I have been reminded of the variation and importance of culture during a film festival I have been attending over the last 12 days. Some aspects of the cultures and values of others have been entirely new to me.
Cultures among people have developed over millenia in every corner of the world. The distinctions and nuances between people as they form groups to live, to work and to create have been the means by which we form values, understand the human form, learn from the past and inform the future. The diversity of a myriad of cultures underpins how individuals and groups and communities develop, grow and flourish.
Whilst I know and cherish the values and cultural influences on my life, why should I learn about the cultures of others? Cultural upbringing is an inherently important aspect of my identity; it is part of who I am. When I am proud and confident of who I am, I can understand why others might feel the same about themselves. The more we delve into intercultural understanding, the richer and stronger are the groups that make up our society.
Recognizing the importance of building human solidarity, our rich diversity, which is our collective strength should be used for constructive partnership for change and for the achievement of the common goal of sustainable development. (Johannesburg Declaration, 2002)