.
Some of the most popular games of all time come from Europe : the Grand Theft Auto (series), Tomb Raider, Cossacks: European Wars, The Settlers, The Patrician, Brain Challenge, Block Breaker Deluxe, [[Europa Universalis]Crysis].
- CERN ( //; French: [sɛʀn]) : The European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the birthplace of the World Wide Web and home of the world's largest machine : the Large Hadron Collider. It is the world's largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border, established in 1954. In November 2010, the collisions obtained were able to generate the highest temperatures and densities ever produced in an experiment, creating a "mini-Big Bang" a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun.
- ESA : The European Space Agency's space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observations, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana and designing launch vehicles. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle.
Europe has produced some of the greatest scientists, inventors and intellectuals in history. Germany; Albert Einstein, Johannes Kepler, Johannes Gutenberg, Gottfried Leibniz, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Max Planck, Karl Benz. United Kingdom; Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Robert Hooke, Michael Faraday, James Joule, Edward Jenner, John Dalton, George Stephenson, Florence Nightingale, George Cayley, Frank Whittle, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners Lee, James Watt, Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, James Clerk Maxwell, Adam Smith. Russia: Dmitri Mendeleev, Nikolai Lobachevsky, Mikhail Lomonosov, Lev Landau, Aleksandr Butlerov, Alexander Stepanovich Popov, Nikolay Basov. France; Pierre Abelard, Michel de Montaigne, Louis Pasteur, Antoine Lavoisier, Henri Becquerel, René Descartes, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, Pierre de Fermat, Blaise Pascal, the Montgolfier brothers, Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Léon Foucault, Auguste and Louis Lumière, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, Jacques Lacan, Luc Montagnier, Albert Jacquard. Italy; Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Evangelista Torricelli, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alessandro Volta, Guglielmo Marconi, Enrico Fermi. Poland; Nicolaus Copernicus, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Rudolf Weigl. Greece: Archimedes, Euclid, Ptolemy. Hungary: Ottó Bláthy, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, Ányos Jedlik. Austria: Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Boltzmann. Ireland; Lord Kelvin, Robert Boyle. Sweden; Alfred Nobel, Anders Celsius. Denmark; Niels Bohr. Serbia; Mihajlo Pupin, Milutin Milanković. Switzerland; Carl Jung.
European philosophy is a predominant strand of philosophy globally, and is central to philosophical enquiry in America and most other parts of the world which have fallen under its influence. Christian thought is a huge influence on many fields of European philosophy (as European philosophy has been on Christian thought too), sometimes as a reaction; the Greek schools of philosophy in antiquity provide the basis of philosophical discourse that extends to today.
Perhaps one of the most important single philosophical periods since the classical era were the Renaissance, the Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment. There are many disputes as to its value and even its timescale. What is indisputable is that the tenets of reason and rational discourse owe much to René Descartes, John Locke and others working at the time.
Other important European philosophical strands include: Analytic philosophy, Protestantism, Christian Democracy, Communism, Conservatism, Constructionism, Deconstructionism, Empiricism, Epicureanism, Existentialism, Fascism, Humanism, Idealism, Internationalism, Liberalism, Logical positivism, Marxism, Materialism, Monarchism, Nationalism, Perspectivism, Platonism, Positivism, Postmodernism, Rationalism, Relativism, Republicanism, Romanticism, Scepticism, Scholasticism, Social Democracy, Socialism, Stoicism, Structuralism, Thomism, Utilitarianism, Spenglerism.
Christianity has been the dominant feature in shaping up European culture for at least the last 1700 years. Modern philosophical thought has very much been influenced by Christian philosophers such as St Thomas Aquinas and Erasmus.
The most popular religions of Europe are the following:
- Roman Catholicism: Countrieswith significant Catholic populations are Portugal, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Malta, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, and Lithuania. There are significant Catholic minorities in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, western and central Belarus, western Ukraine, the Hungarian parts of Romania, parts of Russia, the Latgale region of Latvia, the Croatian parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, England and Wales and indeed small minorities in most of the other European Countries.
- Orthodox Christianity: The countries with significant Orthodox populations are Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland (Karelia), Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine.
- Protestantism: Countries with significant Protestant populations include Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, [Germany]], and Switzerland. There are significant minorities in France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, and indeed small minorities in most European Countries.
- Islam: Countries with significant Muslim populationare Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Kosovo several republics of Russia and Crimea in Ukraine. Also, as of 2005[update], about 5% of the EU identify themselves as Muslims, with many Muslim immigrants in Germany, the UK, Sweden and France.
Other minor religions exist in Europe, some brought by migrants, including:
- Judaism, mainly in France, United Kingdom, and Russia.
- Hinduism, mainly among Indian immigrants in the UK.
- Buddhism, thinly spread throughout Europe, yet it is in Kalmykia, Russia
- Indigenous European pagan traditions and beliefs, many countries.
- Rastafari, communities in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and elsewhere.
- Sikhism and Jainism, both mainly among Indian immigrants in the UK.
- West African Vodun and Haitian Vodou (Voodoo), mainly among West African and black Caribbean immigrants in the UK and France.
- Traditional African Religions (including Muti), mainly in the UK and France.
