Europe is a big continent that has colonized over other parts of the world so when we talk and consider ‘European culture’ – it is something that should unify entire Europe and gives it a European identity. But exclusivity in the culture and heritage of artists like Shakespeare, Beethoven, or Da Vinci is debatable in modern times as it is considered a part of the shared global culture. There is Italian cuisine but it doesn’t bind entire Europe with it and when we think of such a common idea – Christianity is what comes to mind.
It is a significant amount of literature that came from Europe from the classical literature from Miguel de Cervantes to medieval literature and renaissance literature with prominent figures like Franz Kafka etc. The coming of romanticism is also allegedly influenced by Europe. The architecture from Greek, Romanesque, Byzantine buildings is all over found in Europe. The Gothic architecture in middle ages flourished form Europe in the middle ages going to Rennaissance style architecture by Florence and Filippo Brunelleschi can be seen in Italian cities. From the Palladian architecture to Baroque architecture and revivalism in Tudors and Chinoiserie are also found widespread across the continent. Modernism has spectated deconstructivist to expressionist architecture in Europe. Similarly, music has seen a similar trend with icons like Mozart, Chopin in classical fields to folk songs and growth of blues, jazz, soul, pop, electronic music postmodernization.
Historically, European identity was merged with a religious identity because the European political unity from the 15th century is pretty much all about Catholicism. One can find evidence in the map during the Middle Ages as Europe is rarely used by the cartographer’s and Christendom was more prevalent. Though religious diversity existed with Muslims in Iberia, Jews across entire Europe along with Cathars and Protestants – making this identity to unite the continent contradictory. The picture of today’s liberated Europe is much different and it has more of a geographical significance than a religious one.
The cuisine –
There is a lot of diversity that distinguishes European Cusine from say Asian traditional cooking. Generalizing it shows meat as a more prominent part of the meal with steak being prevalent. There is an emphasis on sauces, condiments, seasoning, and accompaniments along with potato as the staple plant diet. Dairy use is also prominent in food along with wheat-based starch in cuisine in the form of pasta, dumplings, pastries, etc. The use of cutlery to eat the food with a knife on the right and fork on the left hand is the standardized table practices.
The recent scenario-
Defining what hints the unity of Europe and the cultural semblance together is a long discussion that will take through all the periods of history and periods of successive rules and kingdoms. But in recent times, political unity across European union with choosing of European capital of culture every year. There is a lax in trade policies, currency, travel permissions across the union. There are organized sports by various European leagues, common film industry, and many other features relevant to times now. Considering a united front for entire Europe is a topic of debate but considering it as the hub of all cultural changes in the renaissance period of the world is conceivable.