World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Perilli in Toronto, Canada—a city and country well known for its approach to multiculturalism. Four identical sculptures are located in Buffalo City, South Africa; Changchun, China; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Sydney, Australia

Multiculturalism is the cultural diversity of communities within a given society and the policies that promote this diversity. As a descriptive term, multiculturalism is the simple fact of schools, businesses, neighborhoods, cities, or nations. As a prescriptive term, multiculturalism encourages ideologies and policies that promote this diversity or its institutionalization. In this sense, multiculturalism is a society “at ease with the rich tapestry of human life and the desire amongst people to express their own identity in the manner they see fit.”[1]

Multicultural ideologies or policies vary widely,[2] ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society, to a policy of promoting the maintenance of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of various ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group they belong to.[3][4]

Two main different and seemingly inconsistent strategies have developed through different government policies and strategies. The first focuses on interaction and communication between different cultures. Interactions of cultures provide opportunities for the cultural differences to communicate and interact to create multiculturalism. This approach is also often known as interculturalism. The second centers on diversity and cultural uniqueness. Cultural isolation can protect the uniqueness of the local culture of a nation or area and also contribute to global cultural diversity.[5][6] A common aspect of many policies following the second approach is that they avoid presenting any specific ethnic, religious, or cultural community values as central.[7]

Multiculturalism is often contrasted with the concepts of assimilationism and has been described as a "salad bowl" or "cultural mosaic" rather than a "melting pot".[8]


  • In different countries 1
    • Australia 1.1
    • Argentina 1.2
    • Canada 1.3
    • Continental Europe 1.4
      • Bulgaria 1.4.1
      • Germany 1.4.2
      • Netherlands 1.4.3
    • India 1.5
    • Indonesia 1.6
    • Japan 1.7
    • Malaysia 1.8
    • Mauritius 1.9
    • Mexico 1.10
    • Philippines 1.11
    • Singapore 1.12
    • South Korea 1.13
    • United Arab Emirates 1.14
    • United Kingdom 1.15
    • United States 1.16
  • Support 2
  • Opposition 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

In different countries

Multiculturalism centers on the thought in political philosophy about the way to respond to cultural and religious differences. It is closely associated with “identity politics,” “the politics of difference,” and “the politics of recognition.” It is also a matter of economic interests and political power. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Despite the fact that multiculturalism has mainly been used as a term to define disadvantaged groups, including African Americans, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, many theorists tend to focus their arguments on immigrants who are ethnic and religious minorities, minority nations, and indigenous peoples.

Multiculturalism can refer to a demographic fact, a particular set of philosophical ideas, or a specific orientation by government or institutions toward a diverse population. Most of the debate over multiculturalism centers around whether or not public multiculturalism is the appropriate way to deal with diversity and immigrant integration. Recognition in the context of multicultural education is a demand not just for recognition of aspects of a group's actual culture but also for the history of group subordination and its entire experience.

The term multiculturalism is most often used in reference to Western nation-states, which had seemingly achieved a de facto single national identity during the 18th and/or 19th centuries.[9] Multiculturalism has been official policy in several Western nations since the 1970s, for reasons that varied from country to country,[10][11][12] including the fact that many of the great cities of the Western world are increasingly made of a mosaic of cultures.[13]

The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration.[14] The Canadian Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism is often referred to as the origins of modern political awareness of multiculturalism.[15] In the Western English-speaking countries, multiculturalism as an official national policy started in Canada in 1971, followed by Australia in 1973 where it is maintained today.[16][17] [18][19] It was quickly adopted as official policy by most member-states of the European Union. Recently, right-of-center governments in several European states—notably the Netherlands and Denmark— have reversed the national policy and returned to an official monoculturalism.[20] A similar reversal is the subject of debate in the United Kingdom, among others, due to evidence of incipient segregation and anxieties over "home-grown" terrorism.[21] Several heads-of-state have expressed doubts about the success of multicultural policies: The United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard, Spanish ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar and French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy have voiced concerns about the effectiveness of their multicultural policies for integrating immigrants.[22][23]

