I personally like this one for teaching purposes: ‘The set of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people, but different for each individual, communicated from one generation to the next.’ Matsumoto, D. (1996) Culture and Psychology, Pacific Grove, CA:Brooks/Cole.
The word ‘culture’ is a human construct covering a huge range of possible meanings, so I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone what the ‘right one’ is.
You raise a good point about your own cultural identity. Of course many people are influenced by more than one main cultural group, perhaps having several ‘cultural identities’, and some may not feel very strongly associated with any one group.
Some of you may be interested in an article I wrote on the myopia that often dominates biomedical fields when called upon to evaluate phenomena that are a bit more complex than petri dishes (e.g. social adaptive systems)
I think this interesting question has divided responses. It would depend on who you are trying to convince of a particular case. One argument is that while the scales are strictly ordinal, there is evidence that people (at least in business research) do respond in patterns that are close enough to approximate interval level (personal discussion with Joe Hair, also see his reader friendly texts).
The other school of thought thinks this is unacceptable and you should either treat them as ordinal, e.g. use non-parametric approaches or transform the data into a more suitable form using something like Rasch analysis or item response modelling.