World Day for Cultural Diversity

World Day for Cultural Diversity

Culture is a living, breathing heritage

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this World Day in 2002, following UNESCO’s adoption of the ‘Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity’ in 2001, which recognises the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means for the pursuit of prosperity, sustainable development and peaceful global coexistence“.

As UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay reminds us in her message:

Cultural diversity is not in itself a factor for peace and progress. For this, it requires learning, learning about diversity, the ability to shift attention away from oneself, to dialogue and recognise the value hidden in every culture.

I don’t want my house to have closed walls on the sides and blocked windows. I want the cultures of all countries to blow into my house as freely as possible.

Following Mahatma Gandhi’s wish that ‘culture is not an inheritance carved in stone, but a living, breathing inheritance’ means being open to influences and dialogue, which enables us to adapt more peacefully to changes in the world.

As for me, I don’t want to hear any more that I’m French. I’m Italian, English, German… I’m from every country wherever there are souls to be saved

St Mary Euphrasia