It seems only fitting that we would be traveling today – UN’s World Day for Cultural Diversity. Celebrating diversity is something I’ve advocated since day one on this site. I call it #interculture.
Cultural diversity is critical. It’s a driving force for peace, economic and societal development, and even stability.
Here are nine UN suggestions modified with my two cents for how to celebrate and promote cultural diversity. Try it! You may find it rewarding.
- Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures. We’re currently in San Sebastian and visiting Tabakalera to learn more about Basque culture. I mentioned this before, but I encourage you to visit the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. It’s not just an African American or slavery story. It’s an American story.
- Invite people over who are from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life. We often like to make Japanese food for new friends. I find it’s a cuisine that many people are fascinated by and opens a conversation about Japanese culture, curiosities, and customs. In the same vein, we’ve been invited over to try some traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare.
- Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own. I loved seeing the French film Elle and Indian movie Lion which I wrote about here. Currently reading Kurlansky’s the Basque World of History.
- Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi). Even though he’s still alive, I love anything by Alain de Botton who enlightens me to consider other cultures and philosophies.
- Visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration. From our travels, we’ve been to several temples, synagogues and many churches all over the world. Although I’ve always wanted to experience a mosque.
- Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you can name it. I can’t wait to play this game with SJ when she gets a bit older but I think it will be a funny game to play with our adult friends.
- Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures. Learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or New Year’s Eve celebrations in Spain or the Qingming festival in China. We were invited for Shabbat Shuva with some friends last fall. SJ joined us and it was a meaningful and special occasion to share with a loving Jewish family and close friends.
- Spread your own culture around the world through social media. I started spreading my own #interculture through a site called theinterculture.com – maybe you’ve heard of it.
- Explore the music of a different culture. Technology has made it easier for us to access songs of any kind from all over the world. I love to have ‘world’ music playing in the background when guests come around. I got this CD for SJ. And I recently heard of Globalfest, a world music festival every January that showcases musicians from all over the world.
I encourage you to celebrate cultural diversity in any way you find fun or meaningful. Create your own #interculture. Let me know how it goes!
This is my second “theReport”. The first one was this.