“The beauty of cultural diversity” is the title of a cultural evet organized by four young leaders of Herat socio-cultural container in the first week of their community project with the aim of promoting inter-cultural understanding, acceptance and tolerance through exhibition of food and other cultural elements.
Afghanistan is a diverse country and its ethnically and linguistically rich and mixed population reflects its location at the crossroads of Central, South and Southwest Asia. Communities with separate religions, languages, and ethnic backgrounds have lived side by side for generations.
“In the first week of our community project, we held a cultural event and invited people from different ethnic groups to introduce their traditions and cultures including foods, clothing and music to one another. As a result, every participant had the chance to learn and discuss similarities and appreciate their differences,” Said Yalda Hozhair Amini, one of the young leaders of Herat container. , “I believe that the first stage of establishing coexistence is the building a mutual understanding of each other and each other’s cultures.”
Afghanistan is still largely a tribal society, divided into many tribes, clans and smaller groups. Such societies, although have the advantage of being diverse and culturally wealthy, are noticeably at risk of conflicts, also. There are instances when these strata have had clashes among each other. These clashes resulted in civil wars and influenced Afghan society negatively to a large extent. Other countries that had their interests in Afghan society used these clashes for their political functions and further added fuel to the fireplace.
Herat Young leaders wrote the script of a drama which was then performed by a theater group in their community project in front of tens of participants. The drama displayed how divisions can lead the country to conflict and how acceptance, coexistence and harmony can contribute to the peace, wellbeing and prosperity of Afghanistan.
“The performance has expanded my perception and encouraged me to accept others as they are. “, said by Mehran, one of the participants.
It is essential for heterogeneous societies to develop a culture of co-existence. One of the simplest ways to make that happen is searching for the similarities among totally different teams rather than distinguishing the variations and creating them the bone of rivalry.
In April 2019, more than 200 people including youth, elders and student from diverse cultures were brought together by young leaders in Gowharshad Begom, a historical site located in downtown of Herat city, to enjoy patriotic music, storytelling and poetry, and exhibition of visual arts such as photography and painting.
“This event provides an opportunity for us to rethink the way we see and interact with one another. Despite the diversity in language and cultures in Afghanistan, we almost lead similar lives; follow Islamic traditions, eat similar food, tell similar stories and celebrate the same holidays. We have a lot in common to stick to as a unified nation. ”, said a participant.
The perk of living in a multicultural society is that it gives you the opportunity to learn things about other people that you would otherwise not.