Due to globalization and immigration, inevitably many countries will have to accommodate their own citizens, immigrants and foreigners under one roof. These residents have different cultural backgrounds and educational levels. They may need to co-exist by accepting and respecting the other cultural groups as unique and autonomous individuals that have the right to share the same space, resources, and yet have the freedom to practice their own culture.
In many countries, the diverse cultural groups may live harmoniously and contribute to the nation’s economy progress and political stability while others don’t due to conflicting values and religious practices. In some countries the minorities may be marginalized and subject to racism and discrimination.
UNESCO (2001) had outlined the fundamental human rights in practicing one’s own culture as state in its 12 Articles in the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, some of them are as the following:
- Article 1: Cultural diversity: the common heritage of humanity – it is necessary to recognize, affirmed and allowed culture diversity.
- Article 2: From cultural diversity to cultural pluralism – policy created to ensure culturally diverse groups lives harmoniously.
- Article 3: Cultural diversity as a factor in development – it opens a wide range of options to every one and a root of development.
- Article 4: Human rights as guarantees of cultural diversity – no one may invoke cultural diversity.
- Article 5: Cultural rights as an enabling environment for cultural diversity – every one should “be able to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue; all persons should be 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.”
- Article 6: Towards access for all to cultural diversity – every one may express and promote their ideas and culture.
Education play an important role in socializing the individuals toward accepting multiculturalism and respect for cultural diversity. The teacher may starts from oneself upholding this spirit of respecting the culturally diverse society and to spread it to the learning community.
- Inglis, Christine. (n.d.). Multiculturalism: New policies responses to diversity. Management of Social Transformations – Most. Policy Papers – No. 4.
- Unesco. (2001). UNESCO universal declaration on cultural diversity.