Why Cultural Undercurrents?


Cultural: relating to the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society.

Undercurrent: an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly.


We often take action and make decisions unconsciously, operating within the boundary of cultural norms and expectations. Guided by unwritten rules. Acting out of habit.

I’m becoming increasingly interested in what the underlying cultural forces are that drive societies to function as they do today. Both in terms of what is made explicit and what is left unsaid.

This collection of stories is an experiment. It is me trying to understand and explore what cultural forces really look like in practise.
-What can ordinary, day to day conversations, moments or interactions tell us about these guiding forces?
-What forces are common in societies around the world?
-Are there patterns in what goes said or unsaid?

The first cluster of stories are based on 2 months spent in India in early 2015. The stories I’m sharing are snippets of conversations I have had, have observed or expereinces I have been a part of.

Of course I am only one person with one perspective, there will be many different ways to understand the moments I am sharing.

If nothing else — I hope these stories provide a glimpse into another culture and provide an opportunity to reflect on the cultural forces at play in the society you are part of.

The bigger picture:

In the change-making space — we often talk about the need for a paradigm change, a change in the basic assumptions society operates on. With this type of change, inevitably culture change emerges. A shift in how we understand the world, each other and how societies operate.

Only by understanding what cultural forces look like today will we be able to to start to identify where culture change my emerge from and understand how it can be catalysed and nurtured into being.

This collection of stories is also me openly sharing and evolving my learning about a topic I know little about, but feel compelled to understand.