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Multicultural Society

Multicultural society is a society that embraces a number of minority cultures and according to the theory of multiculturalism it is beneficial to a society to maintain more than one culture within its culture. It is a society where people of different races, cultures & traditions live side by side with respect to the benefit of all of them.

Positive on living in multicultural society is the fact, that when people learn about different ways of life, it helps to break down barriers between ethnic groups which are caused by ignorance. Human beings have a tendency to be suspicious of cultures they do not understand. Living with different cultures brings a better understanding of world beliefs and cultures and helps to encourage religious and social tolerance.
One the negative side, cultural differences can be emphasized in order to divide a society. This can lead to prejudice and discrimination. There will always be people who think that their religion and culture is superior and right and that other beliefs and cultures are inferior and wrong. These people will try to stir up trouble in a multi-cultural society and will try to blame ethnic minorities for social and economic problems even when it is not true. In different religions different approaches to lifestyles, marriages and equality between men and women are accepted.
Multicultural education aims to prepare children for living in a multicultural society by giving them an understanding of the cultures and histories of different ethnic groups. As a result, an initiative for multicultural teaching came in the UK. Education is the only way to bring cross-cultural understanding and respect. The problem remains, however, that no matter how much a subject has been taught it will not be learned until the student is willing and able. This is why geographically based multicultural education is so important. It makes the concepts personal and real to the students, making them easier to accept.

In our country we are not used to people of different races and cultures, because until 1989 we were not an open society. It is changing: many foreigners with their customs and very different cultural backgrounds are coming to our country and we are getting used to the idea that it is very normal that people are of different skin colour. It could be quite beneficial for us because we learn something about their customs and traditions and we can share our culture with them. We are getting closer to tolerance which is explained as the disposition to be patient and fair towards those whose opinions and practices differ from our own. A new phenomenon has appeared in Slovak traditions. More and more women get married to men of different religion and colour. There is still a certain amount of prejudice, but most young people are tolerant, without any prejudice.

One minority without a territory are the Romany. A rapidly rising birth rate among the Romany means an increasingly important issue in Slovak politics and Slovakia is working hard to integrate them into society.

At present the country faces the problem of Vietnamese guest workers and helps the refugees from Albania and Ukraine to continue their immigration process in newly built asylum houses. Apart from Slovaks, the territory is inhabited by over half a million Hungarians in the south of Slovakia, along with smaller groups like the Ruthenians in the east.

There are many cosmopolitan countries and cities in the world.
In Australia you can find people from many different countries and continents, who brought their traditions, traditional meals and culture to their new homeland. They are respected by the majority society, they are proud of whom they are and most of them love Australia. Big cities like Sydney or Melbourne have their China town; you can meet Indians, Pakistani or Lebanese, Thai, Japanese or people from Papua New Guinea. The customs and traditions are getting closer to each other sharing the best aspects of everything.
In London the British from different parts of the country searching for jobs have settled down next door to Pakistanis or West Indians. Their children attend the same schools and grow up shoulder to shoulder.
New York is as cosmopolitan as London but is not as mixed. Nationalities stay in their own areas, like the Russians in the Russian section, the Germans in the German section. Polish people settled down in a cosmopolitan district of Chicago. The area of a city where many Chinese people live and where you can find many Chinese shops and restaurants is called Chinatown. In cities such as San Francisco, New York and London the Chinatown street signs are in Chinese as well as English.
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