Today is the International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development! Although the name of the day sounds complex, the purpose of this day is fairly simple: to celebrate cultural diversity and help us learn to live together better. In November 2001 UNESCO adopted a Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Do One Thing for Diversity

The following year, 2002, was the United Nations year for Cultural Heritage and at the end of that year the UN declared may 21st to be the International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Ever since then, May 21st has been celebrated and commemorated through seminars, various educational programs and campaigns, exhibitions, and concerts. A grass-root campaign sponsored by UNESCO, ‘Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion,’  is trying to engage the international community through social media. According to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon the campaign is calling for “from youth to policy-makers, from religious leaders to journalists, entrepreneurs and others who shape opinions and trends.”

The campaign encourages people to do one thing new thing on May 21st that encourages or promotes cultural diversity. Examples of the ‘one thing’ that the campaign gives on their Facebook page are:

–       Take a virtual/on-line tour of a country you’ve never been to

–       Research the history of another country or civilization and talk about it with your family and friends

–       Check out world events through another country’s news channel

–       Visit an art exhibit/museum that reflects diverse cultures

–       Rent a movie about a different culture… with subtitles

–       Go out to a culturally diverse lunch/dinner

–       Prepare a dish that is not of your native cuisine

–       Make a donation to a non-profit that is meaningful to you and making a difference around the world or in your community

–       Volunteer your time at a non-profit that supports community cohesion and intercultural dialogue and understanding

So, do your one thing this May 21st. After all, the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversty states that:

“Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible and interdependent… All persons have therefore the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue; all persons are entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity; and all persons have the right to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Also in May:

World No-Tobacco Day – May 31st

International Day for UN Peacekeepers – May 29th

Africa Day – May 25th

The Day of Cyrillic Alphabet – May 24th

International Day for Biological Diversity – May 22nd

Cultural Diversity Day: A Special ‘Hello!’

World Day Against Homophobia – May 17th

World Telecommunications and Information Society Day – May 17th

Mastering the Art of Cheek Kissing

International Day of Families – May 15th

World Fair Trade Day – May 12th

Red Cross Crescent Day – May 8th

Europe Day – May 9th

Wesak – May 5th

World Press Freedom Day – May 3rd

May Day – May 1st

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am and is filed under cultural diversity, days of significance, General, social practices . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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