World Day for Cultural Diversity

When is World Day for Cultural Diversity?

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a holiday dedicated to the acceptance and embracing of diversity across all cultures. Also simply known as World Day for Cultural Diversity, it is observed every May 21st with the support of the United Nations. This is an educational holiday to promote peace and tolerance across cultures.

History of the Holiday

At the turn of the century, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) saw an opportunity to broaden its reach in cultural awareness across the world. During a General Assembly in 2002, UNESCO passed a resolution to create a holiday dedicated to this mission. Since 2003, the organization has celebrated the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development annually on May 21st.

Part of the reason why UNESCO established the holiday was to decrease cultural stigmas in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Since these tragedies took place, people have begun understanding that the hatred stemmed from extremism, and is not representative of any particular culture. Furthermore, dialogue is opening up between developed and developing countries to understand their customs.

This holiday was also established at the beginning of the height of the Internet era. Before there was any Internet, people would read about other cultures through books, or relied on hearsay. Another problem in the earlier years is that there wasn’t a wide access to the Internet among poorer communities. Now that access is beginning to become more widespread, it is more important than ever to instill a spirit of acceptance in terms of cultural diversity.

Promoting Cultural Diversity

Promoting World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is based on a culmination of work. It is a holiday designed for everyone, but the types of celebrations might vary. For example, professionals working in cultural studies might observe the holiday with special seminars and workshops. Schools may focus on a different culture every year and host a range of learning activities. Since there are a variety of cultures that exist within single nations, it is not surprising that one specific culture isn’t celebrated, but rather a multitude of cultures at once. Many community members take the opportunity of the holiday to explore aspects of other cultures unfamiliar to them. This can be as simple as attending a music festival or an art exhibit.

It’s impossible to change one’s views in a single day. However, this isn’t really at the heart of the holiday. UNESCO hopes that World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development can leave lasting impressions on participants so that they will continue to make year-round strides. This holiday serves as a reminder to all that, while there are many improvements in cultural acceptance, the diversity is so vast that much more work needs to be done.

Resource:

http://www.un.org/en/events/culturaldiversityday/




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