Multiculturalism is dead? Long live cultural diversity!

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21 May 2014 - In 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that German multiculturalism had failed. Later, British Prime Minister David Cameron also declared the death of multiculturalism. But European cultural diversity seems more alive than ever.

Four years later we are still seeing how different cultures live, learn and exchange ideas together. From police officers wearing a turban in London to Palestinian rap music, from studying a strange musical instrument to a visit to your favorite ‘exotic’ restaurant: cultural diversity is everywhere!

People across the entire world share and inspire elements of different cultures. With wonderful results, so it seems. Entrepreneurs for example, use techniques from different times and places to develop new products. How would you like to own a 3000-year old Chinese oven? Or cool your food in the traditional Phoenician way?

Cultural exchange is the foundation for human creativity and economic development. That is why Irina Bokova, general director of UNESCO, calls on this World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development for people around the world to place cultural diversity high on the international agenda:

“We have entered a new age of limits – in terms of resources, in terms of the planet – and our response must be to unleash our most powerful renewable resource, human intelligence and creativity. Our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity.”

Just as in biological diversity, cultural cross exchanges give birth to new possibilities and ideas. All the more reason to take a look at other cultures today. You never know what you will discover!