We are proud to be a diverse bunch here at Oasis, welcoming people into our schools and communities from all backgrounds and all parts of the world. Did you know that in many of our schools we have students who speak Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Roma, Pashto, Polish, Russian, Somali, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian and Urdu – just to name some! That is just one of the reasons we are proud to be celebrating World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (21st May).
This is a special day run by UNESCO, designed to shine a light on the richness of the many cultures we share as a human race and the job we all play in communicating to create a peaceful and sustainable world.
Diversity can be a driving force for all sorts of change: economic, emotional, intellectual and moral/spiritual. Through recognising, respecting and responding to each other’s cultures, we can learn to understand one another on a deep and meaningful level.
For many of us, including our young people, celebrating this day gives us a great opportunity to learn about world views that we may have not considered before. Diversity experiences, in and out of the classroom, can lead to fewer stereotypes, connectedness, patience and kindness – which can only be a good thing.
Here are some great ways to learn about a different culture:
- Try to learn some of the language – communication is key! There are lots of apps available for free that help you pick up languages, but also teach you a bit about why the language is shaped the way it is.
- Try new foods – there are countless recipes and ingredients at our disposal, why not schedule in a special night to try something new – or make something from your own culture to share with your friends?
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – even if you are asking Google!
- Watch a travel vlog or documentary about the culture you are interested in.
- Most importantly, keep an open mind.
You can find out more about why World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was set up here: https://www.un.org/en/observances/cultural-diversity-day