The concept of interculturalism is based on 3 fundamental points:
A positive interaction
If we take a moment to think about it, we would understand how important this is for everyday life. Our society is in constant evolution, that regards also the context of globalization. Today cultural diversity has become an essential condition in human society, just consider the concept of multiculturalism, which consists in the coexistence of different cultures within a society. The ability to think to the world differently and to be able to co-exist with habits and thoughts that are different from ours need to be developed in order to avoid problems such as racism, xenophobia, stereotypes and prejudice that in many cases, throughout history, has led to acts of violence.
Every day we interact with different cultures and societies, even if we don’t realize it. Just think about how many times we come into contact with people who doesn’t speak our language or that come from another country or a different cultural background. Even when we’re at home alone we interact with other cultures: we wear clothes that come from all over the world or we use technological devices, just as our computer or telephone, that haven’t been made in our country. There are more than 7 billion cultures in the world and everyone of them have contributed and still contribute to the formation of the world, a world that wouldn’t exist without them.
But what is the real meaning of interculturalism? Interculturality is the set of relationships and interactions that take place between different cultures in order to promote dialogue, mutual respect and the conscious preservation of the cultural identity of each individual. This is the real purpose of learning to live together peacefully in a multicultural world which helps to prevent the abuse of and promote human rights. More than being a way to enrich ourselves, interculturality is quite a modern instrument that allows us to take a step towards a future full of peace.
Coming into contact with or enjoying the benefits of interculturality today has become simpler. First of all nowadays most of the schools organize cultural exchanges, in which students can decide to attend, for a certain period from one month to a year, a school abroad in another country and live the context of a life and culture totally different from their own. Interacting with people who have emigrated to your country, whatever the reason, gives you the opportunity to experience in a way this concept of culturalism. In fact you can always learn and understand something new about the customs and habits of others by simply talking and trying to make them feel at home.
Let’s not forget about social media, the internet, TV, books and journals; these are some of the things that affect our everyday lives the most and provides a significant amount of information about other countries and situations that are different from own own. Moreover, through social networks we can always get to know people of our own age and exchange information about our cultural backgrounds.
Afterall, the only thing that really needs to be done in order to have a 360°intercultural experience is to leave all prejudice at home and to experience the diversities that the world has to offer, because they are the only things that really allow us to enrich ourselves internally.
Sara Ferrari 3AL