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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development – May 21, 2023

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, also known as Diversity Day, is celebrated on May 21 every year. It is a day set aside to appreciate the cultural diversities between different countries, states, and people in the World. This day is of serious importance as three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. That is a really big slice of the pie being culture-related. This has led to efforts by the United Nations and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to curb this in a bid to achieve one of its major objectives — bringing peace into the World.

History of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

According to the United Nations, three-quarters of the conflict in the World has a cultural dimension to them. This has been the norm since the beginning of time, as people tend to favor what they are used to as opposed to accepting or tolerating something foreign. Over the years, interventions have been set up to combat this and have borne some fruit, but it would take the education and intervention of everybody to achieve 100% tolerance of cultural diversity.

Some of the efforts came with UNESCO’s adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001 recognizing the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development, and global peaceful coexistence.” In December 2002, the U.N. General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. In 2015, the Second Committee of the U.N. General Assembly adopted the resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development to further contribute to cultural diversity as it stated that sustainable development can best be achieved by drawing upon the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures and engaging in continuous dialogue to ensure that all members of society benefit from it.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development presents an occasion to deepen our understanding of cultural diversity, promote it and highlight its significance as an agent of inclusion and positive change. It should be celebrated by all in the world as accepting each other’s differences is one of the most important ways to bring peace between people, countries, and the world at large.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development timeline

2001
UNESCO Adopts Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

UNESCO adopts the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001.

2002
U.N. Officially Celebrates Diversity

U.N. declares May 21 as World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

2005
UNESCO Holds Convention to Protect Diversity

UNESCO holds a convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.

2015
U.N. Adopts Resolution on Cultural Development

The U.N. General Assembly adopts the Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development to contribute to cultural diversity.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development FAQs

Why do we celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development?

It is an avenue to promote cultural diversity and highlight its significance in our society as an agent of positive change.

When is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrated?

It is celebrated on May 21 every year.

When did the U.N. declare World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development?

The U.N. declared World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development in 2002.

How to Observe World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  1. Visit a Museum

    Visit a Museum with a lot of cultural history. Not only will you be exposed to various cultures, but you will also learn about their history and their significance in the modern world.

  2. Travel to a historic site

    Travel to a historic site to experience another culture. Post your experience on social media.

  3. Cook food from a different culture

    Celebrate the day by cooking traditional food from a different culture. Try out recipes you’ve never heard of before and have a feast with your friends and family.

5 Culture-Rich Sites You Should Know

  1. Machu Picchu, Peru

    This ancient city of Incas cascades was occupied during the 15th and 16th centuries and is considered one of the most stunning archeological sites in the world.

  2. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

    These pyramids were built as tombs for Pharaohs and are more than 2,600 years old.

  3. Bagan, Myanmar

    This historic site is known for having the largest concentration of Buddhist temples in the world, many of which were built in the 1000s and 1100s.

  4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

    Angkor Wat is known for being the world's largest religious monument and was built by the Khmers in the 12th century.

  5. Great Wall of China

    This culture-rich site stretches almost 6,000 kilometers and was built in the seventh century B.C.

Why World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is Important

  1. It promotes human rights

    Celebrating cultural diversity around the world helps promote human rights and fundamental freedom. With continual celebrations, human rights infringements with cultural bias reduce.

  2. It educates people on diversity

    Education is one of the biggest tools to use to fight against cultural bias. Seeing celebrations like these makes people want to find out more about cultural diversity.

  3. It increases the mobility of artists

    When diverse cultures are embraced by everyone, it is easier for artists to showcase their work to them. It does not just benefit the artist, but places they choose to showcase their work benefit as well.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development dates

YearDateDay
2023May 21Sunday
2024May 21Tuesday
2025May 21Wednesday
2026May 21Thursday
2027May 21Friday

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