Multicultural societyMulticultural society
- Describe the picture and your attitude towards this issue.
- Look at the picture. Describe the festival. How do you celebrate it? How is your celebration different to the celebration in Great Britain?
- Choose two pictures and compare the cultures they live in. Could you imagine living with them in their community?
- Describe picture and talk about customs, clothes and people. Have you ever been to this kind of celebration? What was special about it?
- Describe picture. Would you like to attend this kind of school? Why/ why not?
- Which holidays, and other days in the year, do you do special things on?
- What meaning does Christmas have for you? Is there anything associated with Christmas that you dislike?
- Do you think that Christmas had become too commercialized?
- What are the differences between British and Slovak holidays and traditions?
- Which is your favourite holiday? Why? How do you celebrate it?
- What is your favourite holiday or other day, and why? How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for this year and if so, what?
- Think about Slovak society and name the nationalities living there. Compare their ways of life and mutual /vzájomný/ relationships.
- Give the pros of a multinational education.
- Talk about the possible problems of Romanies in the society.
- What feelings might people of different nationalities, colours and races have being alone in a strange culture?
- How can we overcome the differences between different cultures?
- How would your parents behave if you wanted to marry a person of a different race or religion?
- How tolerant do you think you are? Describe or give an example.
- Do you find it interesting when you meet a girl or a boy who are of different skin colour, or do you mind that?
- Would you mind sharing your desk in your classroom with someone who is not white? If so, give your reasons.
- Do you think you could have a friend of a different race?
- Do you think it was better when schools were racially segregated in some countries, that black and white students could not attend the same school?
- Do you believe that civil rights should be the same for everyone? What do you imagine when people are talking about civil rights?
- Do you agree that national, racial and religious hatred is harmful? Give examples of countries, where people hate each other because of religion or race.
- What can we do to make our society tolerant? Do you feel tolerant yourself?
- What possible problems can appear in a family of different races or religious beliefs?
- In what ways have you seen people judge others by the colour of their skin?
- Would you like to attend a multiracial school?
- Do you think that our country is well-prepared for the immigration processing of people from other European countries?
- What might influence you to leave your homeland?
- Which other cultures are you ready to accept and why?
- What do you think is the cause of conflicts and wars among ethnic groups and nations?
- Are people in your family/country tolerant towards minorities? Do you ever come into contact with other nationalities?
- Have you ever witnessed an example of discrimination?
- Have you visited any country that you felt was very different from your own? What did you find that was very strange to you?
- Which aspects of life in your country do you think might seem strange or unusual to a first-time foreign visitor? You can consider the following areas: religion, clothes, climate, leisure activities and public holidays.
- Do you think that your family is tolerant enough to other cultures and their customs?
- Which aspects of life in your country do you think might seem strange or unusual to a first-time foreign visitor? You can consider the following areas: food, celebrations, attitude to work and means of transport.
- What are your dreams about your future partner? Do you think you are tolerant enough to other cultures, races and religion?
Role-plays and simulations
1. Make a presentation about two people who come from very different social or cultural backgrounds. Which of them has an easier life? Compare as many aspects as possible. /Simulation/
- You are secretly dating a Roma. Give some reasons why you have chosen your boy/girlfriend and explain your parents that a Roma community can happily co-exist with a white one. /Role-pay/
3. An American friend is going to spend Christmas in your country. Explain him/ her how Christmas is celebrated here. (food, traditional customs, giving presents etc...) /Role-play/
- You want to marry an Afro-American. Your parents are strictly against. What are your arguments to convince them? Think about your parents´ arguments too. /Role-play/
- Your partner is a narrow-minded Catholic who forces you to celebrate all religious holidays with him/her. You believe in God but you are not willing to go to church every day. Convince him/her to make a compromise. Give your arguments and think about your partner’s possible ideas. /Role-play/
- sviatky – zvyky a tradície /cirkevné a štátne sviatky, folklórne tradície a rôzne podujatia/
- spolunažívanie ľudí rôznych národností v jednej krajine
- zbližovanie kultúr /kontakty kedysi a dnes/, osobné kontakty s inými kultúrami, tolerancia
- negatívne javy /rasová diskriminácia, intolerancia, vzťah k menšinám/
- kultúrne hodnoty iných národov, spolužitie v Európe
Public holidays in Britain
Public holidays in Great Britain are called "Bank Holidays". All the banks, offices, schools, shops and factories are closed on these days. They are the following days: Good Friday and Easter Monday /Easter holidays/, Whit Monday /seven weeks after Easter/, August Bank Holiday /the last Monday in August/, Christmas Day /December 25th/ and Boxing Day /December 26th/.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It is the anniversary of Christ\'s crucification. On Easter Monday there are funfairs with roundabouts in many towns. Whit Monday, seven weeks after Easter, is a Christian festival celebrated in commemoration of the coming of the Holy Ghost.
