The Challenges of Cultural Diversity

The Challenges of Cultural Diversity


Discuss communities, nation and nation-states.


Communities : Communities and the groups of people who share the same religion, ethnicity, culture and occupation in particular areas. These are local communities the international communities, farming communities, business communities, ethnic communities, etc. The term community has been derived from commune i.e. the smallest division of local government in France and some other European countries. These provide each individual an identity which is called community identity or ascriptive identity. It is based in birth and belonging rather than some from of acquired qualifications or accomplishment. Individuals name, his parents name, his caste, sub-caste, clean, kinship, race, area in which he born, the nation, the language etc. combinedly give him an identity, e.g.

(a) Lanugage based identity :

Hindi— Hindu, English-Englishmen,

(b) Location based—Bihar-Behari, Garhwal-Garhwali iii (c) Nation based—India-Indian; Asia-Asian (d) Caste based— Brahmin, Ksatraya, Vaisya, Sudra.

Nation—A kind of large-scale community is nation. It is described as a community of communities but it is difficult to define this term in a practical manner because—

(i) There are nations founded on the basis of common cultural, historical and political institutions.

(ii) There are also some nations that do not share common cultural identity, languages, religion and even ethnicity e.g. India.

(iii) Some languages, religions or ethnicities are spread in a number of nations. Hence, we cannot make it a strong basis for definition of a nation e.g. English, Buddhist languages are spoken in almost all nations/ countries of the world.

(iv) People forming a nation may be citizens of different states, e.g. Jamaicans majority is worked out more outside than in Jamaica (North)

Conclusion : It is generally a state that gives a unique identity to the nation. However in the past this criterian to distinguish nation from state was also untrue e.g. there had been many nations and more than one hundred nationalities in Soviet Union.

Nation-State—In general way, this is defined as a group of people with the same culture, language etc.who has formed an independent country. In recent times, there has been a one-to-one bond between nation and state i.e. one nation, one state, one state one nation. However we can not say that every nation must possess a territory in the form of a continuous geographical area Eg. Alaska and USA are the same nations but geographical distant territories. We see Alaska at the extreme north-east of Russia. Similarly Austria and Germany are with contiguous territory and people who share same language and culture but separate nation states.

Conclusion : Establishment of democracy and nationalism are the major sources that form their own state—any time and anywhere because these two are main components of farming a state.

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