The World Day for Cultural Diversity

May 5th, 2021



The World Day for Cultural Diversity, also known as Diversity Day, is celebrated every year on May 21st. This day urges everyone to do their part to bridge the gap between cultures, which according to the UN is essential for peace, development, and stability. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established four goals:

1) Support sustainable systems for the governance of culture

2) Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services

3) Integrate culture into the frameworks of sustainable development and

4) Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms all of which can be achieved when we deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity. In addition to this, when we embrace cultural diversity other aspects of our lives are more fulfilling as well. Starting cultural acceptance is simple. All you need to do is to start up a conversation with someone who is different than you. The United States, known as the melting pot, is the prime place to start embracing cultures, and for us all come together in peace and with love and respect for each other. Throughout the world there are many events including concerts, educational seminars, workshops, and
exhibitions. 

Cultural diversity is a crucial element. Below you can find some interesting cultural facts and traditions from around the world:

  • In Japan, the elderly are honored with drinks and are always served first when eating.
  • Africa is home to anywhere from 800 to 1,500 of the world’s languages making it possibly the most linguistically diverse continent in the world.
  • Mexicans celebrate New Years Eve by eating twelve grapes at midnight. This tradition is one that is fairly common among Latin American countries
    and dates back to their ancestors.
  • The Pakistani culture is still a male dominated society. 
  • In Brazil, restaurants will make sure to include feijoada on their menus on Wednesdays. 
  • In Finland, the sauna plays a key role in cultural traditions. This includes hitting yourself with a vasta, which is a twig bundle made of birch twigs. 
  • When you enter a Korean home, you must take off your shoes. 
  • In Italy there is a celebration of Spring called Notte Bianca, which occurs on the evening on April 30th, and no one sleeps. The celebration then rolls into another Italian national holiday known as May Day.

To get you started in being able to participate in Diversity Day here is a list of things you can do:

  • Visit an art exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
  • Educate yourself about another religion that is pertinent to a different culture than yours such as Hindu which is prevalent in India, Islam prevalent in Iraq, Judaism prevalent in Isreal, Buddhism prelevant in Sri Lanka, and so forth. 
  • Learn another language like Korean, Greek, Ukrainian, Yiddish, or Irish by using an app like Duolingo.
  • Listen to a traditional song from different cultures like Kalinka Malinka by Ivan Rebroff, Taddalal by Mohammad Abdu, Hasapikos by Kostas Papadopoulos, or Šeść zahadok by Kaciaryna Ryžuk.
  • Watch a film from another country like Monsoon Wedding, Ida, Amélie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and many others. 
  • Play a sport that is related to a different culture or invented in a different country, for example Karate, golf, badminton, or hockey.
  • Cook traditional food from a different culture like a Danish Frikadeller, a Moldovian Mamaliga, or an Uzbek style Plov.
  • If cooking is not your type of thing, you can visit a restaurant such as The Mango Tree, Santorini’s Greek Cuisine, Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine, or at Borracho Tacos & Tequileria. 
  • Learn about another cultures’ traditional celebrations by visiting https://www.commisceo-global.com/resources/country-guides or other educational websites that give insight about cultures around the world. 
  • Volunteer with an organization working for diversity and inclusion. 
  • Use #WorldDayForCulturalDiversity or #DiversityDay to share on social media.