Cultural Diversity: Why is it Important?
Have you ever thought about the different kinds of people you meet and see every day at your school, your group of friends, or in your neighborhood? Have you acknowledged how diverse is your locality?
Cultural diversity is the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society. Cultural diversity is all about different cultures. What intrigues me is how this diversity can be so eye-opening. When there are so many people around you from different backgrounds and different ethnic groups you get to hear so many fresh experiences and perspectives. This leads to innovative thinking and solutions because each person has different experiences and perspectives. Diversity around us is so striking and is a factor that unites us according to the saying ‘Unity in Diversity’.
One of the things that I love the most about Asia is the diversity. There are hundreds and thousands of different ethnic groups so many that they can sometimes overwhelm an observer from outside of Asia. Various ethnic groups have a variety of food, traditions, and customs that are really interesting.
From Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean to Pakistani, Persian, Arabic, and many more each Asian culture is in itself diverse. Each group is unique on its own and the major part of the cultures is festivals and celebrations.
To name a few in China, the Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Moon Festival are traditional holidays. In Japan, the Japanese New Year, The Emperor's Birthday, and Christmas are popular. Major Hindu festivals of India include Diwali, Dussehra (or Daserra), Holi, and Krishna Janmashtami. Islamic festivals such as Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, Sikh festivals such as Baisakhi, and Christian festivals such as Christmas, are also celebrated in India. The Philippines is also tagged as the "Fiesta Country" because of its all-year-round celebrations nationwide. Other famous Philippine festivals include the MassKara Festival of Bacolod and Panagbenga Festival of Baguio. In Indonesia, Independence Day and the birthday of Pancasila are important.
In short, I feel that festivals and celebrations are a huge part of cultural diversity and a binding factor that makes Asia unique. Other than that, food plays an important role in every culture and it is also diverse. There is also a common practice in some parts of Asia to eat food with bare hands. In some parts, chopsticks are more common. However, due to western influence, a lot of places have started using western cutlery but these practices are still prevalent and are used in many regions.
All these things are so vast and this diversity always helps us to stick to our roots. The diversity helps us to gain exposure and all the diversity that we see around us every day, be it people, food, culture, or traditions they all are about appreciating the society that is made of people like you and me and getting to know about cultures, traditions, customs, interests, languages, races, religions that are unlike your own. It is equally important for us to understand about inclusion. Diversity is the acknowledgment of various groups and backgrounds and inclusion is creating a feeling where each and everyone feels included and feels that their voice is heard. Cultural diversity is necessary as it creates acceptance which leads to better growth of the society and ensures the well-being of each community.
Not to mention, It is thrilling to see people around you each different and unique in their own way because let’s be real, it would not be exciting and new at all to see people like you everywhere without any difference. Who does not love new ideas, views, and suggestions? Even though we all are so different we are and will always be stronger together! Amidst all the things that are all going on in the world, we all must not forget to stay strong and together to celebrate our differences!
Written by Vaishnavi Bhojane. Edited by Pooja Manjakandy.