Just the other day, my friend told me that her kindergartner was being teased by little girls in the class as he wears a turban. If I take a close look, I feel it is neither insensitivity nor any disrespect towards the little boy’s culture; it is ignorance about different cultures. But this brings us to the important discussion. Are we teaching our kids about the importance of diverse cultures in the school? Are we telling them that they have to deal with people from different backgrounds, races, genders and they need to get along well with them to be a good citizen?
As a result of globalization, people from different parts of the world have come to US for work as well as for higher education. The society as such has been open to accepting these people as they are and value their personal traits and rituals which may be way different from that of the people of prevailing cultures. In the corporate world also, there are examples of organizations that have already started working on it and they are investing a huge amount in diversity training and diversity education. In fact, the Diversity Inc. website is dedicated to provide information to the corporate world about diversity management. Following the suit, even the Universities and Colleges have adopted a more liberal diversity policy that values students who come from different parts of the world and from different cultures and ethnicities. These efforts are appreciated.
However, in order to have a more open and accepting culture, teachers in elementary schools can make a difference by training young students in turn. They can do various activities such as role plays to prepare children for working with diverse students in future as well. Parents also play a crucial role in this and they can enlighten themselves as well as their children about the importance and unique traits of different cultures.