Multicultural Communication Month is observed in April and we cannot conceal our excitement about it. It may amaze you to know that multicultural communications were practiced at Dura Europos — a multicultural society with languages such as Latin, Syriac, and Persian — as early as the first century B.C. Scholars believe ancient Rome began as a federation of tribes, traders, and other groups, indicating that it was also a multicultural civilization. It’s impossible to say the different tribes lived together without interacting, and so, we can say that communication amongst people of different cultures has its roots firmly set even in antiquity.
History of Multicultural Communication Month
In the strive to achieve a harmonious multicultural society, April was singled out to mark Multicultural Communication Month. Although this holiday has no records of being observed more than two years back, it is an integral part of the wider Diversity Month holiday that was first marked in April 2004. Regardless of what name it is given, the purpose of this holiday is to achieve a peaceful society where people of different cultures communicate with one another, without a show of supremacy.
The U.S. is a typical example of modern multicultural society. And rightly so, it is a nation that has achieved greatness through the collective efforts of various cultures residing in it. In the olden days, ancient Rome — like America today — was equally a multicultural society, synchronized in one way or the other, as one. Additionally, languages such as Latin, Greek, Syriac, and Persian were spoken in Dura Europos as far back as the first century. It suffices to say that even though these great, ancient societies are no more today, their greatness could only be brought about through multicultural communications between the many tribes present in them.
The importance of multicultural communication cannot be undermined. The Roman Republic would not have turned into an empire if there were no intercultural communications between Romans and the cultures they conquered. As one report said, “The Roman Empire established a language that solidified its effect on the languages of the world today through the high percentage of interaction between frontier cultures and the culture of the Roman soldiers….” The Greeks for example still spoke their language in the Roman Empire and both inculcated each other’s cultures into theirs. This is seen in the adoption of Greek gods and goddesses by the Romans and vice versa.
Multicultural Communication Month timeline
The first cultural contact is recorded in the Sumerian ports of the Persian Gulf.
Semitic Akkadians take over Mesopotamia and maintain the use of the Sumerian language for rituals and religion.
Hittites and Kassites adopt Gods from Anatolia and Mesopotamia.
The International Communication Association establishes a Division of Intercultural Communication.
The International Academy of Intercultural Relations is established.
Multicultural Communication Month FAQs
What are examples of ‘multicultural communication?’
When related to only verbal interactions, examples may include an American conversing with an African person, people with different beliefs peacefully discussing their religions, a native English speaker conversing in Spanish with a Spanish friend, etc.
What is effective multicultural communication?
For multicultural communication to be effective, participants must understand, respect, value, have sincere intentions to learn, and appreciate each other’s cultures.
What are the different problems in multicultural communication?
The greatest problem that hinders multicultural communication is the feeling of superiority by one culture over another. This is followed by language barriers, stereotypes, social statuses, and trust issues.
Multicultural Communication Month Activities
Reach out to that culturally different neighbor
Check in on that culturally diverse acquaintance you have and spend some quality time with them. You might be ecstatic to learn how fantastic they are.
Learn to speak a different language
Is it Arabic, French, Russian, or Spanish? Learn to speak another language and use it to interact with a native speaker.
Be nice to culturally different people
Even if you think their culture is different from yours, or you have a better social status, start being nice to them. We could all benefit from being nicer.
5 Interesting Facts About Communication
Initiated with speech origin
Communication in humans was initiated along with the origin of speech.
It began with symbols
Communication began with the use of symbols.
Cave paintings were the first symbols
A form of rock art known as ‘cave paintings' was the oldest known communication symbol.
Oldest cave paintings were in France
The oldest known cave paintings are located within the Chauvet cave in present-day France.
It advanced to pictographs
Cave paintings that only show events were replaced by drawings that tell stories.
Why We Love Multicultural Communication Month
It fosters unity
Multicultural communication unites people with different cultures. It gives everyone a sense of belonging.
It keeps us informed
Reading or learning about another culture keeps you informed about other people. It makes conversations with others more interesting.
It encourages learning
Multicultural Communication Month pushes us to learn about cultures and people we never thought of knowing anything about. We love this!
Multicultural Communication Month dates