Many nation-states in Africa, Asia, and the Americas are culturally diverse, and are 'multicultural' in a descriptive sense. In some, communalism is a major political issue. The policies adopted by these states often have parallels with multicultural-ist policies in the Western world, but the historical background is different, and the goal may be a mono-cultural or mono-ethnic nation-building - for instance in the Malaysian government's attempt to create a 'Malaysian race' by 2020.[24]


Sydney's Chinatown

The next country to adopt an official policy of multiculturalism after Canada was Australia, a country with similar immigration situations and similar policies, for example the formation of the Special Broadcasting Service.[25] The Australian government retains multiculturalism in policy, and as a defining aspect of Australia today.[16][17] [19][26]

The White Australia Policy was quietly dismantled after World War II by various changes to immigration policy, the full political introduction of official policies of multiculturalism was not until 1972.[27] The election of John Howard's Liberal-National Coalition government in 1996 was a major watershed for Australian multiculturalism. Howard had long been a critic of multiculturalism, releasing his One Australia policy in the late 1980s.[28] A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police and Emergency Services was a publication of the Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau designed to offer guidance to police and emergency services personnel on how religious affiliation can affect their contact with the public. The first edition was published in 1999.[29][30][31] The first edition covered Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Sikh faiths with participation of representatives of the various religions.[32] The second edition added Christian, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander religions and the Bahá'í Faith to the list of religions was published in 2002.[33]

Contact between people of different cultures in Australia has been characterised by tolerance and engagement, but have also occasionally resulted in conflict and rifts.[34][35]

Australia's diverse migrant communities have brought with them food, lifestyle and cultural practices, which have been absorbed into mainstream Australian culture.[16][17]


Though not called Multiculturalism as such, the preamble of Argentina's constitution explicitly promotes immigration, and recognizes the individual's multiple citizenship from other countries. Though 97% of Argentina's population self-identify as of European descent[36][37] to this day a high level of multiculturalism remains a feature of Argentina's culture,[38] allowing foreign festivals and holidays (e.g. Saint Patrick's Day), supporting all kinds of art or cultural expression from ethnic groups, as well as their diffusion through an important multicultural presence in the media; for instance it is not uncommon to find newspapers[39] or radio programs in English, German, Italian or French in Argentina.


Sikhs celebrating the Sikh new year in Toronto, Canada

Canadian society is often depicted as being "very progressive, diverse, and multicultural".[40] Multiculturalism (a Just Society) was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government during the premiership of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s.[41] Multiculturalism is reflected in the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act[42] and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[43] The Broadcasting Act of 1991 asserts the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the diversity of cultures in the country.[44][45]

In a 2002 interview with the Globe and Mail, Karīm al-Hussainī the 49th Aga Khan of the Ismaili Muslims described Canada as "the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe", citing it as "a model for the world".[46] He explained that the experience of Canadian governance - its commitment to pluralism and its support for the rich multicultural diversity of its peoples - is something that must be shared and would be of benefit to all societies in other parts of the world.[46]

Continental Europe

Ethno-linguistic map of Austria–Hungary, 1910.
Ethno-linguistic map of the Second Polish Republic, 1937. The Polish-Ukrainian animosity grew into ethnic massacres of 1943-44 in which up to 100,000 Poles and 20,000 Ukrainians died.[47]

The European Union is facing unprecedented demographic changes (an ageing population, low birth rates, changing family structures and migration). According to the European Commission, it is important, both at EU and national level, to review and adapt existing policies. Following a public debate, a 2006 EU policy paper identified five key policy responses to manage demographic change, among them receiving and integrating migrants into Europe.[48]

Historically, Europe has always been a mixture of Latin, Slavic, Germanic, Uralic, Celtic, Hellenic, Illyrian, Thracian and other cultures influenced by the importation of Hebraic, Christian, Muslim and other belief systems; although the continent was supposedly unified by the super-position of Imperial Roman Christianity, it is accepted that geographic and cultural differences continued from antiquity into the modern age.[49]

In the 19th century, the ideology of nationalism transformed the way Europeans thought about the state.[49] Existing states were broken up and new ones created; the new nation-states were founded on the principle that each nation is entitled to its own sovereignty and to engender, protect, and preserve its own unique culture and history. Unity, under this ideology, is seen as an essential feature of the nation and the nation-state—unity of descent, unity of culture, unity of language, and often unity of religion. The nation-state constitutes a culturally homogeneous society, although some national movements recognized regional differences.

