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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

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We all know that cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. Culture shapes who you are. It forms your identity and moulds your behaviour. Culture is shared beliefs, language, beliefs, norms, values, behaviours, and objects passed down through generations. Cultural diversity” is the joint of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. It is presented as the contrast of cultural uniformity. The term diversity relates to the variety and interaction of ideas, features or elements different from each other in a particular subject, situation or environment. Today to bridge the gap between cultures is very necessary for peace, stability, and development. Therefore, May 21 was celebrated as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which provides us with 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. There are several international organisations that work towards protecting helpless societies and cultures. Looking at today’s conflicts, political uncertainties, and support for nationalism, it is important to be reminded of the benefits that diversity brings to development. Culturally diverse is frequently used as an alternative term to multiculturalism. Learning about other cultures begins with having a level of understanding about other cultural groups to foster cooperation and collaboration. UNESCO has an interreligious dialogue programme, which aims to promote dialogue among different religions, spiritual and humanistic traditions in a world where conflicts are increasingly associated with religious belonging. Today mutual understanding and respect and the equal dignity of all cultures is the essential prerequisite for constructing social cohesion, reconciliation among peoples and peace among nations.

The day was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This reaffirmed the need for intercultural dialogue to prevent segregation and fundamentalism. According to UN, this is captured in the seven culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity — an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development. Celebrating cultural diversity allows us to see how culture is a driving force of development, with respect to economic growth and as a fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. It is increasingly becoming necessary for today’s workplaces to be culturally diverse. 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. Our country presents endless varieties of physical features and cultural patterns. It is the land of many languages and it is only in India people professes all the major religions of the world. In short, India is “the epitome of the world”. In short, our country is a museum of cults and customs, creeds and cultures, faiths and tongues, racial types and social systems. The property of togetherness among people of various cultures and traditions has made India, a unique country. People here live peacefully by following their own culture and traditions. 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. We must understand and acknowledge that cultural diversity means that each person is unique. Religious tolerance is what we need as a continent to be able to live in harmony and peace.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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