Celebrating Cultural Diversity Day Around the World
Every year on May 21, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) leads the celebration for the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This is a day that recognizes and celebrates the cultures throughout the world and each of their unique roles in the ongoing quest for peace, development, and sustainability.
The Origins of Cultural Diversity Day
On November 2, 2001, UNESCO adapted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in an effort to recognize the need to unite global cultures in a way to achieve ongoing prosperity, sustainable development, and global peaceful coexistence. Cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity, which is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of identities around the world. On this day, UNESCO wanted to highlight the necessity of diversity in cultures in aiding in the development of global society, strengthening human rights, inspiring creativity, creating solidarity, and building partnerships for the future. The United Nations General Assembly declared Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity a World Day the next year, in 2002.
Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the underlying message for this World Day shifted to what it is now. Presently, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (Cultural Diversity Day for short), focuses on uniting global societies, celebrating the richness of each culture, and working towards 17 different sustainable development goals to help ensure the future of all humankind.
The Importance of Cultural Diversity
Cultural diversity is one of the leading causes of conflict in society. Whether that occurs within one country or across multiple, the results that follow can be catastrophic.
However, cultural diversity is an important part of life. It allows us to connect with individuals and see things from a whole new perspective. This has the power to be transformative and beneficial to everyone around the world.
Cultural diversity can result in a more fulfilling life on all accounts. It can improve the emotional, spiritual, moral, and intellectual aspects of an individual’s life and society as a whole. Cultural diversity is also beneficial for economic growth and prosperity, and currently accounts for about 3.1% of the global GDP and 6.2% of all employment.
However, in an effort to generate peace, stability, and development, it’s important that everyone takes a proactive role in bridging the gap between cultures. Otherwise, conflict will continue to overpower cooperation and the true reach of cultural diversity will be difficult to assess.
How to Get Involved with Cultural Diversity Day
One of the best ways to celebrate Cultural Diversity Day is to connect with cultures that are different from yours. In some cities, educational seminars, concerts, or demonstrations are held to recognize and celebrate this day. However, if you live in an area without access to a live event, you can still honor cultural differences in other ways. Some of the many ways in which you can participate in Cultural Diversity Day include:
- Learning about another religion
- Visiting an art exhibition with artists from other cultures
- Spending time in a museum dedicated to other cultures
- Watching an international film or a documentary on another culture
- Eating at a restaurant of another culture
- Cooking a new recipe at home from a different culture
- Trying a new sport with origins in other cultures
- Listening to traditional music from different cultures
- Learning about or participating in traditional celebrations from other cultures
- Telling your friends about Cultural Diversity Day to spread the word
- Volunteering with an organization that focuses on inclusion for diverse cultures
- Learning another language and practicing with native speakers Tandem is proud to support the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and we wish a happy Diversity Day to all of our users around the world! As a language app, our values are integrated in cultural diversity, and we strive to do our part in bridging the gap between all of humanity. We understand that speaking a new language takes a little more than courage, but one thing all of our members have is a willingness to get out of their comfort zone.
This is especially true for our member Sara. When she first joined Tandem, she had never left the United States. After connecting with her Tandem partners around the world, she began travelling to meet them and explore their cultures first-hand. This is exactly what Cultural Diversity Day is all about and we’re proud to have her in our community! You can read more about Sara’s story and how she made five new, life-long friends from Colombia here.
When you’re out celebrating Cultural Diversity Day, take some pictures and share them across social media with #WorldDayForCulturalDiversity or #DiversityDay to help raise awareness.
If you want to start learning a new language with millions of other like-minded individuals across diverse cultures, sign up for Tandem today!
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