Where cultural unity was insufficient, it was encouraged and enforced by the state.[50] The 19th-century nation-states developed an array of policies—the most important was compulsory primary education in the national language.[50] The language itself was often standardized by a linguistic academy, and regional languages were ignored or suppressed. Some nation-states pursued violent policies of cultural assimilation and even ethnic cleansing.[50]

Some European Union countries have introduced policies for "social cohesion", "integration", and (sometimes) "assimilation". The policies include:

Other countries have instituted policies which encourage cultural separation. The concept of “Cultural exception” proposed by France in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations in 1993 was an example of a measure aimed at protecting local cultures.[54]


Since its establishment in 7th century Bulgaria has hosted many religions, ethnic groups and nations. The capital Sofia is a European city that has peacefully functioning, within walking distance,[55][56][57] four Places of worship of the major religions: Eastern Orthodox (St Nedelya Church), Islam (Banya Bashi Mosque), Roman Catholicism (Cathedral of St Joseph, Sofia), and Orthodox Judaism (Sofia Synagogue, the third largest synagogue in Europe).

This unique arrangement has been called by historians a "multicultural cliche".[58] It has also become known as "The Triangle of Religious Tolerance"[59] and has initiated the construction of a 100-square-meter scale model of the site that is to become a symbol of the capital.[60][61][62]

Furthermore, unlike some other Nazi Germany allies or German-occupied countries excluding Denmark, Bulgaria managed to save its entire 48,000-strong Jewish population during World War II from deportation to concentration camps.[63][64] According to Dr Marinova-Christidi the main reason for the efforts of Bulgarian people to save the Bulgarian Jews during WWII is that within the region they "co-existed for centuries with other religions" — giving it a unique multicultural and multiethnic history.[65]

Consequently, within the Balkan region Bulgaria has become an example for multiculturalism in terms of variety of religions, artistic creativity[66] and ethnicity.[67][68] Its largest ethnic minorities, Turks and Roma, enjoy wide political representation. In 1984, following a campaign by the communist regime for a forcible change of the Islamic names of the Turkish minority,[69][70][71][72] an underground organization called «National Liberation Movement of the Turks in Bulgaria» was formed which headed the Turkish community's opposition movement. On January 4, 1990 the activists of the movement registered an organization with the legal name «Movement for Rights and Freedom» (MRF) (in Bulgarian: Движение за права и свободи: in Turkish: Hak ve Özgürlükler Hareketi) in the Bulgarian city of Varna. At the moment of registration it had 33 members, at present, according to the organization's website, 68,000 members plus 24,000 in the organization's youth wing [1]. In 2012 Bulgarian Turks were represented at every level of government: local, with MRF having mayors in 35 municipalities, at parliamentary level with MRF having 38 deputies (14% of the votes in Parliamentary elections for 2009-13)[73] and at executive level, where there is one Turkish minister,

  • Multiculturalism In Modern Discourse
  • Multiculturalism - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Multiculturalism - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Multiculturalism in Canada debated - CBC video archives (Sept. 14, 2004 - 42:35 min)
  • Canadian Multiculturalism Act