August Bank Holiday is the most popular summer holiday because in that time the school children are not at school and the families can go to the seaside or to the country and spend a long weekend there. /Four of "Bank Holidays" are Mondays, and so they prolong weekends./
Christmas is the most beautiful of all the "Bank Holidays". Preparations for Christmas start many weeks before. Many popular traditions and colourful customs make it an exciting and fascinating time in Britain. Special Christmas decorations, coloured lights and Christmas trees can be seen in the streets and shops. Christmas carols are sung almost everywhere, in houses, cathedrals and churches. People buy presents and send Christmas postcards to their relatives and friends. On Christmas Eve British homes are already decorated with holly, ivy, mistletoe, Christmas tree and coloured lights. Children hang their stockings at the foot of the bed for Santa Claus to fill them. In the morning of Christmas Day the children get up early to find and enjoy Christmas presents. Mothers prepare the traditional Christmas dinner: filled turkey or duck and Christmas pudding with a burning brandy on it afterwards. The evening is spent in games and entertainment. The following day is Boxing Day when Christmas boxes with presents are given to postmen, dustmen and other people who do services to the household.
New Year\'s Eve and New Year\'s Day are not public holidays in England. People go to work as usual. But on New Year\'s Eve most of them stay up till midnight to see the New Year coming. Many go to parties and dances. In Scotland the last day of the year is the public holiday which is even more important than Christmas. It is called Hogmanay. Friends and neighbours meet to drink and toast to the New Year and wish each other luck. There are other days of the year which are not public holidays in England but the English people celebrate them in some way.
It is the 14th February, St.Valentine\'s Day, when friends and lovers send one another letters or greeting cards expressing their love and affection. There is a wide choice of Valentine cards available at stationer\'s shops long before the 14th February. Some of them are serious, romantic, others humorous, sentimental, even satiric or provoking and all are signed "Your Valentine". The first Valentine was a bishop, a Christian martyr, murdered by Romans around the year 273. Before he was put to death he sent a note of friendship to his jailer\'s daughter.
The 5th November, Guy Fawkes Day /Night/, also has its roots in English history, and goes back to the year 1605, when a group of Catholics wanted to kill King James I. at the opening of Parliament by blowing up the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. The soldier, Guy Fawkes, promised to do it. This event is called the Gunpowder Plot. It was discovered and Guy Fawkes and others were executed. Nowadays the origin of Guy Fawkes Day /or Bonfire Night/ is not remembered by most of the people. It is the night when in almost every town and village in England there are bonfires /vatra/, fireworks and rockets and much noise everywhere. Children are allowed to stay up until dark and admire rockets in the sky. They can also make a bonfire and burn on it the fun figure made of straw, representing Guy Fawkes.
Public holidays in the USA
The most important public holiday in the U.S.A., in terms of American history, is The Fourth of July or Independance Day. It celebrates independence of American colonies from the British. It is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The oldest American holiday is Thanksgiving Day which is the fourth Thursday in November. It was celebrated for the first time in 1621 as the expression of the joy of people after the first successful harvest which helped the colony at Plymouth to survive winter. It is a unique American holiday.
