On the 21st of May, we celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

May 21, 2021

Cultural diversity manifests in various spheres of human life. The way we speak, the way we dress, the way we relate to each other, the food we cook, the music we listen to. It not only favours economic development, opening up new markets, product innovation, new ideas generation or different skills and knowledge, but also brings social, emotional, cultural and intellectual wealth. Cultural diversity is thus a true heritage of humanity. 

This is what makes it so important to value, raise awareness and respect cultural diversity, promoting dialogue, empowering different groups, especially ethnic or cultural minorities, to express their voice and culture, and fostering understanding and tolerance in diversity. Overcoming the division between cultures, the source of most of the world’s armed conflicts, is essential to achieving peace, stability and development.

What can you do to support cultural diversity? There are small, everyday gestures that together can make a difference in building a more open and tolerant society1!

  • Get out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to interact with people from other cultures, this will increase your level of understanding and enrich your knowledge.
  • When you meet a person from another culture, try to make them feel welcome in your group, safe to express themselves and develop a sense of belonging.
  • When interacting with others who do not speak your language, be aware that their limitations do not reflect their intellectual level or their willingness to participate in society, try to be empathetic and patient.
  • Acknowledge and understand that some concepts, values and traditions vary significantly across cultures and influence behaviour. Avoid judging without knowing and do not impose stereotypes. 
  • Reject, report and intervene appropriately when you observe others engaging in behaviour that displays cultural insensitivity, bias, prejudice, racist or xenophobic behaviour. 
  • Recognise and listen to the diversity that surrounds you in your society, respect it, celebrate the contribution it offers and give others space to express, represent and celebrate it as well.  

1See good practices available at : https://bit.ly/342T3FR

Watch our 2 videos to celebrate Cultural Diversity Day here:

Click to the links below to discover some examples of the activities EPIC partners do to foster cultural diversity in their territories:

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