By Drew Fong
Today, we have 195 different countries on earth, all with different climates, location, resources, etc. But what differences in culture, architecture, and tradition, are caused by different physical features? In my opinion, the physical features of a country would drastically change the development of architecture, and it changes the culture and traditions of the people. On the other hand, some physical features can be entirely overlooked by the country.
The physical features of a country would influence the architecture and designs of structures, which can also slow down or speed up a country’s building progress. Climate changes the design of houses, whether the house needs to be insulated, or if it needs to incorporate heating. For example, cabins and cottages in Canada usually have a fireplace and heat insulation during the winter periods. This is unlike Singapore, where fireplaces and heaters are never used, unless for cosmetic purposes, since Singapore is in a tropical environment. Another factor that affects architecture is the surrounding environment. Buildings are usually built adapted to the surroundings to survive longer. For example, many buildings in Japan are designed to withstand earthquakes, a phenomenon that regularly occurs in Japan. Another example is floating houses in Amsterdam, due to the limited space and imminent flooding. Size is also another factor. One example is Singapore and Malaysia. Since Singapore is so crammed, the housing and buildings use up less space, and in turn, build upwards. However, Malaysia has an abundant amount of land, so many of its buildings and properties are extensively large. In conclusion, the country’s physical features change the character and development of the country.
Another aspect physical features change is the tradition and culture of the population. The people of the land would adapt their lifestyle based on what the country has. One example is food. People need food to survive. Food staples of the population are often determined by the availability in the land. Many times, a country is known for a certain foodstuff. For instance, Japan, China and other Asian countries have rice as their staple. While the European areas usually have potatoes, wheat, corn and others. Sometimes a country is known for a certain food type because the environment in the country grows the best quality produce. Some examples include olive oil from Greece, sashimi from Japan, oil from America, or spices from India. This, in turn, changes the culture and tradition of the country. Some countries have annual festivals just to celebrate a certain food. Switzerland has an “Onion Market”, Italy has a Pizzafest, France has a chestnut festival, and obviously, America has a festival celebration bacon. Another aspect is the weather. Some countries, like Russia and Canada, are known to have long and cold winters. Other countries, like the whole of South East Asia, have hot and long tropical summers. Since clothing and fashion are heavily altered by the environment, fashion in Canada is much different than fashion in the SEA countries. For example, no one would want to wear a heavy winter jacket in Singapore. So, the physical feature of a country impact the culture, tradition and development of a country heavily.
However, a lot of other aspects, are not determined by the physical features of a country. Religion, politics, beliefs, and others. For instance, some states in America share mostly the same environment, but some are thriving and some are struggling, due to politics only. Religion can be shared by different countries with totally different environments. For the most part, however, the physical features of a country do affect the culture and traditions in some way.
In conclusion, the traditions, cultures, and overall development of a country is determined heavily by the physical features of the land. It alters the structures built by to country, and it changes the culture and tradition of the people, However, many other aspects overlook physical features entirely, like religion and politics.