One question that keeps on coming up, whenever we discuss matters to do with multiculturalism, is the one as to whether genuine multicultural awareness is achievable. The true position, currently, is that we don’t have genuine multicultural awareness in the world. If we had genuine multicultural awareness in the world, we wouldn’t be having some folks believing that their ways of life are superior to others. We wouldn’t be having hate rallies and the such. Talking of hate rallies, last week, I came across one, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. I was on my way to a Subway branch, to check my SubwayCard balance. The trip ended up aborting, and I had to contend with checking the balance at mysubwaycard.com (which is not what I had initially planned).
So we have to start by appreciating that, currently, we don’t have genuine multicultural awareness. Having appreciated that fact, we can deal with the question as to whether genuine multicultural awareness is actually achievable.
In my view, genuine multicultural awareness is achievable. But to achieve it, we will need a lot of focused effort. Looking at the people who are working towards achieving multicultural awareness, you can’t help getting the feeling that they are not working hard enough. They are trying, but they are not doing it well enough. To achieve genuine multicultural awareness, we need to have consistent media campaigns, combined with other educational programs aimed at the target groups of people. It is not enough to carry out a media campaign once in a while. It has to be a long-term strategy, knowing that the objective here is to change people’s attitudes. And people’s attitudes don’t change overnight.
Ultimately, it may take a generation or two, for genuine multicultural awareness to be achieved. But with the growth in global media, and the general trend towards globalization, there is reason to hope that soon or later, genuine multicultural awareness will be achieved.