General Question

fireside's avatar

Is there any existing culture that has NOT been derived from Indo-European roots?

Asked by fireside (12302points) September 29th, 2008

I guess I just want to point out that I am not talking about Tribal cultures. I’m thinking of a modern view of civilization with Commerce, Industry, Religion, Government, etc..

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40 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Chinese? Japanese?

lifeflame's avatar

Where on earth did you get the idea that everything is Indo-European centric?

Lightlyseared's avatar

American Indian.

Don’t try and tell me thats just tribal and they don’t do commerce and industry, I’ve seen those casinos.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well You can trace the spread of religion (through myth) from the Russian Steppes all the way west to Ireland, up north to Scandinavia, and as far east as Japan. I’m not that knowledgeable about migration, but I think neither Africa or the Americas had contact with the Indo-Europeans. Nor did the Polynesians. But I could be wrong.

AstroChuck's avatar

I have to disagree with most posters on this thread. I don’t think you’ll find any modern culture that hasn’t been influenced by Indo-European mores. I would be interested in examples that would support otherwise.

fireside's avatar

I’m pretty much with AC on this one.

China was one of the cultures that I was wondering about, but i just found this article which states: Most important, they have helped to reopen the debate about the role which Europeans played in the origins of civilization in China, with some archeologists again beginning to argue that Europeans might have been responsible for introducing into China such basic items as the wheel and the first metal objects.

The Americas were most definitely influenced by the European voyages from Portugal, Spain, England, the Dutch, etc..

I agree that tribes in Africa and the original Native American tribes were not influenced by them until the settlers.

Maybe I worded the question wrong by using “derived”...

Response moderated
fireside's avatar

@ Chica – wow, i’m sorry that my thoughts don’t rise to the level of
or I hate my haircut.

I just didn’t want to hear about a small tribe in the Amazon that has only been seen by planes flying overhead.

Oh, and the Scots would be classified as European, no?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

i think it’s interesting that you thought it was so important to research me, but not to read a damn book

and to answer your question- YES, that’s why i brought up the scots!!

lifeflame's avatar

If you are talking about “influenced” instead of derived, then well, with globalisation what it is today (or even before), then we’re pretty much influenced by each other.

European introducing the wheel is like saying the Chinese influenced the Europeans by introducing the paper and the compass.
And American music is most definitely influenced by Africa, blues, hip hop, etc.

What are you trying to get at with your question?

fireside's avatar

Did the Chinese introduce paper to the Europeans? I always thought of the Egyptians as having papyrus first, but don’t really know.

The reason for the question was something that tinyfaery said in a post sometime last week about seeing the Indo-European influence at work. Since then, I have been trying to think of anything that may not have been influenced by it.

I guess it in some ways revolves around Krishna and the influence that that early religion may have had on other cultures.

Probably why i asked the Fluther collective rather than picking up a book, just wanted some ideas because my thoughts are clearly formed yet

La_chica_gomela's avatar

And another thing! The definition of “Indo-European” is “a large, widespread family of languages, the surviving branches of which include Italic, Slavic, Baltic, Hellenic, Celtic, Germanic, and Indo-Iranian, spoken by about half the world’s population: English, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, Russian, Albanian, Lithuanian, Armenian, Persian, Hindi, and Hittite are all Indo-European languages.”

There are at least EIGHTEEN different language families that have been catalogued so far. ONE of those is Indo-European. You can see them all at So other SEVENTEEN language families all represent groups of people whose cultures are not “derived” from or even related to Indo-European. Although I don’t know if you consider them “tribal” or not since you don’t seem to consider anything Indo-European “tribal” even though you do seem to be aware that Scotland is in what most people would call Europe.

fireside's avatar

See chica, was that so hard?

Now you have clarified my thoughts and I understand that Indo-European is a language system and not a cultural tradition, thus negating the whole “tribal” issue.

Thanks and GA to you.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Tiny, I was quoting the definition from the dictionary,

I don’t really put much stock in wikipedia, since anyone could change it at any time, like for example, I could go and change what it says right now…

I also noticed that that particular article contains NO references or sources of any kind…

marinelife's avatar

I am with La_chica_gomela on this one. I feel this to be a very ethno-centric question.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t mean to cause any animosity but I think you guys are overreacting to the question and intentions of the questioner.

fireside's avatar

@Marina – I’m not saying that all cultures have, I just wanted to know people’s opinions.
I don’t see how you can call this question ethno-centric and not think the same of this question

I simply asked a question, wondering if Fluther would get the question to a sociologist who could give me an answer.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I never said your question was ethnocentric. I said it was narrow-minded.


the definition of ethnocentric is:
“1. the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture.
2.a tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own.”

I never implied that my culture was better AND I didn’t say anything about any other groups or cultures in my question, so clearly I couldn’t possibly have viewed them from the perspective of my own, because I didn’t say anything about them. My question does not fit EITHER definition of the word ethnocentric.

