Difference Between Eastern and Western Culture

Main Difference – Eastern vs Western Culture

Eastern world refers to countries in the Asia and Middle East whereas Western world refers to North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zeeland. East and West may have numerous differences based on culture. These differences can be noted mainly in people’s behavior and attitudes. However, since east and west refers to various countries and cultures scattered across the globe, only a broad generalization can be made to compare the two cultures. The main difference between eastern and western culture is that people in the east are more traditional and conservative than the people in the west.Difference Between Eastern and Western Culture - infographic

Eastern Culture

Eastern world refers to countries in Asia and Middle East. The people in eastern countries are more traditional than people in the West when we consider their rituals, customs, clothing, etc. For example, Indians pay respect to their elders by touching their feet; East Asians use bows as greetings, apologizing and thanking. People in the East are rigid in their ideologies and beliefs; they are often reluctant to challenge and question the long practiced traditions and customs.

In eastern countries, elders are considered as the head of the home and children respect and obey them in all decisions. The important decisions regarding children’s future are usually taken by elders. When parents grow old, the children are expected to look after them.

Arranged marriages are a common phenomenon in eastern countries. They are usually arranged by parents or elders. Factors like education, social status, and family background are considered in these marriages. The concept that love comes after marriage is also promoted by these marriages. Moreover, public displays of affection are often frowned upon in Eastern countries.

Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Shenism, and Taoism are some common religions in these countries. Rituals and customs of different communities may also differ according to these religions.

Difference Between Eastern and Western Culture

Western Culture

Western World mainly refers to Europe and North America. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are some of the most common religions practiced in the Western world.

People in the west are more open-minded than those in the east. The westerns are more open and forthright. For example, topics such as the birth of a child and sex are still taboo in some eastern countries.

People in the west are also more open about their feelings. If they are angry, they might express. But people in the east might cover it for the sake of diplomacy and politeness.  Westerns may also display their feelings and emotions in public.

Moreover, the individual is given preference over family, so a person has more freedom and power to take decisions on his own, unlike those in the east. Therefore, concepts like arranged marriages are not common in the west; they marry for love.

Main Difference - Eastern vs Western CultureDifference Between Eastern and Western Culture

Love and Marriage

Eastern Culture: Arranged marriages are common.

Western Culture: Love marriages are common.


Eastern Culture: People are conservative and traditional.

Western Culture: People are open-minded and flexible.

Individual vs Family 

Eastern Culture: Easterners give more priority to family and elders.

Western Culture: Westerners give preference to the individual.


Eastern Culture: An individual’s freedom may be restricted due to his close bonds with family.

Western Culture: Westerners are relatively freer than people in the east.


Eastern Culture: People may express their emotions in a subtle way.

Western Culture: People may express their emotions openly and directly.


Eastern Culture: Women may be expected to play a traditional role.

Western Culture: Women may have a better place in society.

Image Courtesy:

“travellers, jaisalmer” by   via

“People Walking on Pedestrian Lane during Daytime” by  (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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