External links

  • Gerd Baumann (22 March 1999). The Multicultural Riddle: Rethinking National, Ethnic, and Religious Identities. Psychology Press.  
  • Multicultural States: Rethinking Difference and Identity. Psychology Press. 10 November 1998.  
  • Ernesto Caravantes (30 June 2010). From melting pot to witch's cauldron: how multiculturalism failed America. Government Institutes.  
  • Susan Moller Okin (9 August 1999). Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?. Princeton University Press.  
  • Réal Robert Fillion (2008). Multicultural dynamics and the ends of history: exploring Kant, Hegel, and Marx. University of Ottawa Press.  
  • Anne-Marie Fortier (2 April 2008). Multicultural Horizons: Diversity and the Limits of the Civil Nation. Taylor & Francis.  
  • David Theo Goldberg (1994). Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader. Blackwell Publishers.  
  • Avery Gordon; Christopher Newfield (1996). Mapping Multiculturalism. University of Minnesota Press.  
  • Reza Hasmath (2011). Managing Ethnic Diversity: Meanings and Practices from an International Perspective. Ashgate.  
  • Charles Taylor (20 December 2011). Multiculturalism: (Expanded Paperback Edition). Princeton University Press.  .
  • Barnor Hesse (2000). Un/settled Multiculturalisms: Diasporas, Entanglements, "transruptions". Zed Books.  
  • Icart, Jean-Claude. .Across Cultures“Racism in Canada.” Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007.
  • International Progress Organization; Unesco (1978). Cultural self-comprehension of nations. International Progress Organization.  
  •  )
  • Will Kymlicka (8 December 2005). Multiculturalism in Asia. Oxford University Press. (ISBN 019927763X)
  • Bhikhu C. Parekh (2002). Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory. Harvard University Press.  
  • Putnam, Robert D., "E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century -- The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize," Scandinavian Political Studies 30 (2), June 2007.
  • Russon, John (2003) Human Experience. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.
  • Sailer, Steve, "Fragmented Future: Multiculturalism doesn’t make vibrant communities but defensive ones," American Conservative, Jan. 15, 2007.
  • Slavoj Žižek (1997). "Multiculturalism, or, the cultural logic of multicultural capital" New Left Review (225): 28-51.

