By: Maha Omer
Every year on May 21st we celebrate Diversity Day, officially known as Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This international holiday recognizes multiculturalism, ethnic backgrounds, and races. We commemorate Diversity Day by acknowledging different cultures and deepening our understanding of the importance that cultural diversity holds.
The 1965 Immigration Act gave us the ability to celebrate Diversity with people from all over the globe. The 1965 Immigration Act is often viewed as a watershed moment, a major policy shift that led to unprecedented levels of diversity among immigrants. The 1965 Immigration Act began a new era, one that is celebrated yearly. Diversity Day itself was formed in 2001, UNESCO established the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. In December 2002, the UN General Assembly declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
Diversity Day celebrates our heritage through food, music, dancing, and art. The most common way to form deep connections and understand one’s culture is to experiment with dishes different from ones you are used to. Music, dancing, and art are all forms of cultural expression and hidden storytelling. The performing arts is universal and found in almost every society as it allows sacred and historical traditions to be passed on, heard, and seen in a beautiful embodiment.
We celebrate Diversity Day by surrounding ourselves with people from all over the world, sharing their stories, cultural foods, and dances. By coming together to celebrate this annual holiday, we grow our understanding and respect for our differences but also for our outstanding similarities.
How can we celebrate Diversity day during the pandemic? Understanding our own view’s and others’, observing our attitudes toward groups different from us, eliminating stereotypes, recognizing the source of negative reaction and biases, becoming more open-minded and willing to learn.
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Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre). UNESCO. (n.d.). https://ich.unesco.org/en/performing-arts-00054.
Railton, B. (n.d.). The Roots of Multicultural Diversity in Revolutionary America. Scholars Strategy Network. https://scholars.org/brief/roots-multicultural-diversity-revolutionary-america.
Simple ways you can share your culture. Stump & Associates. (2018, April 2). https://usvisagroup.com/simple-ways-can-share-your-culture/#:~:text=Your%20cultural%20traditions%20can%20be,celebrations%20or%20significant%20life%20events.
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