Multiculturalism…?

As an organization dedicated to multicultural understanding and… wait…

“What do you mean by ‘multicultural’?” One might ask.

Although the answer might seem intuitive to many, this self-explicable yet obscure word has caused some good deal of controversy in Great Britain.

Mr. David Cameron, the current Prime Minister of United Kingdom, gave a speech that explains how the doctrine of multiculturalism is, to some extent, backfiring in England. “The doctrine of state multiculturalism encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream,” boldly claimed the Prime Minister.

Rather than dismissing the statement as a blasphemy against cultural appreciation, I feel the need to stop and mull over it. Partially because what Mr. Cameron said might not be entirely wrong.

While the way our society embraces many different cultures is definitely a progress compared to a century ago, I have a vibe (and my vibes are surprisingly not-so-egregious). A part of me tells me that we haven’t advanced much to the ultimate goal of genuine multicultural understanding. In other words, this acceptance of all culture might have ironically created an implicit, less conspicuous rift between people of different views and cultures.

For instance, we often times encounter situations where we meet someone and are so taken aback at how different his view on something is to ours. Instead of outwardly expressing contempt, which is terrible, we have learned to silently dismiss him, telling ourselves that “people have different view points and cultures”ultimately ostracizing him, and grouping him with people who share his viewpoint.

That last phrase is an inclusive one we employ when emphasizing understanding others’ opinions.

I ask myself, and I pose this question to you, “do you think our attitude of ‘accepting’ all cultures as unique and special could have further alienated ourselves from others?

 

 

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