portada multiculturalidad

October 12th: multiculturalism that breaks borders.

Many are the readings taken on October 12th. The main reason why this day is important is because Christopher Columbus discovered two continents. It is true that what came later (by the very nature of the human being), were more discoveries, colonizations and several clashes between cultures.

But perhaps what we don’t realize is that we must learn from mistakes. And just as a child learns to walk on the basis of falls, those frontal clashes between cultures of the so-called “new world” made us what we are today.

Today, the designation of October 12th as the Day of Encounter between Cultures is perhaps the most positive vision and the one that opens the way for the future.

According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, Hispanic is the “generic character of all peoples of Hispanic language and culture”. This definition is related to UNESCO’s definition of 12 October as Spanish Language Day.

In Venezuela and Bolivia, the Day of Indigenous Resistance and the Day of Decolonisation are commemorated, respectively, while in Ecuador it is called Interculturality Day. 

As always, there are two parts, two visions of the same thing. And the celebration of Hispanic Day couldn’t be less.

Many things have been discovered since then. Among them, several cultures. The true autochthonous ones of the American continents. Other skin tones, other heights, other bodies, other beliefs, other gods. Other ways of living and doing things. But all within the same race: the human being.

Many colours, just one race.

From #thenowfamily we always bet for a multicultural education, where children can know first-hand that there is not one human being superior to another.

manos mundo cultura

Within this cultural diversity, we must promote and teach how to value differences, never punish them. Perhaps not our grandparents, but fortunately today we can live together and meet people from different backgrounds, with their different cultures, languages, religions, clothing, gastronomy…

Diversity is always a source of knowledge and reflection, it facilitates the awakening of critical attitude, curiosity, the re-planning of ideas, new concepts… it is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and learn from others what can also be valid for oneself.

To keep in mind that respect is the basic premise for living in society, especially if it is plural. That we do not share or understand something: an idea, a dress, a custom… does not authorize us to despise it. At present, it is necessary to explain to our children that all customs, actions and facts are framed in a concrete historical and ideological context, which is why they arose.

This needs to be explained to children and adults. Everything that happens, happens at a certain moment in time. Everything is the result of circumstances and an environment, a context. Therefore, certain facts cannot be judged by adapting them to the present moment.

Now we can’t even think or see things the way our ancestors did. So we can’t judge him.

Empathy= multiculturalism´s mother

Everthing what we are talking about has a lot in common with the following point. Teach them to place themselves in each other’s shoes. To understand a person, we all know that we have to situate ourselves in his reality, the same thing we have to do when we want to understand a culture: THE BLESSED EMPATHY.

mapa mundi

Empathy allows us to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. Our customs are assumed from the moment in which we are inculcated, from childhood without question. However, we find foreign customs at times grotesque and absurd, easily criticized. But… do we consider the meaning of our own and what will they look like to people from other cultures? Possibly, an American when seeing the Nazarenes of Holy Week in Seville may be overwhelmed because he even remembers the KKK and does not feel any aesthetic taste or that it is considered an art.

Empathy should make us aware that we must stop judging from our own egotistical point of view, to look beyond, with the eyes of others.

Surely we eat pizzas, or tea and it seems to us of the most normal thing to invite the friends to a Fondue in house… Nor will we be surprised that on December 24th we have Santa’s presents under the Christmas tree… But everything is adopted from other cultures such, Italian, French, Irish… The adoption and the interchange of ideas, food, customs of the environment with which one lives is a natural phenomenon and, on the other hand, it is a natural phenomenon.

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