Hinduism is essentially a spoken tradition, and sound is the primary means of spiritual expression. Speech is personified as Vak, a form of goddess Sarasvati. As the deity of scholarship and the arts, Sarasvati symbolises the intimate relationship within Hinduism between culture and religion, which until recently were practically inseparable. There are 64 traditional arts, which comprise a wide variety of skills, crafts, and artistic activities including music, painting, sculpture, singing, cooking, architecture, creating colourful patterns, applying cosmetics, producing perfumes, flower arranging, and caring for trees. Their variety and the inclusion of practical crafts suggest art is an integral part of life, rather than a vocation aimed at pleasing the elite. These arts were part of the process of spiritual culture, of refining and uplifting the tastes, values, and sentiments of human society. The word for culture is Sanskriti, "refinement," suggesting a means for extracting the spiritual essence of life (Brahman). "Sanskrit" similarly means "the most refined language." The similarity of the two words reflects the close relationship between religious scholarship and culture as a vehicle of spiritual expression.