The Earth is a vibrant place by itself. Nature is fascinating that way. And as a cherry topping this immense beauty freely available all around us, we, the humans of the land or the “earthlings”, and our individualized cultures have added a generous amount of color and identity through our traditions.
🎎 are not just dolls, they act as a virtual replica of the traditional and royal Japanese fashion. Considering the cultural vibrance seen in one illustration, 🎎 could also be virtual souvenirs. It showcases a dressed-up Japanese heterosexual couple as well.
Does 👘 look familiar to what the couple’s wearing in the previous emoji? Yep! The Kimono is the traditional Japanese attire, not to forget that it’s the national dress too.
This Japanese fashion has given inspired so many style statements across the world; from kimono shirts to kimono dresses, shrugs, jackets, cardigans, the list is endless and fashionable too, of course.
🎋 is a prominent element of the Japanese festival, Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival. The red piece of flowy material in 🎋 is a piece of cloth or paper containing written wishes and prayers.
It’s okay if you’re not personally acquainted with the celebrations of Tanabata,🎋 is a wonderful emoji to use in any positive and well-wishing context. It is also a symbol of love and unity, given the legendary backstory.
🎴 refers to the deck of Hanafuda cards; a Japanese card game. Here, each card is printed with elements of the country’s flora, fauna, or cultural aspects, that are either the centre of attention or just backdrops.
Although 🎐 is called a “wind chime” emoji, the design, structure, and decoration specify the Japanese wind chime, which locally symbolizes the season of summer in Japan.
🎐 can also be used while referring to other windchimes from across the world.
Since 🎏 is the decorative center of the celebrations of Japanese Children’s Day, this emoji could also be a general reference to children, childhood, the joys of being a child or a child at a heart.
It signifies the larger simplicity of being young; physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Another symbol of goodwill and wishing well for one another is the 🎍. Posed as a Yorishir during the Japanese New Year these front-door decorations are said to welcome the holy spirits, called kami.
If you haven’t celebrated the Japanese New Year it’s absolutely fine. You could always drop in the 🎍 in any framework to convey goodness, care, and auspiciousness.
This ceremony is the Japanese adaptation of the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival. Known as ‘Tsukimi’, 🎑 is a dedicated time true and genuine appreciation and observation of the mid-autumn moon, much like the Mid-Autumn festival.
These skewered colorful sweet dumplings are one of Japan’s traditional desserts, thus carving a part in the country’s cultural identity.
Though 🍡 has been replicated across the world in various Japanese gastronomic establishments, Japan remains OG.
There are many variations of the Sake across the planet. Many people drink it, in many ways. But, this fermented rice water or rice wine was first invented in Japan. And trust us, it’s hardly just wine or water. Sake is quite alcoholic and you must drink responsibly!
Modern and traditional folklore form a vital part of a country/community’s culture. Tengu here, may look creepy as hell and purely evil, but he has his good sides, so it is believed.
And by the “good side”, we mean you can use 👺 while speaking of protection from the evil eye, the supernatural or may be even the paranormal (y’all Halloweeners better watch out!).
This Japanese version of Shrek is quite a fright! But according to the legend of Oni the Ogre, 👹 is very similar to Tengu 👺 when it comes to the evolution of bad to good. Oni too is used in protective contexts.
These guys have come to be the foundation for many philosophies all across the world, including the digital world. However, the latter use-case is more of a lighthearted undertone to the actual philosophies.
Okay, it is debatable if 🙇 Bowing Series deserves to be on the list or not. Considering the Japanese gesture of Dogeza, this point could be helpful.
If the fact is settled, then you too, could use 🙇 while deeply apologizing for something, asking someone for a favor, or even while metaphorically bowing down to someone or something.
Beginning with the most Indian part of the Indian culture, Namaste, or Namaskara, Namaskar Namaskaram. But, for that to be effective you’d have to unsee 🙏 as two people throwing in high fives.
So, if you’re using 🙏 in an Indianised context, you may bring in this emoji while greeting someone, formally thanking someone, or even while being sarcastic (Indians are sarcastic too, okay?).
The meditative state of the person that you can see in 🧘, is a part of the whole. The lotus position or posture an integral position in the Indian practice of yoga, which is also associated to many other cultures and religions like Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
Om or Aum is a Sanskrit letter, that also has a significant role in meditation and spirituality. 🕉️ is heavily used by many Indian religions, and is thus attached with many individual and religious interpretations, that is subjective to belief, of course.
Meditation and prayer are two practices that require one thing above anything else, focus. Different people, cultures, and religions use different elements to drive and ground that focus and 📿 is one of them.
