The Positive Impact of Cultural Diversity on Society.To begin, I would like to define cultural diversity as the presence ofdifferent cultural or ethnic groups within a society. In today´s increasing interconnectedand globalized society, it is of utmost importance to be culturally diverse, inorder to interact in a positive way with people whose viewpoints may differwidely from our own. The Chapter X inthe book name I most enjoyed reading readingwas the one saying “minorities is about numbers,” in which minoritieswere portrayed as blue numbers and the majority as orange people.
Even in aperfectly cultural diverse nation, this “notion” persists, and it isa sad commentary that, indeed, some nations or states, such as for example provide example – ¿gays in Russia? still do not allow a person to be simply as they are. Cultural diversity is indeed a very positive concept, as it enables us to learnfrom one another, assuming that we have first reached a level of knowledgeabout one another, to allow collaboration and cooperation, for diverse culturalperspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation, encourage culturalsensitivity, insight and knowledge, whilst providing opportunities for personaland professional growth. But this same cultural diversity can raise uniquechallenges, opening the door to prejudiceor negative cultural stereotypes as well as culturally politically incorrectjokes. I have spent most ofmy life outside of my “home” country, if indeed I can even claim tohave one, as I was born to parents themselves from other cultures than theyones in which I grew up – a second generation TCK – or Third Culture Kid. Ispent a large amount of my youth observing different cultures and personallyexperiencing cultural integration integration first-hand. Over the course ofthe last several decades, the Federal Republic of Germany has experienced a vastincrease of Turkish citizens among the population.
Most of Germany has dealt well the situation, although there exist pockets ofresistance to this immigration. Fear ofthe Other, a lack of mindful observation and attempts to learn about the cultureof these people making up a large part of the immigration mass clearly show usthat many fail to see the positive impact that such immigration can bring toGermany. in activity 7.2 – page, book name, etc provides aperfectly clear and understandable definition of multiculturalism. One county witha successuful policy of multiculturalism is Canada – bilingual/bicultural and very well-structured nation. Having aculturally open-minded state or nation is extremely beneficial, assSpendingsome time learning about the immigrating cultures can make the stay for saidminorities more pleasant. We tend at times to treat immigrants as outcasts what?andno own nationals instead of learningform them and teaching them, easing their integration into society whilstmaintaining their original cultures. I fully support efforts that could make integration mucheasier, with programmes ranging offering language, cuisine and culture courses to putting in place bilateral German-Turkish meetings, so that wemay learn from one other.
Some negative points surrounding cultural diversityis that it can create orwide language barriers. In the afore-memntioned example of the mass Turkish immigrationto Germany, many of the new immigrants cannot fully benefit from life in thecountry due to the language difficulties they experience. Additiojally, the local populace is oftenuncomfortable with the swarm of languages in the street other than German,fearing a loss of the specificity of the German culture, rather than welcomingthe additional benefits of adding cultural highlights from the new migrants.Recent news reports have shown us that many people living inGermany today with immigrant status suffer discrimination, due to their visibleand audible diverse cultural heritage. The final last point I would like to discuss is concerningcultural diversity in the workplace or school for those who spend their liveson the move. Often, when one is an “industrial” immigrant, as is my case,and spends most of one´s life in international schools or institutions, onetends to migrate towards those sharing similar cultural values.
This rises inimportance the further one is from one´s cultural “home.” For example, here inSpain, the Italians are an entirely foreign group to me – I do not speakItalian, nor am I particularly conversant with their culture. But when inCentral Asia, compared to the native inhabitants there, the Italians suddenlyseem like close cousins, sharing similar viewpoints, an understanding ofcertain life events, etc. Whilst joining these “hometown” groups of people form the same or very similarcountry for a reassuring sharing of cultural points of view, it can also portray a lack of interest in the local cultureto those living there, creating a division, once again, into Us and Them.
Often, expat communities strive to feel as if they had neverleft home, seeking out familiar activities and people, ignoring orside-stepping the wealth and richness at hand of the culture where they live,acting as if they never left home – a very negative point.If we now consider the example of the let’s have a look atthe page 46 German in 205 days, it becomes clear that this type of program,in which… would be immensely helpful forpeople who had just arrived in a foreign nation.. Not only would it help the newlyarrived to navigate and think the way local people do, it would also help them,I believe, to be able to do the most essential part of living outside of their comfortzone – a pre-requisite for successful cultural integration.
It´s never easy tofully integrate into a culture, a society. But the idea is to become anintegral and fully functioning member of the new society, whilst maintainingone´s own cultural identity. Religion, also, is part of a culturally diverse world, andideally, none should have to go to sleep at night fearing persecution forattending a Mosque in Berlin or Paris, as is the case for religious minoritiesin, for example Russia. Part of the joy of living in the EU is knowing that religion and culture travel and traverse borders.
The arguments listed above, I believe, clearly show that thebenefits of cultural diversity far outweigh the problems associated with cultural integrationand cultural diversity, and our efforts need to be increased ten-fold in thedirection of creating and implementingplans to achieve a positive awareness of – and mindful understanding andtolerance of – the Other.