The 21st of May 2020 is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, otherwise known as Cultural Diversity Day. The day was declared by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to provide the world with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of Cultural Diversity.
Australia and New Zealand are culturally diverse countries and with such a melting pot of cultures, religions and languages, it is essential to maintain an equitable exchange and dialogue amongst different cultures.
The United Nations website describes Intercultural Dialogue as “equitable exchange and dialogue among civilisations, cultures and peoples, based on mutual understanding and respect and the equal dignity of all cultures is the essential prerequisite for constructing social cohesion, reconciliation among peoples and peace among nations.”
Interreligious Dialogue, on the other hand, aims to promote understanding between different religions and spiritual beliefs. UNESCO has seen the need on a global level to challenge ignorance and prejudices to encourage mutual respect between people with different religious beliefs.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, says, “”On 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, UNESCO encourages people around the world to join us in celebrating cultural diversity, and advocating for ways to protect and promote it in their own communities. In this way, all will be included and no one will be left behind.”
Celebration of Cultural Diversity Day
The annual celebration of this day promotes the four goals of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2005. These goals are:
- Support/promote sustainable systems to govern culture
- Achieve an equal flow of cultural services and goods, improve mobility of cultural professionals and artists
- Integrate culture in the frameworks of sustainable developments
- Promote fundamental freedoms and human right
How Can We Celebrate Cultural Diversity Day?
In a COVID-19 world, we are restricted to celebrations that acknowledge social distancing restrictions in Australia and New Zealand, but there are still ways that you can acknowledge the day:
- Have a Zoom potluck party and invite your friends and teammates from other countries to share their traditional foods or attire.
- Have a Facebook Watch party with friends to enjoy a movie in another language
- Listen to music from other cultures. Spotify allows you to stream music from all over the world for free.
We hope Belgravia team members will see the 21st of May as an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity within our organisation by reflecting on how various cultures and religious beliefs contribute to a diverse and colourful social environment.
Find out more about UNESCO’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development here.