Originally used by the followers of Hinduism in India, 📿 is currently a part of various spiritual and religious practices in the world. So, based on the Indian authenticity of these beads 📿 is part of the list 🙂
India, Nepal and Bangladesh
Surprised? What’s ✡️ David’s Star with a dot at the center doing here? Well, this star-shaped figure could symbolize an important part of Indian art, rangoli! Why? 🔯 is the easiest and the most popular of all rangoli designs, hence acting as a synecdoche for the rest.
India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan
Who could forget this beauty? The famous sari also spelled as “saree”, 🥻 is the traditional attire in many parts of India and other South Asian countries.
Although the emoji does not do complete justice to the undeniable elegance of the style, you could compromise it down and use 🥻 just as a basic reference to the drapes.
India and Sri Lanka
Auto rickshaws, also known as rikshaws (riks), or just autos, are the most popular and comfortable modes of public transport in countries like India and Sri Lanka. 🛺 are exclusive to these countries, and thus they form a unique part of their culture.
Thailand, Africa and Native America
As mentioned in the sub-heading, this earthy instrument and a membranophone particularly refers to the Thai, African, and Native American cultures. Nonetheless, 🪘 works great in any context that calls for rustic beats!
☯️ is a spiritual symbol and it paints a strong streak in Chinese philosophy. Apart from being adopted as a philosophical thought by many throughout the world, it’s also a much-loved tattoo idea (there are tons of gorgeous variations too).
These dragons have been around even before Khaleesi, believe us. The 🐲 Dragon Face, along with the entire 🐉 Dragon are show stoppers at any Chinese New Year celebrations.
Okay, the real question. How sure are we that 🐲 is the Chinese dragon? The distinctive features, facial and all. It all resonates with the mythical character largely connected to Chinese folklore, culture, and tradition.
We’ve all (more or less) taken up Taekwondo, Kung Fu, or MMA lessons, but where did this artform originally flow from? China!
🥋 is not only part of the Chinese culture, but it is also a promoted part of the country’s tradition, so much so that martial arts is almost compulsory in school curriculums in China.
Could there be culture and no food around? Hell to the no! Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries that are not just authentically made in the country but are also consumed on a special day; the Mid-Autumn festival!
Although many other South Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong are fond of this dessert, 🥮 remains an original Chinese delicacy, thus part of the culture too.
Thailand, Myanmar, China & Cambodia
Many countries have the tradition of “gifting money”, and to make things fancier this money is given in envelopes that are precisely made for gifting cash.
The 🧧 Red Envelope is one such envelope for gifts in cash. It’s not your average envelope, by the way, it comes with its own mythological and cultural significance.
So, the next time you cannot give lend an enveloped gift in person, you could just ping 🧧 while informing someone that expensive gifts are on their way!
Tamale, also known as Tamal is a Mesoamerican dish. If you’re confused, Mesoamerica is central/middle America, composed of countries Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, etc.
As said before, food is a prominent part of the culture. The reason why 🫔 is here to represent the Mesoamerican culture is that the tamale is not just any other dish, it’s one of the most indigenous and traditional dishes of the land.
(also, because 🫔 is the only emoji that refers to this region)
No, it’s not matcha just because it’s green. 🧉 is the traditional South American caffeinated drink called ‘Mate’. (works with and without the accent) Locally, this beverage is called the Chimarrāo or Cimarrón.
It may not be alcohol, but you could overdose on caffeine if you have too much of maté.
North America – the United States of America and Canada
Colloquially known as ‘Gridiron’, 🏈 is an exclusive American sport. Since it is only played in the USA and Canada, it forms an important part of the culture of these two North American countries.
☪️ Star and Crescent Emoji
Disclaimer: The further explanation does not intend to generalize.
Yes. Islam is followed by many countries, cultures, and people in the world, but the explanation behind the specificity of ☪️ in this list is that Islam is widely practiced in most Middle Eastern parts. Hence, becoming an intricate aspect of the culture too.
The Amphora is a container, made of different materials; both breakable and unbreakable. The
Why’s 🏺 representing Greek culture of all things? Firstly, this is the only emoji that’s purely Greek, and secondly, this antique piece was an important mode of storage, import, and export in the past.
But, let’s not forget the source of the idea, the east of the previous section.
Cultures are nothing without people and vice versa. We are intertwined in that functionality. So many cultures, so many more that are not on the list and so many others that are probably not mainstream have one thing in common; beauty. And it is our responsibility to appreciate them all.