Monday, April 23, 2018
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Diversity Day
By S Mukhtar


"21 May - O, Diversity Day! What that, please say."

"Dear, short-naming sometimes misleads…as here. Actually, Diversity Day is, as officially named, The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The Day has been celebrated since 2001 and this year South Africa also joins the world in celebrating the Day."

"Uncle, but why did the Day come up?"

"Dear, look at the world's major conflicts: Three-quarters have a cultural dimension. Horrible! And so, for Peace and Stability and Development in the entire world, it was essential and urgent to bridge the gaps between cultures. Cultural diversity has to be recognised and accepted, dialogue among civilizations and cultures has to be encouraged, and mutual understanding and respect has but to be developed. Dear, that is how the Day is come up."

"Good Uncle, how and when was the Day born?"

"Dear, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity - that was in 2001. Then, the UN General Assembly, vide its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development - that was in December 2002. Further, UNESCO adopted its Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions on 20 October 2005."

"Good Uncle, what does this all aim at?"

"Dear, the entire campaign aims at combating cultural polarization, improving understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures, raising worldwide awareness about the importance of intercultural dialogue, and building a global community committed to support diversity with real everyday gestures."

"And Uncle, how has been this Day observed?"

"Dear, just as the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Rights Commission wished and advised. People have been learning about traditional celebrations in other cultures; people of differing cultures, religions, and language communities have been inviting each other to partake in their customs; and many people have been visiting other peoples' places of worship and participating in their celebrations."

"Great Uncle, OK…so far so good! But…"

"Say, what but?"

"First Diversity Day in 2001… means 17th such Day this year. 17 years, may not be a long period, is not small either. And achievements…what? World's conflicts: any reduction seen? Or, increasing instead? World's Peace and Stability and Development: any improvement witnessed, or worse? Cultural gaps: bridged or widened? Cultural diversity accepted? Any mutual respect evolved? Uncle…sorry to say…but say I must: no good results, results not equal to efforts!"

"Dear, any historical process, never a day's job, consumes its time. It needs commitment, devotion, perseverance, steadfastness, and honest bold sustained practical action. Let us hope this process succeeds."

"Great Uncle, afraid I am it never will succeed unless and until the Machiavellian among world's Lord Politicians change. And to change them, a process must start, soonest, for the success of all other humane processes!"

"Good boy, best of luck!"

News Updated at : Thursday, May 18, 2017
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