The cuisines of Western countries are diverse by themselves, although there are common characteristics that distinguishes Western cooking from cuisines of Asian countries and others. Compared with traditional cooking of Asian countries, for example, meat is more prominent and substantial in serving-size. Steak in particular is a common dish across the West. Similarly to some Asian cuisines, Western cuisines also put substantial emphasis on sauces as condiments, seasonings, or accompaniments (in part due to the difficulty of seasonings penetrating the often larger pieces of meat used in Western cooking). Many dairy products are utilized in the cooking process, except in nouvelle cuisine. Wheat-flour bread has long been the most common sources of starch in this cuisine, along with pasta, dumplings and pastries, although the potato has become a major starch plant in the diet of Europeans and their diaspora since the European colonization of the Americas.
The earliest definite examples of needles originate from the Solutrean culture, which existed in France from 19,000 BC to 15,000 BC. The earliest dyed flax fibers have been found in a cave the Republic of Georgia and date back to 36,000 BP. See Clothing in ancient Rome, 1100–1200 in fashion, 1200–1300 in fashion, 1300–1400 in fashion, 1400–1500 in fashion, 1500–1550 in fashion, 1550–1600 in fashion, 1600–1650 in fashion, 1650–1700 in fashion, Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution.
Europe's influence on sport is enormous. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a modern sport, apart from basketball and related sports, that does not have its origins in Europe. European sports include:
- Association football, which has contested origins between Britain and Italy (where Benito Mussolini insisted the game be called by the name Calcio). What is uncontestable is that the oldest association is The Football Association of England (1863) and the first international match was between Scotland and England (1872). It is now the world's most popular sport and is played throughout Europe.
- Cricket has its origins in south east Britain. It's popular throughout England and Wales, and parts of Netherlands. It is also popular in other areas and also played in northwest Europe. It is however very popular worldwide, especially in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Indian subcontinent.
- Cycling, which is immensely popular as a means of transport has most of its sporting adherents in Europe, particularly Western Europe. The Tour de France is the world's most watched live annual sporting event. The bicycle itself is probably from France (see History of the bicycle).
- The discus throw, javelin throw and shot put have their origins in ancient Greece. The Olympics, both ancient and modern, have their origins too in Europe, and have a massive influence globally.
- Field Hockey as a modern game began in 18th Century Britain with Ireland having the oldest federation. It is popular in Western Europe, the Indian subcontinent, Australia and East Asia. Ice hockey, popular in Europe and North America may derive from this sport.
- Golf, one of the most popular sports in Europe, Asia and North America, has its origins in Scotland, with the oldest course being at Musselburgh.
- Handball, which is popular in Europe and elsewhere, has its origins in antiquity. The modern game is from northern Europe with Germany having been involved in both the first women's and men's internationals.
- Rugby League and Rugby Union which both have similar origins to football. Rugby Union is the older of the two codes and has rules that date from 1845 (see articles: History of rugby league and History of rugby union). They acrimoniously split in the late 19th century over the treatment of injured players. Rugby league gradually changed its laws over the next century with the end result that today both sports have little in common, apart from the basics. They have both been carried abroad by colonization, particularly to many former British colonies. American football and Canadian Football are derivatives of rugby.
- Tennis which originates from United Kingdom and related games such as Table Tennis derive from the game Real Tennis which is from France. It is popular throughout the world.
In addition, Europe has numerous national or regional sports which do not command a large international following outside of emigrant groups. These include:
- Alpine Wrestling in Switzerland.
- Bandy in Russia, Sweden and Finland
- Basque Pelota in parts of Spain and France, and which has been brought to the Americas by emigrants.
- Bullfighting in Spain, Portugal, and parts of southern France near the Spanish Border.
- Gaelic Football in Ireland, which influenced Australian rules football.
- Gaelic Handball (Ireland) which was taken to the United States in the form of American Handball.
- Hurling in Ireland.
- Korfbal in the Netherlands and Belgium.
- Pesäpallo (Boboll) in Finland
- Pétanque, Boules, Petanca, Calitx, Irish Road Bowling, Skittles, Bocce, and Bowls and others are variations of bowling games which are popular throughout western Europe and have been spread around the world.
- Rounders from Britain now popular in northwest Europe from which Baseball derives.
- Shinty in Scotland, United Kingdom, which influenced ice hockey in Canada (see also Shinny).
- Trotting in southern Europe.
Some sporting organisations hold European Championships.
- European Cricket Council
- European Rugby Cup (Club/Regional competition)
- European SC Championships
- FIRA - Association of European Rugby
- Mitropa Cup
- Rugby League European Federation - European Nations Cup
- Sport in the European Union
Some sport competitions feature a European team gathering athletes from different European countries. These teams uses the European flag as an emblem. The most famous of these competitions is the Ryder Cup in golf.
European Capital of Culture
Each year since 1985 one or more cities across Europe are chosen as European Capital of Culture.
- European symbols
- Compendium of cultural policies and trends in Europe
- European Culture
- Romano-Germanic culture
- Cultural policies of the European Union
- ^ Clottes (2003b), p. 33. See also Chauvet (1996), p. 131, for a chronology of dates from various caves. Bahn's foreword and Clottes' epilogue to Chauvet (1996) discuss dating.
- ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "allmusic ((( New Wave of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited > Overview )))". http://www.allmusic.com/album/r23566.
- ^ "Large Hadron Collider (LHC) generates a 'mini-Big Bang'". BBC News. 8 November 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11711228.
- ^ Alice Bertha Gomme, Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Volume 2, 1898
- ^ NRA-rounders.co.uk History of Rounders
- Europe.org.uk - online European culture magazine (EU London Office)
- TheEuropeanLibrary.org, The European Library, gateway to Europe's national libraries
- Europeana.eu European Digital Library
- Europa.eu, EU Culture Portal (archived)
- Euronews.net, Euronews - Culture
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