The United Nations observes another international awareness observance – the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The day is observed annually on May 21.
This is a day to provide people with the chance to help various communities empathize with cultural diversity’s value and discover how to live harmoniously with other cultures.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was established after the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001. The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity was declared by UNESCO in November 2001. The UN General Assembly made it a holiday after the organization created Resolution 57/249.
UNESCO espoused the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity on November 2, 2001 in Paris, France. The declaration was a result of several years’ work but it was adopted after terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 to call for intercultural dialogue so that fundamentalism and segregation could be avoided.
On December 20, 2002 the UN General Assembly pronounced May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development when the UN was celebrating its Cultural Heritage Year. The General Assembly stressed the need for dialogue among world civilizations and cultural diversity’s protection. It has been 15 years since the first observance of this special day.
What is culture?
Culture shapes who you are. It forms your identity and molds your behavior. Culture is shared beliefs, language, beliefs, norms, values, behaviors and objects passed down through generations.
Many countries around the world support various cultures. The cultural composition of the U.S. population in 2015 according to the American Community Survey is as follows:
|African American or Black||12.6%|
|Alaska Native and American Indian||0.8%|
|Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders||0.2%|
Composition of a race
Various ethnic groups comprise a race. When you refer to an ethnic group, you are referring to people who are closely related because of language, religion and culture. The United States is composed of several ethnic groups primarily due to immigration. They shaped the American cultural heritage that we know today because of the contributions of each group. The culture in the United States is one of the most diverse, thanks largely to the country’s immigrant population.
Culturally diverse is frequently used as an alternative term to multiculturalism. The latter is a group of behaviors and beliefs that respects and recognizes the presence of many diverse groups in a society or organization. Multiculturalism means that all the different racial or cultural groups within a society have equal opportunities and rights and that no one should be ignored or considered unimportant.
Dr. Caleb Rosado, who is a sociologist and specialist in multiculturalism and diversity, said that there are seven essential actions required to define multiculturalism.
- recognizing the ample cultural diversity
- giving respect to differences
- recognizing the cogency of various cultural expressions and their contributions
- putting value on what different cultures provide
- supporting what the different groups contribute
- empowering people to make them stronger to reach their maximum potential by looking critically at their personal biases
- feting the cultural differences to promote unity via diversity
How good is cultural diversity
Culture is a mirror you can use to evaluate the things that surround you. You base the evaluation of what is abnormal or normal and improper or proper through culture. Coming into contact that is very different from your own could be a shocking experience.
Most people use their own culture as their standard when evaluating other cultures and at times, the judgment they pass based on their own perspective can lead to discrimination. The ways of other cultures may be very different to how other people do things. It is human nature to be afraid of things that they could not understand.
Being culturally diverse is important to schools, workplaces and the country. It is a means of learning about other people and their traditions, customs, beliefs, religion, language, methods and way of thinking.
Learning about other cultures begins with having a level of understanding about other cultural groups to foster cooperation and collaboration. When you know about a different culture, it is possible to understand varying perspectives. It could help dissipate personal biases and conventional concepts about other races.
Cultural diversity helps foster respect and recognition of the ways other people do things and react to things that may be very different from what you are used to. It could promote understanding and trust. Likewise it makes the United States more interesting as the presence of different cultures provide dissimilar experiences, new knowledge, new ways of thinking and the chance to learn a new language.
Supporting cultural diversity
You do not have to support cultural diversity only on the day that the world celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. It should be done whenever there is an opportunity. If you open your mind, you can develop meaningful relationships by interacting with people from other culture because it would allow you to understand them better.
- One of the things you can do is to avoid imposing your values on other people which might be in conflict with the values of cultures that are not the same as yours. Moreover, you have to understand that people could have lower proficiency in the English language because they are from other countries where English is seldom or not spoken at all. Put yourself in their shoes and think of how you would feel if you are in a country where English is not spoken and you do not know the language used in that country.
- Remember that limited proficiency in the English language does not mean that the person from another culture has lower intellect as well.
- Accept that in some cultures the way they act and react depend on their own family structure, their role within their family and their society, their spirituality and their emotional state.
- In whatever setting, whether it is clinical, education or the workplace, you can boost cultural diversity by supporting the use of materials that can help different ethnicities within your locality.
- You can build trust and gain you friends by properly intervening in situations where others show prejudice, bias or cultural insensitivity.
- In school and at work, show that you are proactive by welcoming, accepting and listening to ideas and people from different cultures. You might be amazed at the wealth of interesting information you could learn from them. Some of their ways might be better than what you traditionally follow and the way they approach situations could even be better or more effective than yours.
Understand and acknowledge that cultural diversity means that each person is unique. He or she is capable of contributing to the larger community due to their differences, rather than the new ways of thinking and speaking that they acquired.
Diversity in the workplace
The celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development encourages people to firmly support the value of diversity and find the means for people from different cultural backgrounds to co-exist harmoniously.
In the workplace, diversity is encouraged. In the course of doing business, especially if the company is multinational, it is inevitable that staff members would also be facing co-workers and clients whose cultural backgrounds are different from theirs.
You cannot change the fact the cultural diversity is here to stay. It is best to learn from other cultures and understand them, as it enriches you as a person and boosts your company’s standing. Accept the difference and experience the joy in knowing how special people of different ethnicities are.
It is increasingly becoming necessary for today’s workplaces to be culturally diverse. A diverse workforce instills mutual respect among member. They have to collaborate, interact and recognize each other’s talents and strengths.
When employees fully embrace cultural diversity, they are able to easily find solutions to conflicts, because they are able to acknowledge that other people have different ways of doing things to achieve the desired results, and they may have different work attitudes that may not conform to the norm.
Day Translations, Inc. understands and accepts cultural diversity. The nature of our business means we have a culturally diverse workforce. Because we work with languages, our translators must also be able to understand the culture where these languages originate. We only work with native speakers and they are located in different parts of the globe. Our clients are assured that they not only have mastery of the language pair; they also have intimate knowledge of the different cultures of the languages they work with. They are able to weave in the nuances, the sensitivities, the proper context and grammatical structure into their professionally translated work, all of which are 100% accurate. For a quick quote, send us an email at Contact us or call us at 1-800-969-6853. You can get in touch with us anytime because we are open 24/7, every day of the year for your convenience.