Further reading

  1. ^ Kevin Bloor (February 2010). The Definitive Guide to Political Ideologies. AuthorHouse. p. 272.  
  2. ^ Thomas L. Harper (13 January 2011). Dialogues in urban and regional planning. Taylor & Francis. p. 50.  
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  4. ^ Kenan Malik (2010-03-17). "". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  5. ^ Colin Marsh (1997). Key concepts for understanding curriculum: Perspectives. Falmer Press. pp. 121–122.  
  6. ^ Elizabeth J. Meyer (30 August 2010). Gender and sexual diversity in schools: an introduction. Springer. p. 16.  
  7. ^ Anne-Marie Mooney Cotter (28 February 2011). Culture clash: an international legal perspective on ethnic discrimination. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 13.  
  8. ^ Burgess, Ann Carroll; Burgess, Tom (2005). Guide to Western Canada (7th ed.). Globe Pequot Press. p. 31.  
  9. ^ Geneviève Zarate; Danielle Levy; Claire Kramsch (19 April 2011). Handbook of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism. Archives contemporaines. p. 377.  
  10. ^ "Policy Paper no. 4 - Multiculturalism: New Policy Responses to Diversity". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  11. ^ "Multiculturalism in Canada". 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  12. ^ "Immigration and Multiculturalism". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  13. ^ "Multiculturalism and the Dynamics of Modern Civilizations" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  14. ^ Wayland, Shara (1997). "Immigration, Multiculturalism and National Identity in Canada" (PDF). University of Toronto Department of Political Science. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  15. ^ Ronald L. Jackson, II (29 June 2010). Encyclopedia of Identity. SAGE. p. 480.  
  16. ^ a b c "About Australia: Our Country". Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "About Australia: People, culture and lifestyle". Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  19. ^ a b "The People of Australia – Australia's Multicultural Policy". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. 
  20. ^ Bissoondath, Neil. 2002. Selling Illusions: The Myth of Multiculturalism. Toronto: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-100676-5.
  21. ^ Fact or fiction in the great UK immigration debate. News. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on: October 21, 2007.
  22. ^ Lawrence A. Peskin; Edmund F. Wehrle (17 November 2011). America and the World: Culture, Commerce, Conflict. JHU Press. pp. 262–.  
  23. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy joins David Cameron and Angela Merkel view that multiculturalism has failed". Daily Mail UK. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  24. ^ The Economist: The changing of the guard, April 3, 2003.
  25. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  27. ^ Brian Galligan; John Ravenhill (15 June 1997). New developments in Australian politics. Macmillan Education AU. p. 13.  
  28. ^ Wayne A. Cornelius (2004). Controlling immigration: a global perspective. Stanford University Press. p. 143.  
  29. ^ "Document Details". Abstract Database. US National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  30. ^ Dunn, Andy (June 2000). "Two-Way Tolerance". Police Journal Online (The Police Association of South Australia) 81 (6). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  31. ^ Chilana, Rajwant Singh (2005). International bibliography of Sikh studies. Springer. p. 444.  
  32. ^ A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police (1st ed.). National Police Ethnic Advisory Bureau. 1999. Archived from the original on 16 March 2003. 
  33. ^ A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police (2nd ed.). Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau. 2002. Archived from the original on 19 June 2005. 
  34. ^ White, Rob; Perrone, Santina (2001). "Racism, Ethnicity and Hate Crime". Communal/Plural 9 (2): 161–181.  
  35. ^ Ann Curthoys (2007-11-01). "The Volatility of Racism in Australia". In Katharine Gelber, Adrienne Stone. Hate Speech and Freedom of Speech in Australia. Federation Press (2007). pp. 20–33.  
  36. ^ Ben Cahoon. "Argentina". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  37. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook - Argentina". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  38. ^ "Argentine Culture Rich and Diverse". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  39. ^ *Buenos Aires Herald, Argentine-English language newspaper
  40. ^ Anne-Marie Mooney Cotter (28 February 2011). Culture clash: an international legal perspective on ethnic discrimination. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 176.  
  41. ^ Duncan, James S; Ley, David (1983). Place/culture/representation. Routledge. pp. 205–206.  
  42. ^ "Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Being Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982)". Electronic Frontier Canada. 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  43. ^ "Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1985, c. 24 (4th Supp.)". Department of Justice Canada. Act current to November 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  44. ^ Raboy, Marc; Jeremy Shtern ; with William J. McIveret (2010). Media Divides: Communication Rights and the Right to Communicate in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. p. 104.  
  45. ^ Mahtani, Minelle (2001). "Representing Minorities: Canadian media and minority identities". Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal 33 (3). 
  46. ^ a b Stackhouse, John; Martin, Patrick (2002-02-02). "'"Canada: 'A model for the world. The Globe and Mail. p. F3. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  47. ^ "Poland and Ukraine resolve massacre row". BBC News. July 11, 2003.
  48. ^ Demographic analysis Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion European Commission. October 12, 2006.
  49. ^ a b Robert C. Ostergren; Mathias Le Bossé (7 March 2011). The Europeans: A Geography of People, Culture, and Environment. Guilford Press. p. 226.  
  50. ^ a b c Guntram Henrik Herb, David H. Kaplan (2008-05-22). Nations and Nationalism. ABC-CLIO. p. 522.  
  51. ^ "Official Web site". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  52. ^ BBC report at, full list of questions in German at
  53. ^ Netherlands moves toward total ban on Muslim veils, Guardian, November 11, 2006.
