Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is: Cultural Diversity

The multi-cultural project has become a synonym for social failure and halfhearted sissyness of politicians, that rather restrict, than support social and cultural variety. I dwell, that I use mutli-culturalism and the multi-culturalist project in reference to miscarried politics in this (con-)text. If people use the term multi-culti or call for a multi-cultural leadership, something else is meant, as far as I am concerned. To me, they mean the playful and winning variety of a society from an emic view, from the inside, that lives in peace and who does not question for civics to prove who one would be; or which color of skin one had; or which religion one had chosen to believe in; or to which nation one belonged to; or which language one spoke; or how much money one had; these are all signs and symbols used to make a difference. I do not want to spin my discussion into - istic semiotics, now.

If culture, after , is roughly a system of historically acquired/collected and interpreted symbols, the perception of variety and diversity supports people, who respect each other, because of differences explained, savored and respected. The multi-culti adjective stands for the joy and pleasure of respected differences. Authors or organisations calling for a multi-cultural society mean, that their and other cultures, societies and human beings should be accepted and respected and they speak from an emic view. From an emic view here, I mean, for instance, an author, who lives within a small-scale group within a dominating culture, who writes about a Multicultural Age. Id est Joana Bordas´s Salsa, Soul & Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age, that will be presented in a September 26, 2007.

I stress, that with the muticultural project(-s) I mean the failed implemenations of coherent laws and institutions in - not only Western - societies, and therefore I suggest a new approach by the means of cultural diversity and variety. I think, that a broader perspective of variety should bear acceptance and respect corresponding to cultures and resulting social issues. The discussion is not about multi-cultural tolerance or the finding of differences: The quest goes for respect of differences, even if they were not uttered, and for acceptance of , be it Black, white, religious, poor, gender-related or any other sign or symbol of otherness. If a model of diversity and variety counteracts single-minded lines of thoughts and weak agency, these categories will be good enough to allow debates. The connotes cultural diversity, which denotes a noticable cultural heterogeneity: Human beings do not have to follow ideologies of some theory, because there to hold egalitarian societies together. I want to refer to recent discussions about building mosques: The media did not inform the public, correctly, which is the case quite often. Take the Viennese example: A given house is to be refurbished. One room will be equipped to say one´s prayers. So why do parts of the local population demonstrate against renovation and a religious center? I think the following is an outline:

  1. I think the public was informed wronlgy. It is not a big mosque they were talking about, it is a small place of spirituality.
  2. Parts of the public do not know about democracy and the religious freedom so many people fought and died for.
  3. Xenophobia: Fear from extremists and fanatics turned into hate of the mass (media).

To me the question arises, if in all fields of society is at stake. It is, I am sure. I am looking forward to critique and comments. Moreover, I appreciate actions to support Human Rights and respect. offers a range of possibilities, whereas mutliculturalism in my opinion rather limits opportunities by referring to only some notions of being human. So it matters, I assume, to talk about and , and not to limit (endless) variety to multi, a countable number.

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Quote of the Day:
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. - Albert Einstein         

Addendum Breaking News 8.20 PM: Now, I saw Andrea was blogging about the Islamic Youth, additionally there is an initiative out, by the Concerned Anthropologists!

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