World Day For Cultural Diversity For Dialogue And Development

One of the most important riches for all human beings is the cultural diversity that exists around the world. There are thousands upon thousands of different cultures around the world, producing a vast patchwork of art, music, cuisine, films, religions, sports, languages, and history that are important to maintain. That’s why the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development urges everyone to not only appreciate other cultures but to do their part to bridge the gap between their culture and others. This holiday is observed annually on May 21st and has been observed for over two decades.

The History of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

A shortened name for this holiday is Diversity Day, and it was created in 2001. It was created as a result of the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, being destroyed by the Taliban. The statues of Gautama Buddha were carved out of the side of a cliff during the 6th century. The Taliban began by firing artillery and anti-aircraft guns at the statues, and then by placing anti-tank mines at their base to increase the damage to them. As a result of these actions, UNESCO made a Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in November of 2001. Later, the UN General Assembly proclaimed this holiday by UN Resolution 57/249.

Cultural Facts from Around the World

Ready for a quick crash course in international culture? If you are, then read along because we’ve outlined some very interesting cultural facts from around the world. The following factoids are sure to give everyone reading them the information they need to celebrate Diversity Day in style.

  • In the world today, there are over 6,000 languages spoken. However, many of these languages are spoken by only a few hundred people.
  • The top 12 languages in the world are the ones that are spoken by the majority of people in the world.
  • Africa is home to up to 1,500 of the world’s languages. That makes it one of the most linguistically diverse places in the entire world.
  • In China, the number 4 is associated with death.
  • In England, there is a cheese rolling competition that’s held on Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire.
  • Russians will often open their umbrellas indoors to dry. In the U.S., opening an umbrella indoors is considered to be bad luck.

Observing World Day for Cultural Diversity

All UNESCO member states and members are encouraged to observe this holiday. Cultural events are held throughout the world, and these may include art exhibits, concerts, exhibitions, workshops, and seminars.

People wanting to observe this holiday can do so by celebrating their own culture and other cultures around the world. They can visit their local museum, watch a foreign film, or listen to music from another culture. They can also take the time to learn the history of other cultures or even learn a new language. Anyone observing this holiday is encouraged to use the hashtag #DiversityDay on their social media accounts to spread the word about it.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 21 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
May 21 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
May 21 Sunday
Culture & History, United Nations