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World Cultural Diversity Day-21st May

posted May 21, 2013, 6:26 AM by Namgay Dem   [ updated May 24, 2013, 9:04 AM ]

https://01009253-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/yebilapysamss/announcement/worldculturaldiversityday-21stmay/Photo0139.jpg?attachauth=ANoY7crOZ9mH7apzrdQNWKZxZ-UWoT4irrJVkmpKMxSpdOZynpTQqF4LIh92u-1MOJGbepCqCk2c4SqwLLcegg0Vvo44S_SAUE99-Dmub0XiwnWL1fKCMHyQprdvSqc2nMRojkhR6grUMBMI5UfBGItsjLoEu7m6lxehf08_-9DFj3qfLKMQChwpYQpsrUv6B5AA14MbOu3rpd7NfxGiAHq6MDAJK78nhrfmmnc_LCXGm2C-8xk97DD9d4wj2ex6blAFI8IBzOHZSmuMKYhcaQ_MW8leaczz6Q%3D%3D&attredirects=0World Cultural Diversity Day 21st May 2013                           

Today is the 21st of May and every year this day has been observed as the International cultural Diversity day since 2003

“Our rich diversity . . . is our collective strength.” (Johannesburg Declaration, 2002)

Humanity has inhabited every corner of the world, except Antarctica, for centuries. As groups of people worked and lived together, they developed distinctive cultures. Together the cultures of the world create a rich and varied tapestry. The resulting cultural diversity expands choices, nurtures a variety of skills, human values and worldviews and provides wisdom from the past to inform the future. Cultural diversity is a mainspring for sustainable development for individuals, communities and countries. Thus, building an effective global approach to sustainable development needs to address respecting, protecting and maintaining the cultural diversity of the world now and in the future.

 Therefore, The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France, on November 2, 2001. It was the 249th resolution adopted at the 57th session of the United Nations General Conference. Although the declaration was the culmination of years of work, it was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The General Assembly emphasized links between the protection of cultural diversity and the importance of dialogue between civilizations in the modern world for developing and sustaining Peace and harmony.  .

 Cultural Diversity is having different cultures and respecting each others differences. The phrase is also used to mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole

Cultural differences exist between people in the form of language, dress and traditions, there are also significant variations in the way societies organize themselves, in their shared conception of morality, and in the ways they interact with their environment.

Why must we know about Cultural diversity?

The world must be well informed that cultural diversity is vital for the long-term survival of humanity. Conservation of indigenous (native) cultures may be as important to humankind as the conservation of species and ecosystems is to life in general.  It is asserted in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity that "...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature"

With the onset of globalization, traditional nation-states have been placed under enormous pressures. Today, with the development of technology, information and capital are transcending geographical boundaries and reshaping the relationships between the marketplace, states and citizens. In particular, the growth of the mass media industry has largely impacted on individuals and societies across the globe. Although beneficial in some ways, this increased accessibility has the capacity to negatively affect a society's individuality. With information being so easily distributed throughout the world cultural meanings, values and tastes run the risk of becoming homogenized. As a result, the strength of identity of individuals and societies may begin to weaken.

Understanding cultures will help us overcome and prevent racial and ethnic divisions that cause misunderstandings, loss of opportunities, and sometimes violence. Racial and ethnic conflicts drain communities of financial and human resources; they distract cultural groups from resolving the key issues they have in common. It is an undeniable fact that the failure to accept the differences had developed mistrust amongst the people of different countries resulting to numerous deadly wars that took lives of millions of people. It is therefore vital that differences have to be accepted for a peaceful co-existence.

In order to build communities that are powerful enough to attain significant change, we need large numbers of people working together. If cultural groups join forces, they will be more effective in reaching common goals, than if each group operates in isolation.

Each cultural groups has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from. We need a wide range of ideas, customs, and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life. Bringing non-mainstream groups into the center of civic activity can provide fresh perspectives and shed new light on tough problems.

People from different cultures have to be included in decision-making processes in order for programs or policies to be effective. The people affected by a decision have to be involved in formulating solutions--it's a basic democratic principle. Without the input and support of all the groups involved, decision-making, implementation, and follow through are much less likely to occur.

An appreciation of cultural diversity goes hand-in-hand with a just and equitable society. For example, research has shown that when students' cultures are understood and appreciated by teachers, the students do better in school. Students feel more accepted, they feel part of the school community, they work harder to achieve, and they are more successful in school.

If we do not learn about the influences that cultural groups have had on our mainstream history and culture, we are all missing out on an accurate view of our society and our communities.

 The 2013 campaign under the slogan “Do one thing for diversity and inclusion encourages people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity aiming:

  • To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
  • To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
  • To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.

SOURCE: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-sustainable-development/cultural-diversity/