An Attempt at Cultural Sensitization

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This article has been submitted by Ayushi Goel for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.

In the light of recent events of racial attacks in India, I propose we rise from being a tolerating (are we even there, yet?) society to an accepting one.

Where do we begin? Education.

We have a responsibility to teach students open-mindedness. With education, we can foster dialogue with young people, broaden their worldview and provide a platform to them to ask questions about cultural differences.

Imagine a classroom that utilizes technology to connect students from all over the globe. I see Indian students getting ready for a classroom video chat with students from, say, Nairobi. They have done their research and have come armed with questions ranging  from the simple to the philosophical:

“What do you eat for breakfast?”, “What is your favourite subject?”, “What do you want to do with your life?”, and “How do you want to change the world?”, “What are you scared of ?”, “What are the issues in your daily life that hold you back?”, “How can we work together to fix those issues?”, “How do you view our society?”, “What do you know about us?”, “And, how can we take this connection a step further?”.

This is a curriculum of thought, not tests, not statistics, and not papers, but ideas about the people around (or not so around) us.

Not achieved overnight, of course, but I see a society that comes from simply tolerating you to celebrating you.

This might seem distant and idealistic to you. It’s not.

We’ve been doing it all along throughout history and around the globe. Look at the Olympics, the World Cup. These events celebrate the idea of global oneness.
During World War-II, while some countries persecuted Jews, Denmark chose to celebrate them. The Nazi leaders told the King to mark all Jews with the star of David. The King of Denmark said, no. Instead, he had every citizen including himself wear the star of David. This action saved a thousand Jewish lives in Denmark.

Just some random food for thought.
And remember, it all starts at education. The right kind.

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