Human beings are the most complex creation of the universe, and are diverse in several ways. There are more than 7 billion people inhabiting the Earth, and about 190 countries in this world. Each region, each country has a plethora of beliefs, cultural values and practices. We could very well term the Earth as a ‘Melting Pot’ of various cultures that contribute to it with their own distinct flavours and colours.
Our culture outlines our identity and influences our behaviour. Cultural diversity makes us acknowledge, incorporate and assimilate with other cultures. It means merging different cultures by introducing good aspects of your culture and accepting the positive points of a new culture in return.
Individuals raised in monocultures often grow with a certain set of beliefs and conjectures, that they consider ‘universal’ and ‘true’ since they have never been subjected to other cultural beliefs. Cultural diversity makes the world richer by making it a more interesting place to live in. Individuals from varied cultures and backgrounds have different interpretations of events and contribute with their unique perspectives to various events and situations. With Globalisation setting in across all countries, cultural diversity also makes each country stronger and better able to compete in the new global economy.
With the advent of technology and time, it is practically impossible for any group of people to live without interacting with other groups of people, be it outside their city or country. This leads to an exchange of ideas, beliefs, cultural traits, et al. This interesting amalgamation and exchange due to cultural diversity brings various benefits in its stride. Many problems today are quite complex in nature and cannot be solved by a homogeneous group of people. So a diverse group aids to bring out creative and thus better solutions.
Cultural Diversity is a growing trend nowadays, as each day, millions of people move from one part of the world to another, in search of better opportunities in terms of career, lifestyle or education. In this process, they also carry their cultures with them, each unifying with other cultures in schools, workplaces, etc. Given this situation, people today have little choice but to embrace the diversity. As we interact and understand people of other cultures and beliefs, our value systems expand and we tend to be non-judgemental towards other eventually. What follows eventually is compassion towards our fellow citizens that will help us to empathize with them.
Through diversity, many companies have set up their offices in various parts of the world, and are able to reach newer markets that have a lot of untapped potential. This not only has led to many profitable ventures, but has also created a lot of employment opportunities for people in those parts of the world. This has only been possible because people today are more open to embracing diversity. There are several benefits and challenges of cultural diversity in workplace. However, employers realise that by learning about people of different cultural backgrounds and accepting them in their workplace, they can increase their perspectives and have better interpersonal dialogue.
In today’s world, if we extend an open arm to other cultures and encourage a healthy exchange of cultures among fellow beings, life would be easier for most of us. It is inevitable to embrace cultural diversity today as it aids a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. It not only provides an insight into oneself, but also helps to understand our beliefs and values better. For diversity to bring potency, it must be respected and integrated in our daily practices and lifestyle. It calls for the readiness to be open-minded and non-judgemental about the value of differences. On occasions like “The Day of Cultural Diversity”, let us take time to appreciate and celebrate diversity.