Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Colour Matching Culture

Reading The Poisonwood Bible has raised a question that never occurred to me before. Is the way that we perceive whether colours go together cultural? I know that there are all sorts of rules about which colours look nice together - and it 'offends the eye' if these rules are broken. Certain cultures do wear things that don't look good to the western eye - mixing florals and stripes or whatever.
For myself, I don't have an artistic eye and I can't tell. It doesn't bother me either way and I have to try and think what is going to bother other people. So I always thought I had some physical oddity that I didn't care whether you wore orange and pink together or whatever. Is it actually cultural?

1 comment:

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

The names of colours, and the colours themselves, are cultural. It's a classic example of "culture changing reality" -- and much disputed. Apparently Zulu is an interesting example -- you could find out first hand. Shona members in our Church tell me that they have just two basic colours in their language. I suspect that patterns and colour schemes are cultural, too.