Memorial Day, celebrated on 30th May in most states, and also Veteran\'s Day are patriotic holidays which commemorate Americans who fought in wars for their country. On these days the people visit cemeteries and memorials to honour those who sacrificed their lives for America.
Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September to honour working people of America. This holiday is generally used for rest and recreation. During the long weekend the people usually visit national parks or seaside resorts.
Birthdays of two great American presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, are celebrated by the people of the U.S.A. on 17th February, which is President\'s Day.
One of the most important events in American history was the discovery of the continent by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492. Columbus Day is American\'s public holiday. Besides celebrations of important events of American history there are holidays which have more private character and are celebrated in families. It is Easter, the typical spring holiday. Children like this holiday very much because the Easter Bunny comes with coloured chocolate eggs and candies. Families often paint eggs and decorate Easter trees with them.
Halloween is a typical American holiday celebrated on October 31. According to an old tradition it is a witches\' holiday. It is popular both among young and old people not only in the USA but also in Great Britain. At parties people dress in strange costumes and pretend they are witches and ghosts. They cut horrible faces in pumpkins and other vegetables and put a candle inside. Children dress up as ghosts and monsters and go round people‘s houses asking “Trick or treat?“ A treat means that they get candies, fruit, nuts or money. If the children do not get a treat, they play a trick on the people. A favourite trick is to put soap on the windows or to make a lot of noise at the door. Some children trick a treat for UNICEF. UNICEF uses the money to provide food, medical care, and other services for poor children throughout the world.
Christmas is a typical winter holiday and the best-loved one, too. It is the occasion for meeting with relatives. Family members often travel great distances to be together during Christmas. The celebrations of Christmas are much the same all over the United States. In town squares there are giant Christmas trees with decorations and coloured electronic lights. On Christmas Eve the trees are also decorated in families. Santa Claus comes on Christmas Day and the children open the boxes with their presents. The adult members of the family also exchange gifts. On Christmas day the traditional Christmas dinner is served.
New Year\'s Eve and New Year’s Day are days of celebration in the U.S.A. People generally go to parties to welcome the coming year. They make resolutions and promises to change or improve their future lives.
Holidays is Slovakia
1.1.– New Year´s Day /establishment of the Slovak Republic/
6.1. – Epiphany /According to the Bible the three Wise men came from the East to see the baby Jesus. They were guided by a star and brought gifts of gold, Frankincense /kadidlo/ and myrrh./
Mardi Gras /fašiangy/– a Carnival period held in some countries on or around the time of the day before the first day of Lent /pôst/
Shrove Tuesday /Fašiangový utorok/ – is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the 1st of the solemn period of Lent when Christians past and eat only certain foods
Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent
Lent – 40 days before Easter, during which Christians do not allow themselves all their usual pleasure
Maundy Thursday – commemorates the Last Supper – the meal taken by Jesus and his followers on the evening before he was crucified. Jesus shared bread and wine among his followers, beginning the Christian ceremony of the Eucharist.
Easter Sunday – Christ´ s rising from death and victory over death
Whitsunday – 7th Sunday after Easter which celebrates the coming down from heaven of the Holy Ghost /Turíce/
1.4. – All Fools´ Day – named after the custom of playing practical jokes and tricks on people 1.5. – May Day Mother´s Day – the second Sunday in May
Father´s Day – the third Sunday in June
1.6. – International Childrens´ Day 5.7. – Cyril and Method
29.8. – the Slovak National Uprising 1.9. – The Day of the Constitution
15.9. – Saint Mary 1.11. – All Saints´ Day
2.11. – All Souls‘Day – people pray for the souls of those who have died
17.11. – International Students´ Day – the day of the fight for liberty and democracy
24.12. – Christmas Eve 25.12. - Christmas Day
26.12. – St.Stephen´s Day 31.12. – New Year´s Eve
Family holidays – namesday, birthday, wedding, wedding anniversary, christening, confirmation, graduation ceremony
Slovak people have a lot of customs and traditions which have roots in their history. Some of these traditions are connected with family life, some with Roman Catholicism. At present most of these customs are slowly disappearing, but in villages most of these traditions are still alive.
