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A culture was a shared experience and philosophy between a group of beings. They might be rated on the Richter's scale of cultures. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

According to Kes, cultures could not have evolved without compassion and tolerance. They would have fallen apart without it. (VOY: "Darkling")

Common characteristics in cultures[]

According to Seven of Nine, most humanoid cultures were hostile. (VOY: "Dragon's Teeth") There was also an unfortunate tendency in many cultures to fear what they did not understand. (TNG: "Contagion")

The use of gestures and hand signals predated the spoken word in most cultures, the major exception being the Leyrons of Malkus IX. The concept of four cardinal compass directions was quite common in many different cultures. (TNG: "Masks"; TNG: "Loud As A Whisper") Countless cultures had produced thousands of types of music. Some cultures, among them certain Vulcan offshoots, used musical notes as words. (VOY: "Virtuoso"; TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome")

Animals were worshiped in many cultures. (TNG: "Masks") It was not uncommon in ceremonial cultures to find royalty symbolized by a sun. Furthermore, many ritualistic cultures incorporated the idea of balance in their belief system. (TNG: "Masks")

Arranged marriages had been the basis of political alliances in many cultures, including that of Humanity. (TNG: "The Perfect Mate")

Certain cultures considered perfume an aphrodisiac. (TNG: "Angel One")

At least several cultures gave thanks for their food. (TNG: "Manhunt")

The Federation had data on funerary customs of at least five thousand cultures. Some cultures considered an appropriate burial to be a sign of respect. (TNG: "The Next Phase"; VOY: "Innocence")

Several cultures, including the Sheliak, preferred that their body temperature was identical to the temperature of the room in which they were. (TNG: "Starship Mine")

Some cultures described ferocious creatures in an attempt to lull children to sleep, a practice that was alien to Vulcans. (VOY: "Innocence")

Some primitive cultures considered gold dust to be quite valuable. (DS9: "Who Mourns for Morn?")

In many cultures, suicide was acceptable, and in and of itself could not be used as evidence of mental illness. (VOY: "Death Wish")

In Human cultures[]

A number of Human cultures, including the Egyptian, Maya and Aztec cultures, had been shaped in different ways by a single alien, Kukulkan. (TAS: "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth")

Some cultures in Human history had come to the conclusion that the pursuit of technology led them astray, and chose to isolate themselves to find themselves again. (VOY: "Innocence")

In the 24th century, a few Human cultures engaged in blood sports, killing lower species for pleasure, though the practice was much reduced from the situation a number of centuries before. However, no Humans would consider hunting a sentient being. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

In many Human cultures, the thirtieth birthday was considered a sort of landmark: the end of youth and the beginning of the slow march into middle age. (DS9: "Distant Voices")

Cultures of the Federation[]

The Federation was made up of many diverse cultures. (VOY: "Caretaker") Owing to its cosmopolitan nature, tolerance and respect for other cultures was a core value of the Federation, and the exploration and appreciation of them a major interest. A Starfleet security officer, Tuvok, was trained in the martial arts of many Alpha Quadrant cultures. (VOY: "Meld") The starship USS Voyager contained a full library of the Federation's finest literature, originating from dozens of diverse cultures. (VOY: "Prime Factors") In 2266, the Starfleet ship USS Enterprise agreed to an exchange of information and culture between the Federation and the First Federation. Its captain, James T. Kirk, believed that this might benefit both cultures. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver") In 2377, Naomi Wildman, a young child, prepared a report on proto-humanoid cultures for her paleontology class. (VOY: "Homestead")

Captain Kathryn Janeway once said that she had always been taught to be tolerant of other cultures and points of view, and later she taught Icheb, an alien passenger from a non-Federation world, to respect other cultures' laws. However, Captain Janeway considered there to be a difference between respecting the spiritual beliefs of other cultures and embracing them yourself. (VOY: "Macrocosm", "Q2", "Sacred Ground") An important part of the Starfleet entrance test assessed how candidates dealt with other cultures and species. (TNG: "Coming of Age")

However, Starfleet officers were sometimes considered to fall short. Spock once accused his ship's doctor, Leonard McCoy, of applying Human standards to non-Human cultures. (TOS: "The Apple") And after Tom Paris tried to explain to his captain that he and Harry Kim had gotten in trouble as a result of wanting to broaden their understanding of alien cultures, Captain Janeway dismissed him, claiming they had just wanted to find a bar. (VOY: "Survival Instinct")

The Federation also had a strict policy of non-interference in other cultures, considering it their highest law and Prime Directive. (TNG: "Symbiosis", "Who Watches The Watchers"; Star Trek: Insurrection; VOY: "Prototype", "False Profits") This included involving themselves in the political machinations of other cultures, and leaving technology in their hands. (VOY: "Alliances", "Natural Law")

