Every year Cultural Diversity Day aims to promote multiculturalism and provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions:
Support sustainable systems of governance for culture
Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals
Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks
Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms
What is cultural diversity?
Cultural diversity is where a society or group is made up of many different people. These people are from different countries, races and religions, and have different interests, skills and beliefs.
Sociologist Dr. Caleb Rosado, who specializes in diversity and multiculturalism, described seven important actions involved in the definition of multiculturalism:
recognition of the abundant diversity of cultures;
respect for the differences;
acknowledging the validity of different cultural expressions and contributions;
valuing what other cultures offer;
encouraging the contribution of diverse groups;
empowering people to strengthen themselves and others to achieve their maximum potential by being critical of their own biases; and
celebrating rather than just tolerating the differences in order to bring about unity through diversity.
Why is it important?
Multiculturalism has many benefits. The main one is that it encourages open-mindedness amongst different groups of people and it dispels negative stereotypes. This is extremely important as the UN reported that 1/3 of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension to them.
Not only does cultural diversity promote peace, but it also makes our society a more interesting place to live. Different cultures have their own beliefs and interests which they can share to offer alternative ways of doing things. People from different cultures can give us different insights into food, language, music, arts & literature, history, religion and more.
Check out our video about what cultural diversity is and why it is important in today’s society.