One of the oldest is the “fašiangy“festival held at the end of February/the beginning of March. People walk down the street dresses in funny costumes, sing and dance to celebrate the end of winter and welcome the coming spring. In the evening they have a party that finishes late at night.
The next day Lent starts – the period of forty days from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter, during which Christians give up food or activities they enjoy in memory of Christ’s suffering. Easter is a Christian festival in Slovakia. People go to church to commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday which is the greatest religious festival of the year. In the eastern part of the country they carry baskets full of food that is eaten during Easter. Even small children have their own baskets with sweet baked lamb in it. During this special mass the priest walks among people and consecrates /posvätiť/ the food. Then people pray the Lord, go home and eat this food during the whole festival. Easter Monday is a special day in Slovakia. On that day boys go from house to house and splash girls with plaited whips and wash them with water so that they will be healthy and strong all the year round. The boys are given coloured eggs as a reward. At present alcoholic drinks are also offered and it is quite common to see drunk boys and men in the afternoon.
Another important custom is All Saint’s Day held on 1st November. People go to cemeteries to commemorate their relatives and friends who died. They light candles and pray for their loved ones rest in peace. The cemeteries are beautiful that evening with hundreds of candles burning at night.
Christmas is the most beautiful of all. Preparations for Christmas start many weeks before. Many popular traditions and colourful customs make it an exciting and fascinating time in
Slovakia. Special Christmas decorations, coloured lights and Christmas trees can be seen in the streets and shops. In town squares there are giant Christmas trees with decorations and coloured electronic lights. Christmas carols are sung almost everywhere, in houses, cathedrals and churches. People buy presents and send Christmas postcards to their relatives and friends. On Christmas Eve homes are already decorated with holly, ivy, mistletoe, Christmas tree and coloured lights. Children hang their stockings at the foot of the bed for Santa Claus to fill them. In the morning of Christmas Day the children get up early to find and enjoy Christmas presents. Mothers prepare the traditional Christmas dinner that consists of thin wafers eaten with honey and garlic, nuts and apples that are cut in two. If they are healthy, you will be healthy and happy in the following year. Then Christmas soup /mushroom soup, fish soup, bean soup, lentil soup/ is served, followed by potato salad and fried carp, with tropical foods and sweets at the end. The evening is spent in games and entertainment. The adult members of the family also exchange gifts. The following day is St.Stephen´s Day when people visit other relatives and go to parties in the evening. New Year\'s Eve is not a public holiday in Slovakia. People go to work as usual. But on New Year\'s Eve most of them stay up till midnight to see the New Year coming. Many go to parties and dances. Neighbours meet to drink a toast to the New Year and wish each other luck. People generally go to parties to welcome the coming year. They make resolutions and promises to change or improve their future lives.
New Year´s Day is a public holiday in Slovakia. This is because our state came to in existence on 1st January 1993.
Besides celebrations of important events there are holidays which have more private character and are celebrated in families. It is Easter, the typical spring holiday. Children like this holiday very much because the Easter Bunny comes with coloured chocolate eggs and candies. Families often paint eggs and decorate Easter trees with them.
Halloween - in Slovakia it is called the Saint\'s Day; we go to cemeteries to light up candles on graves of our relatives.
A multicultural society includes people from different cultures People of different colours, nationalities, languages, beliefs and customs live together in one community.
A multi-ethnic society has many advantages. Living in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society allows people to experience different ways of life, both materially and spiritually. This includes a wide variety of patterns of thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, customs, traditions, rituals, dress, languages, art, music and literature.
Multicultural education aims to prepare children for living in a multiracial 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.
Multicultural education works against racism and racial disadvantage in schools. 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.
On 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 /nadradený/ and right and that other beliefs and cultures are inferior /menejcenný/ and wrong. These people will try to stir up trouble in a multicultural society and will try to blame ethnic minorities for social and economic problems even when it is not true.
