Diversity The Modern Joke

You grow up hearing so much about the importance of diversity and how value adding it is to the community. Companies promote their diversity by publishing statistics showing how multi cultural they are. Big cities brag about how they absorb diversity into their culture and lifestyle. So if you do not come from a ‘cool’ multicultural country you are so urged to just move to that loving and accepting part of the world, until you actually do. Here I am, as multicultural as it gets, but it’s nothing as it sounded on paper. It is of course true that there many cultures living on one land, under the same rule, adapting to wider culture that accepts all. Accepts all means you are governed by laws that protects you no matter where you come from or what you believe in. But it does not mean that you are accepted by ALL, not at ALL.

Taking a closer look at how different cultural groups managed to survive together, you uncover they detached reality. The choice of where to settle your family depends on where the people from your original country are living. People created smaller versions of their hometowns by living next to each other, opening up small business in their area, where they still speak their mother-tongue, activate their traditions and revive their culture on a smaller level. The food, celebrations, rituals, cultural taboos are all revived. Next comes the choice of education: Again, people prefer the school that most relates to their original country whether it was the style of teaching, the nationality of the school management and teachers, or the second language taught at school.  This is enough to overcome diversity, by living and educating the next generation in a simulation of your hometown. Then you send the next generation to the outer world, where they actually meet people from not diverse but also different smaller versions of other hometowns, and diversity begins. Yet, not exactly, because people still tend to look for similarities as they leave their comfort zone, just to create a somehow similar one. Mixing with other cultures is inevitable, you need to talk to your colleagues or university class mates, you need to work as teams, and you need to be productive as well. One can enjoy learning about their fellow student or colleague’s different lifestyle and beliefs, enjoy a joke and have a wonderful office end of year party. But is that all there is to the so called ‘embracing diversity’?

Contemplating people on public transport, you rarely see a couple from different cultures sitting together. The reason is obvious, people have a choice to who they travel with, unlike schools or offices which enforce others on you. This conveys a lot of contradiction to the ‘embracing diversity’ view countries tend to promote. Humans are driven to their similarity, familiarity makes up the comfort zone where one feels safe, feels at home.

No matter how much you love to learn about new cultures, or enjoy having diverse friends, the joke that really cracks you up is the one relating to who you are, told in your own mother-tongue.

So now, I changed my view about diversity which I have come to pretend to live, it’s just a joke, a fluff! I wish this wasn’t the case, but diversity is just a modern joke people use to brag to appear social and trendy, more than they actually embrace as a concept or way of living.

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