You can never have too much cultural diversity in your life. And especially at the dawn of a new year, we should all embrace more of the differences and celebrate what makes us each special! But the question remains: how can we fit even more activities in our busy daily schedule? Here are our 5 tips for you, which you can apply on any given day.
1. Take small steps to learn a new language
Learning a new language not only helps your multicultural understanding, but it also enhances your creativity and keeps your brain young. Our tips to do this, even from home, is to register for an online app or an online course. We recommend searching on youtube for a channel that teaches the language you feel most excited about. And while grammar and pronunciation play a role, we focus more on the history of the words, the stories that language tells, and the most used expressions. That is a good starting point to get more diversity in your life in a fun way!
2. Follow the social media celebrations of a different culture – and celebrate as well!
Millions of people celebrate different holidays than you do, and that is an area worth exploring. There is nothing more intense and positive in a culture than their biggest celebrations. So for next year, choose a celebration you would like to learn more about and do your best to take part in it properly. From the comfort of your home, you can find videos and movies about practically any major celebration in the world. It helps to have friends from that culture to guide you through, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t know anyone yet. Joining a cultural institute or forum or simply joining a Facebook group of diverse people celebrating that particular holiday is already a great start!
3. Try cooking an international dish – especially watching directions from an international cooking show
Cooking is an experience of discovery, and what is there better to discover if not an entirely new culture. We recommend you to start by watching a cooking show focused on the international cuisine you want to try. It helps to bring in an understanding of the background of the culture and even a history of the recipe before starting your cooking endeavor. If you don’t get the right ingredients that you might need, also don’t get discouraged – use this opportunity to find a shop that sells the right ingredients and go explore it. Or maybe just replace some of the ingredients. Remember, it is more about learning the secrets of the culture rather than getting the perfect meal!
4. Take time to talk into depth with a friend with a different background about their upbringing and cultural associations
This is best done over a couple of hours, sharing either a good cup of coffee, tea, or even wine. Make yourself comfortable and be ready to have a journey down memory lane together with a friend from a different culture. Ask each other questions and try to discover the similarities and differences in your cultural upbringing. Include questions such as what was valued in your family? Which parts of the culture did you like the most? Which personal traits do you think came because of being raised in that culture? Don’t be affraid to be honest and remember to not judge!
5. Discover the multicultural diversity around your corner: read the yearly immigration report
The world we live in is already mapped out year by year by agencies such as The Integration Fund. You can always find the latest updated version of the report, while the one for 2020 is already available for download. Interesting, eye-opening information can be found, such as the pay gap, the change of the population based on cultural background, and the impact of these changes on education and the work market. Seeing this will hopefully give you some warm feelings of hope, understanding how active integration measures and cultural diversity appreciation are really enriching society.