Cultural Differences and Diversity

Ishani - Kirkland, Washington
Entered on May 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

If everyone in this world was of the same origin, looked the same, practiced the same religion, believed in the same things, we would be a world in which there was no innovation, no modernization, no new ideas, it would be the same dull thing. I believe cultural diversity and differences are to be valued and not discriminated against.

I come from a different religion and origin than most of my friends at school do. I am from India and I am a practicing Hindu. Coming from a different background, I have had a lot of exposure to different cultures and religions. I have a lot of Muslim friends, and I’ve learned about Islam multiple times. Hinduism is a religion that is tolerant of and accepts all other religions, so through this, I have been able to learn about more cultures and religions than my own. I have also had a lot of chances to share a little piece of my culture with others.

Earlier in my 7th grade year, I was asked to perform Indian classical dance for a program at my school called Open – Mic. For 4 years I have been learning the art of Bharatnatyam, India’s oldest form of Classical Dance. At first I was reluctant to dance in front of my entire school and share with them such a personal thing which is very dear to my heart, but in the end, I decided to just go for it. My mom wanted me to, and my teacher and friends wanted to see me dance, so I guess I just took the chance. Just before I went on stage and even as I was performing, I wasn’t sure how my peers would react. When I was done, I was amazed at the response. People were screaming and I received a standing ovation. Afterwards, people kept coming up to me and telling me how glad they were that I performed and how great it was that I could keep my culture running through my blood.

After this, I realized that my culture was not something I should hide from my friends. They are curious about it and want to learn more. I now understood the importance of being able to share my cultural diversity with others around me and having people in this world that are willing to accept my differences and embrace them.

Without differences and diversity, we would have no special memories and moments with other cultures, because there wouldn’t be any. I believe that cultural differences and diversity has given the world the colour and life it has and they are to be, not just acknowledged or accepted, but embraced and cherished.