By David Levinson
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Extra resources for Human Environments: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia
Mud (when dung looks like mud after a short rain) 3. Luxuriant (when grass is green and high) 4. Flowering 5. Ceremonies 6. Separation (when nomadic pastoralism begins) 7. Nothing to eat 8. To cook (when animal's blood is eaten) 9. Leaf (when trees lose their leaves) 10. To cover (when it is cloudy and rainy) 11. White (when the sun shines brightly) 12. Elapse (the dry season) Major Non-Gregorian Calendars Around the world today, a number of nonGregorian calendars are routinely used by many people.
The concepts and methods for figuring the units and branches are based on the Chinese philosophical and cosmological systems and are exceedingly complex. The cycle produces a symbolic system in which a particular animal and stem is associated with each individual and is used in fortune-telling. Additionally, 60 years is considered a significant number and those who live beyond 60 years are looked upon kindly by the gods. Even more complex is the calendar employed in Hindu India. The system results from the complexity of Hindu conceptions of time and the basic calendar, the simultaneous use of the general Hindu calendar and local and castebased religious calendars (Hinduism has been called the religion of 1 million gods), and the official use of the Gregorian calendar.
The organization of these four components of the built environment represents an effort by humans to adapt built forms to meet human needs and the changes humans make in their behavior to adjust to the limitations and opportunities created by built forms. Across cultures, the built environment serves a variety of either instrumental or symbolic functions. Instrumental functions are practical, such as providing shelter from the elements, channeling water to irrigate fields, or fencing in livestock.