Cultural diversity is a constant part of our society – people with different cultural backgrounds live next to each other and through new media we hear and see everything that happens on the other side of the world. Today we celebrate this cultural diversity – it’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
Cultural Diversity day has its roots in UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity set up in 2001 and was established to provide opportunities to increase understanding of the values regarding cultural diversity. Cities around the globe hold events and activities to offer the chance to learn how to live together in harmony and how to build bridges to respect each other’s cultural boundaries. The day aims to raise awareness on the importance of creating intercultural dialogue and encouraging social inclusion in society.
Today also offers government and religious leaders the chance to reaffirm their ideas that intercultural dialogue is the best way to establish peace amongst nations. It encourages them to make an active commitment to prevent segregation and to minimise stereotyping that can so often lead to a clash of cultures.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity offers a good opportunity for businesses. It offers companies with an international presence and whose employees represent a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds the chance to strengthen and promote their inclusion policies. To those companies operating locally, it offers the chance to share the Day’s principles and consider embracing diversity to enrich their workplace.
A decisive change in behaviour depends most of all on us as individuals. It is in our hands to make the difference that matters so that diversity becomes a norm in our society. Today offers us a chance to acknowledge not only the plurality within our communities, but also the plurality of our own identity. Today people connect, collaborate and work together from different parts of the world more than ever before therefore acknowledging our differences as a positive force can make a crucial impact on our work and personal relationships.
So why not engage in a culturally different activity today? Visit an art exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures, watch a foreign language film, listen to some world music, read a book from another country or even invite a family or people in the neighbourhood from another culture to share a meal with you and exchange world views. The UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity notes that “the cultural wealth of the world is its diversity in dialogue”. Let’s be all part of this dialogue!
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2013