13 ways to develop cultural diversity

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

According to the United Nations, three quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. This is why the UN takes cultural diversity so seriously; apart from the fact that it leads to a more fulfilling intellectual, moral and spiritual life, cultural understanding is essential to world peace and stability.

As such, the United Nations has declared May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. In the past, this day has been celebrated all over the world with cultural events and conferences.

Here’s 13 ways to celebrate the day and develop your own understanding of cultural diversity:

  1. Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
  2. Explore music of a different culture.
  3. Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
  4. Go to a restaurant serving a type of cuisine you’ve never tasted before.
  5. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
  6. Invite a family or people in your neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
  7. Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi).
  8. Visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
  9. Book a city break to explore foreign culture and customs.
  10. 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 find out where you are from.
  11. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming festival in China. Why not throw a party to celebrate a holiday for a foreign friend?
  12. Go to a comedy club, assuming you speak some of the language. See what people laugh at. Talk to them – laughter is a great leveler.
  13. Attend a sporting event and support the local team.

Learn more about how different cultures do business by signing up for a free trial of Country Navigator. Gain exclusive access to a variety of features for 14 days. Free trial access provides you with a chance to review the tool, full access includes:

  • Cultural profile comparison with up to 5 colleagues or countries
  • 100 country guides
  • 20 country briefings


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About the Author

Sue Bryant

Sue Bryant is an award-winning writer and editor specialising in global business culture and travel.

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