  54. ^ Christoph Beat Graber; Mira Burri Nenova (30 November 2008). Intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions in a digital environment. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 87–88.  
  55. ^ "". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  56. ^ "". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  57. ^ Alan Horton. "Religions in Bulgaria Page - Bulgaria Focus - Everything you want to know about the country of Bulgaria". Bulgaria Focus. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  58. ^ Detrez, Raymond; Segaert, Barbara, 2008, Europe and the Historical Legacies in the Balkans (Multiple Europes), P.I.E. Peter Lang s.a., ISBN 978-90-5201-374-9, p 55
  59. ^ Ki-moon, Ban, The World in the next 20 years
  60. ^ В.Е. " - Макет на 4 храма – туристически символ на София". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  61. ^ "Sofia’s new tourist symbol | Radio Bulgaria". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  62. ^ "София - Мъдрост в действие". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  63. ^ Todorov, Tzvetan (2003). The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria's Jews Survived the Holocaust - translated by Translated by Arthur Denner. Princeton Univerisy Press.  
  64. ^ Levi, Primo. "ISBN 158062541X Adams Media Corporation, 2001".  
  65. ^ By Leadel.Net. "'"Exclusive video: 'Restoring the crown to former glory. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  66. ^ The Highs and Lows of Ethno-Cultural Diversity: Young People’s Experiences of Chalga Culture in Bulgaria, Apostolov, Apostol, Anthropology of East Europe Review, Vol 26, No 1 (2008), Cambridge University Press
  67. ^ Ruegg, Francois, 2007, Interculturalism and Discrimination in Romania: Policies, Practices, Identities and Representations, Lit Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8258-8075-0
  68. ^ Hristova, Svetlana, 2004, Bulgarian Politics of Multiculturalism - uses and abuses, Scientific Research, University Publishing House, South-West University, Blagoevgrad
  69. ^ The history of Turkish community in Bulgaria, Ibrahim Yalamov
  70. ^ The Human Rights of Muslims in Bulgaria in Law and Politics since 1878, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, 2003
  71. ^ "'"Bulgarian MPs Officially Condemn 'Revival Process. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  72. ^ The Bulgarian state and Bulgarian Turks (to the middle of 1930s till the beginning of 1990s), Bulgarian Archive State Agency
  73. ^ "ЦИК :: Резултати". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  74. ^ "The Political Representation of the Roma Minority in Bulgaria: (1990-2005)". POLITEIA - Participation for Citizenship and Democracy in Europe. 2005. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  75. ^ a b "Merkel says German multicultural society has failed". BBC News. 2010-10-17. 
  76. ^ Furlong, Ray (November 30, 2004). "Germans argue over integration". BBC. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  77. ^ "Germany's charged immigration debate". BBC News. 2010-10-17. 
  78. ^ "Rauf Ceylan: Muslims in Germany: Religious and Political Challenges and Perspectives in the Diaspora,
  79. ^ "'Muslims in Germany have rights and obligations'". June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  80. ^ a b c Susanne Wessendorf (2010). The multiculturalism backlash: European discourses, policies and practices. Taylor & Francis. pp. 73–75.  
  81. ^ Tariq Modood; Anna Triandafyllidou; Ricard Zapata-Barrero (6 April 2006). Multiculturalism, Muslims and citizenship: a European approach. Routledge. p. 27.  
  82. ^ "Multiculturalism: What does it mean?".  
  83. ^ "Donner: Afscheid van multiculturele samenleving Nederland".  
  84. ^ "Language in India". Language in India. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  85. ^ Mohammada, Malika. The foundations of the composite culture in India. Aakar Books, 2007.  
  86. ^ "India – Caste". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  87. ^ "Indian Census". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^ Nussbaum, Martha (2009). The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future. Harvard University Press. p. 1.  
  91. ^ "Sachar Committee Report". (Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India). Nov 2006. pp. 9–25. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  92. ^ Singh, Deepti; Goli, Srinivas (2011). "Exploring the Concept of Mixed Marriages in Indian and selected states: First time evidences from large scale survey". Princeton University. 
  93. ^ Iftikhar Gilani (May 13, 2012). "Panel wants to protect linguistic minority schools". DNA (Daily News and Analysis), New Delhi. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  94. ^
  95. ^ Bhargava, Rajeev (2013). Secular States and Religious Diversity. Vancouver: UBC Press. p. 84.  
  96. ^ Kuoni - Far East, A world of difference. Page 88. Published 1999 by Kuoni Travel & JPM Publications
  97. ^ "Pribumi". Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Macmillan Reference USA. Retrieved 2006-10-05. 
  98. ^ "Ethnologue report for Indonesia". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  99. ^ "The Geography of Indonesia". Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  100. ^ "Indonesia: The Violence in Central Kalimantan (Borneo)". Human Rights Watch. February 28, 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  101. ^ "Indonesia flashpoints: Kalimantan". BBC. June 28, 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  102. ^ "Indonesia flashpoints: Sulawesi". BBC News. 28 June 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  103. ^ Elegant, Simon (17 December 2001). "Indonesia's Dirty Little Holy War". Time. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  104. ^ Tan 2008, p. 24.
  105. ^ Setiono 2003, p. 1099.
  106. ^ "Abe fine with 'homogeneous' remark". Japan Times. 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  107. ^ "'"Aso says Japan is nation of 'one race. Japan Times. October 18, 2005. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  108. ^ "International Societies in Japan". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  109. ^ "Contemporary Japan: Japanese Society". Asian Topics,  
  110. ^ Malaysia fury at EU envoy remarks, BBC News
  111. ^ "Honey, I shrunk the Chinese!". CPI. 9 December 2009. 