Ethnic minorities may suffer racial disadvantage in a multiethnic society. In education, children from ethnic minority groups, like refugees, may not perform as well as they could simply because they are in an unfamiliar environment. Local authorities have adopted more antiracist policies and increased the provision for multicultural education to help in these situations.
People who have gone abroad, either to work for a time or to live somewhere permanently at the end of their working lives, are sometimes called expatriates. They are typically thought of as people who never really become part of the society in the country where they are living. They spend most of their time with other expatriates.
There is one special ethnic group which can be found almost all over the world. The Romanies originated somewhere in what is now India and live very differently from the people of the nations they live in now. They typically do not live in one place, but travel from place to place while living in a caravan /in Britain they are called travellers/. In the past, their caravans were pulled by horses and were usually brightly painted. The Romanies do various jobs to earn a living but traditionally they are thought of as horse traders, musicians, basket makers and fortune tellers. In many countries some people do not trust them and treat them with disapproval, because the way they live is so foreign for Westerners.
Another interesting group lives in the Western US. Mormons are mostly found in the state of Utah, but also live in other places. They have strict moral rules and do not use tobacco or drink alcohol, or anything with caffeine. Mormons also think family is very important. Young Mormons must do missionary work for two years, and people think of young Mormon men as wearing white shirts and ties when they go from house to house trying to persuade people to join the Mormon Church. In the past, Mormon men were allowed to have more than one wife, but his is no longer common in large cities, although there are some places out in the wilderness there the tradition continues.
Since 1989 Slovakia has become a country open to people from their countries. 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. 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.
In the developed and democratic world it is popular to talk about multiculturalism and tolerance these days. Multicultural society is a society where people of different races, cultures and traditions live side by side with mutual respect of all of them. It is a society that embraces /prijímať/ 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 structure. You may ask why it is beneficial.
Let me give an example. In our country the children at school are usually from very similar backgrounds. It means white European Christian society has more or less similar values, traditions and lifestyles. It is easy to live in such society, because we basically know what we can expect from people around us. And when there is someone who is different – nation, race and religion – we look suspiciously and also curiously at such a person. In our country we are not used to people of different races and cultures, because until 1989 we were not an open society. Therefore those people seemed pretty exotic to us. 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 ideas that it is very normal that people are of different skin colour. And it may easily happen that one of your classmates will be Chinese, Turk or Arab, and it could be quite beneficial for the rest of the class. You can learn something about life and culture of a very different society, about their customs and traditions and you can share your culture with them. After a short time you realize how normal it is to live side by side. It will not be a problem to accept other people as they are, and we will also be accepted. We are getting closer to tolerance. Tolerance is a disposition to be patient and fair towards those whose opinions and practices differ from our own.
There are many benefits to a society which is truly multicultural. It enriches people offering them different experiences, different ideas, and different attitudes to life and supports tolerance and mutual understanding. There is no place for segregation which encourages racial tensions and hatred. Ethnic unrest between groups of people of different race, or with different customs, living in the same place, especially when one group is smaller than the other makes people fight and kill each other. A unified Europe, multicultural America and different integration processes support the ides of co-existence side by side, understanding each other’s customs and traditions, tolerating different attitudes, accepting different lifestyles, sharing our cultures to secure a happy and confident life for future generations.
The world is getting global; we should realize that and conform to make it a better place for everyone.
race, colour of someone’s skin, whites, blacks, Afro-American, Native American, ethnic group, ethnic division, ethnic unrest, ethnic violence, racial conflict/prejudice/harmony/tension, racism, racist, racial outbreaks, race riots, fight the police, throw rocks, fire-bombs, integration, integrated society, segregation, segregated schools, multicultural, multiracial, cosmopolitan society/city, tolerance, understanding, acceptance, co-existence, cooperation, assimilation, immigration, controversial, individuality, arranged marriage, seek asylum, refugee, immigrant, flee the country, bilingual, minority, folk, xenophobic, inequality, intolerance, ignorance, ageism, freedom ef expression, narrow-minded
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