Article: “Cultural Diversity” by Umut Açıkgöz

culturaldiversity-umutacikgozAuthor: Umut Açıkgöz, YOUTHART Media Team Member, Media Trainer


CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Culture is a powerful part of people’s lives. It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties,their behavior and their worries and fears. Whether you live in Canada or America , whether you live in Nepal or Paraguay, you are living and interacting with other people who have culture.

So, what is culture? And why is it so important for our lives?

Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. In other word, culture is an enstrument that shaping our point of view and it is develop according to the place where we born and grow.

Of course, you can pretend that culture doesn’t exist and differences don’t matter. But accept or not, your family, your hometown ,your friends and your tradition has affected you in many ways. For example a person from Kazakhstan, probably see the world in a different perspective than a person who has born and grew up in New York. But both people have dreams and hopes, they both sleep and wake up for a new day. Shortly we are all human beings. We share the humanitarian emotions and feelings. We all have fears and hopes.

What about diversity?

Diversity is more than tolareting and understanding the differences, it is all about respecting other people who are not the same with you and seeing the differences as richness.

But, we are discriminating people who are different from us.

Recently, we feel the discrimination and racism much more than the past. We are ignoring people and hating them because of their colour of skin, their religion, their sex, their hometown, their country and their political thoughts. When considered from this point of view, intolerance to the other cultures causes chaos in the society. Therefore , the state –also known as management mechanism- should approach all its citizens equally. Because, none of the culture is superior than the others.

It should not be forgotten that the music we listen, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the different kind of dance are coming from another culture. In the simplest term, think about a meal without Indian, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and any other cousine. Is this your ideal meal?

If we want to live together peacefully, we should tolerate and accept differences amongst cultural and ethnic groups. Forget about your stereotypes and racial prejudices, try to consider diversity as a rainbow which was occured combination of seven different colour. Do not forget that every cultures, identities and religions, as each color of the rainbow , have a meaning both alone and in combination of other colours.

* You can also read this article on YOUTHART’s website.

 

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Article: “Cultural Diversity” by Umut Açıkgöz

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About The Author
- Youth Art Research and Training Association, based in Istanbul, is the Turkish partner of the project.