  112. ^ Françoise Lionnet; Shumei Shi (16 February 2005). Minor transnationalism. Duke University Press. p. 203.  
  113. ^ "Some facts about Mauritius". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  114. ^ Page, Index (2011-05-20). "Ethnic diversity in Mexico : Mexico Travel". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  115. ^ "Microsoft Word - Mexico City PR rev[1]-1.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  116. ^ YEOH Kok Kheng, Towards an Index of Ethnic Fractionalization, Table 1.
  117. ^ "". 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  118. ^ Smolicz, J. J.; Nical, I.; Secombe, M. J. (2003). "Assimilation or pluralism? Changing policies for minority languages education in Australia and the Philippines". Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  119. ^ "Pimentel slams slur in Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo". 27 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  120. ^ "Politicians slam "Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo" for ethnic slur". 29 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  121. ^ (n.d.) In Housing Development Boards of Singapore website Retrieved on Nov 18, 2010 from Policy Changes To Support An Inclusive And Cohesive Home
  122. ^ "Korea's ethnic nationalism is a source of both pride and prejudice, according to Gi-Wook Shin". The Korea Herald. August 2, 2006.
  123. ^ "The Life Instability of Intermarried Japanese Women in Korea", Eung-Ryul Kim (Korea University and University of Southern California, The Center for Multiethnic and Transnational Studies)
  124. ^ Han Geon-Soo, "Multicultural Korea: Celebration or Challenge of Multiethnic Shift in Contemporary Korea?", Korea Journal, Vol.47 No.4, Winter 2007, pp.32-63
  125. ^ Stephen Castles, "Will Labour Migration lead to a Multicultural Society in Korea?", Global Human Resources Forum 2007 / International Migration Institute
  126. ^ "Multiculturalism Likely to Prevail in Korea", Lee Hyo-sik, Korea Times, December 24, 2009
  127. ^ "Multiculturalism in Korea", JoongAng Daily, August 26, 2010
  128. ^ Is ROK a multicultural society? Dongpo News. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  129. ^ Terry Wotherspoon (1995). Multicultural education in a changing global economy: Canada and the Netherlands. Waxmann Verlag. p. 1.  
  130. ^ Sylvia Hadjetian (April 2008). Multiculturalism and Magic Realism? Between Fiction and Reality. GRIN Verlag. p. 31.  
  131. ^ "State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron".  
  132. ^ "Multiculturalism has brought us honour killings and Sharia law, says Archbishop". Telegraph. 2014-08-24. 
  133. ^ "Rotherham: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now?". Telegraph. 2014-08-27. 
  134. ^ "Multiculturalism is to blame for the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal". Daily Express. 2014-08-28. 
  135. ^ Ann Katherine Isaacs (2007). Immigration and emigration in historical perspective. Edizioni Plus. p. 38.  
  136. ^ Zangwill, Israel. The Melting Pot, 1908.
  137. ^ Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco; Carola Suárez-Orozco (2005). The new immigration: an interdisciplinary reader. Routledge. p. 39.  
  138. ^ John Jay, First American Supreme Court Chief Justice, Federalist Paper No. 2
  139. ^ Peter Caputi; Heather Foster; Linda L. Viney (11 December 2006). Personal construct psychology: new ideas. John Wiley & Sons. p. 18.  
  140. ^ Boening, Astrid B. (May 2007). "Euro-Islam – A Constructivist Idea or a Concept of the English School?" (PDF). European Union Miami Analysis (EUMA) 4 (12) (Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence). pp. 3–10. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  141. ^ Terese M. Volk (14 October 2004). Music, Education, and Multiculturalism: Foundations and Principles. Oxford University Press. p. 160.  
  142. ^ Jesse Kirkpatrick. (2011). Miami Beach: Diversity at Work. Miami Beach News. Retrieved from:
  143. ^ Jayson, Sharon (Feb 7, 2006). "'Colorblind' Generation Doesn't Blink at Interracial Relationships". USA TODAY. 
  144. ^ Historians speak out against proposed Texas textbook changes Michael Birnbaum, March 18, 2010.
  145. ^ The Culture Wars' New Front: U.S. History Classes in Texas, Stephanie Simon, July 14, 2009.
  146. ^ Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change, James C. McKinley Jr., March 12, 2010.
  147. ^ Lerman, Antony (2010-03-22). "". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  148. ^ Susanne Wessendorf, The multiculturalism backlash: European discourses, policies and practices, p.35; accessed through Google Books, 12 February 2011.
  149. ^ Paul C. Gorski, "A Brief History of Multicultural Education",, November 1999; accessed 12 February 2011.
  150. ^ a b C. James Trotman (2002). Multiculturalism: roots and realities. Indiana University Press. pp. 9=10.  
  151. ^ Tariq Modood (2007). Multiculturalism: a civic idea. Polity. p. 14.  
  152. ^ Parekh, Bhikhu C. (2002). Rethinking multiculturalism: cultural diversity and political theory. Harvard UP. p. 13.  
  153. ^ John Nagle (23 September 2009). Multiculturalism's double bind: creating inclusivity, cosmopolitanism and difference. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 129.  
  154. ^ Farhang Rajaee (May 2000). Globalization on trial: the human condition and the information civilization. IDRC. p. 97.  
  155. ^ Leonie Sandercock; Giovanni Attili; Val Cavers; Paula Carr (1 May 2009). Where strangers become neighbours: integrating immigrants in Vancouver, Canada. Springer. p. 16.  
  156. ^ "Report attacks multiculturalism". BBC News. 2005-09-30. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  157. ^ a b Putnam, Robert D., "E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century -- The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize," Scandinavian Political Studies 30 (2), June 2007.
  158. ^ Sailer, Steve, "Fragmented Future," American Conservative, Jan. 15, 2007.
  159. ^ Salter, Frank, On Genetic Interests, pg.146.
  160. ^ Richard D. Lamm, 2005, I have a plan to destroy America, accessed 12 January 2011,
  161. ^ Gunew, Sneja (2004). Haunted Nations: The colonial dimensions of multiculturalisms. 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE: Routledge. p. 80.  
  162. ^ Johnson, J. T. (2008). "Indigeneity's Challenges to the White Settler-State: Creating a Thirdspace for Dynamic Citizenship". Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 33: 29.  


