Culture Forum in China on World Cultural Diversity Day

June 2004 -

With reference to the Unesco World Cultural Diversity Day, the German Bertelsmann foundation and the Chinese International Culture Association organised a forum dealing with cultural similarities and differences.

The Unesco World Cultural Diversity Day will be celebrated this year for the second time on 21 May 2004. The General Assembly of the United Nations established this day so that people throughout the world would stop and think about the value of cultural differences. Understanding one another's language, traditions and identity would do away with distrust towards others and thus help to prevent conflicts. Unesco called member states to celebrate this day as extensively as possible, with as many prestigious organisations as possible. Nevertheless, little activity was seen this year within the framework of this Day.

An exception was the German Bertelsmann foundation, which organised a two-day forum in China in cooperation with the Chinese International Culture Association to mark the special day. The objective of this International Culture Forum Beijing, held on 21 and 22 May 2004, was to enrich the dialogue between Europe and China. Now that China has become one of Europe's major partners in trade, the time has come to take a closer look at the cultural similarities and differences between the two. Attention was also devoted to collective worries about the effect of globalisation on local cultures.