Your question, on the other hand, fits BOTH. It implied that other cultures were not only lower than European because they were not able to come up with “commerce, industry, religion, government” on their own, but also “derived” from yours unless they were “tribal”.

THAT’s how your question is ethnocentric and mine is not.

I’m still so surprised that you’re more interested in me, my profile, and my questions than a history book or a dictionary…

fireside's avatar

I guess I just don’t think you should tell someone to fuck off just because they didn’t word an innocent question correctly. I’d call that pretty narrow minded.

BTW – I could care less about MY culture, I was trying to get a global perspective on an issue that I hadn’t clearly thought out in my head. My culture has zip to do with this question.

I find it interesting that so many religions seem to be derived from the initial writings about Krishna and was wondering if other people noticed that. Obviously that was not made clear in my question.

Response moderated
fireside's avatar

As I said, I was mistaking language for culture and should have just looked up Indo-european.

I don’t really know much about Europeans and don’t think that they would be better than anyone else. In fact, if the answer came back and No, then I would have probably concluded that European suppression and expansion probably were the main cause of that loss of other cultures (again, confusing culture/language).

Here is a link on Krishna that may have started my thought process in that regard.

Also, it takes me seconds to look up questions you have asked, especially when I have read them before. I was hoping for a more scientific analysis if someone was in the know. Isn’t that the point of Fluther?

La_chica_gomela's avatar


the questions I asked were “why didn’t you ask a question about that” and “what the hell are you talking about”

I would really hope that you would already know why you did or didn’t do something, and also know what you’re talking about, so that you don’t have to look it up!

You were hoping for a more scientific analysis of WHAT? Your questions DIDN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!! If you want a scientific answer, ask a scientific question! PLEASE!

So are you saying you believe that Jesus Christ and Krishna are the same, like this “Hare Krishna News Network” site you linked says?

fireside's avatar

No, I wouldn’t say the same.
But they did have similar messages, as did Abraham, Moses, and many others.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

So do you think that Krishna actually lived and was a real person?

GAMBIT's avatar

I think any question is fair and that is why we are here to try to help answer.

As far as law is concerned I would say hammurabi’s code. We must realize from the beginning America was formed by learned men who used more than one source as a melting pot of ideas.

Secondly our library system. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were well read and well traveled.

Skyrail's avatar

Wait. I think I missed something. Either the question was badly worded to really annoy people off (by accident) or the original intention of the question was to annoy people off.

I don’t know how others interpreted the question, but I thought it was just a rather mangled way of asking about any civilizations or cultures that have not been influenced by the Indo-European way of life in any way shape of form.

Sure it may seem ‘narrow minded’ but surely a site of such high standards and brilliance doesn’t just tell people to ‘fuck off’ and leave it at that right? Surely we are here to help correct people in a less sensitive manner. Sure I understand the argument, but a little sharp to say the least.

Come on people, grow up, not everyone has an absolutely perfect intellectual view of the world. And neither can everyone compose a perfect sentence 100% of the time. We all make mistakes.

* throws a bucket of water over the raging fire *

La_chica_gomela's avatar

skyrail you’re like 10 hours late. Fireside and I don’t have any problems anymore. We gave each other lurve. We’re cool.

Thanks for the lecture though. It was really special. We didn’t already know that not everyone is perfect.

Skyrail's avatar

Okay, sorry, just putting in my little bit, never again :)

AstroChuck's avatar


La_chica_gomela's avatar

hahahahahaha. I <3 you, astro.

fireside's avatar

No worries here.

@ La_chica_gomela – of course I think Krishna, the blue skinned Hindu deity, is real.
Here’s a picture of him from less than a year ago

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I love that he’s STILL drinking colloidal silver!

fireside's avatar

Yeah, right?

I bet you thought I was going to send you to a link like this instead.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

No, I just meant, like, he drank colloidal silver, it turned his skin blue, that made him really embarrassed to go out in public and stuff..but…he’s still drinking it….

He just needed some hydrocortisone cream. it’s really cheap. it treats dermatitis, and it doesn’t turn your skin blue. why is he still drinking colloidal silver? that just sounds like a horrible idea…

fireside's avatar

From what I understand, it supposedly kills all bacteria.
That’s why he is in perfect health, other than the blue thing.

If I was t guess, I’d say he was just sort of addicted to the process now.
He’d have to find another way to fill up part of his day…maybe Fluther.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I think it’s a little more complicated than that. Ag has antibacterial properties, but it has to be applied properly.

For example healthy bacteria live in your stomach, if you killed them, you wouldn’t be able to digest…

fireside's avatar

I can’t imagine why anyone would decide that it was a good idea, but I’m sure there’s a lot about it that i don’t know.

According to the Mayo Clinic it is not a good idea to take it because it could interfere with other treatments that a doctor might give you if you ended up needing emergency care.

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