This non-interference was already preached by the Vulcans before the creation of the Federation, and began to become adopted by Earth's Starfleet ship Enterprise in the 2150s. The Vulcans encouraged the objectification of cultures as a means of knowing when to interfere or not. (ENT: "Broken Bow") However, sometimes the Enterprise captain or his officers felt they had to interfere even if their Vulcan officer, T'Pol, did not approve. (ENT: "Detained", "Marauders", "Cogenitor") Ultimately though, for the Enterprise crew, meeting new cultures was a key objective, even if it was challenging at times, and keeping an open mind was encouraged. (ENT: "Desert Crossing", "Stigma", "The Catwalk")

Indeed, despite this caution, seeking out new cultures was also a major goal of Starfleet in general. According to Neelix, the Starfleet ship USS Voyager was always interested in learning about other cultures. (VOY: "Thirty Days") Aboard Deep Space 9, good relations with other cultures were considered the highest priority. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit") Starfleet officer Keiko O'Brien tried to set up a school on Deep Space 9, even though she would have to deal with children of different cultures and philosophies. She believed she could manage with an innovative program, and convinced a Ferengi, Rom, to send his son, Nog, to the school by selling him on the advantages of learning about other cultures and how they did business, negotiated, and ran their economies. (DS9: "A Man Alone")

The EMH, a holographic doctor designed to serve on Starfleet ships, was programmed with the medical knowledge of three thousand cultures. (VOY: "Relativity"))

As for general Federation culture, Jean-Luc Picard described his own culture as driven by freedom and self-determination. However, the Federation cultures were criticized by the Borg as archaic due to being authority driven. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds") The Klingons contrasted themselves with the Federation by conquering rather than embracing other cultures. Tellingly, the half-Klingon half-Human Federation operative K'Ehleyr felt herself trapped between two cultures, while Deanna Troi, child of two Federation member worlds, felt no such thing and tried to experience the richness and diversity her situation offered. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited"; TNG: "The Emissary")

Cultures under threat[]

The Preservers passed through the galaxy rescuing primitive cultures which were in danger of extinction and seeding them, so to speak, where they could live and grow. (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome")

The Borg were described as bent on the violent assimilation of innocent cultures. Indeed, their entire existence was centered around acquiring cultures and technology. (VOY: "Unity"; TNG: "Descent") The Doctor, while posing as Seven of Nine, claimed to have assimilated thousands of cultures throughout the galaxy during her time in the Borg Collective. (VOY: "Body and Soul")

The Na'kuhl leader Vosk claimed his opponents in the Temporal War to be a tyrannical sect imposing their will on countless cultures throughout history for their own needs. Unlike them, he believed societies and cultures could be improved through careful manipulation of historical events. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Cultures had been destroyed in every forced relocation throughout history. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

The dilution and loss of culture through the process of homogenization was a concern that some held. (SNW: "Spock Amok")

Other information[]

It was theorized that, just as biological organisms have evolved in many cultures, mechanical life could have done the same in others. Iden's Rebellion hoped to develop their own holographic culture that was distinct from "organic cultures". (DS9: "The Forsaken"; VOY: "Flesh and Blood")

Cultures might have a hard time dealing with each other. Daled IV had developed two disparate cultures, which was a major source for wars. A group of former Borg stranded on a planet in the Nekrit Expanse found they were living among other cultures they didn't understand, which was a factor in an outbreak of violence. (TNG: "The Dauphin"; VOY: "Unity") The Kyrians and Vaskans for centuries had a cold relationship at best, until events during the 31st century helped them find a new respect for their divergent cultures and tradition. (VOY: "Living Witness") Unlike his parents, the Denobulan Phlox tried to teach his children to embrace other cultures. (ENT: "The Breach")

Some Gamma Quadrant cultures had histories dating back millions of years. (DS9: "Q-Less") Several cultures in the sector containing Arkaria had extremely similar etymological histories. (TNG: "Starship Mine")

In mind to keep the landing party from Enterprise NX-01 and the commando from the Andorian Imperial Guard away from the secret listening post beneath the monastery at P'Jem, the Vulcan elder told Captain Jonathan Archer that it would damage the Vulcan culture in ways Archer couldn't understand when the Andorians would get into their hidden passages in their catacombs. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")

After the Suliban homeworld became uninhabitable, most Suliban became nomadic, but a few assimilated into other cultures. (ENT: "Detained")

In trying to interpret dreams he was having, Data tried cross-referencing symbols with a number of cultures. (TNG: "Birthright, Part I")

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