See also

In New Zealand (Aotearoa), which is officially bi-cultural, multiculturalism has been seen as a threat to the Maori, and possibly an attempt by the New Zealand Government to undermine Maori demands for self determination.[162]

Balibar characterizes criticisms of multiculturalism as “differentialist racism", which he describes as a covert form of racism that does not purport ethnic superiority as much as it asserts stereotypes of perceived “incompatibility of life-styles and traditions”.[161]

"Diverse peoples worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent."[160]

Dick Lamm, former three-term Democratic governor of the US state of Colorado, wrote in his essay "I have a plan to destroy America":

Relatively homogeneous societies invest more in public goods, indicating a higher level of public altruism. For example, the degree of ethnic homogeneity correlates with the government's share of gross domestic product as well as the average wealth of citizens. Case studies of the United States, Africa and South-East Asia find that multi-ethnic societies are less charitable and less able to cooperate to develop public infrastructure. Moscow beggars receive more gifts from fellow ethnics than from other ethnies [sic]. A recent multi-city study of municipal spending on public goods in the United States found that ethnically or racially diverse cities spend a smaller portion of their budgets and less per capita on public services than do the more homogeneous cities.[159]

Ethologist Frank Salter writes:

[W]e hunker down. We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.[157]

Harvard professor of political science Robert D. Putnam conducted a nearly decade long study how multiculturalism affects social trust.[157] He surveyed 26,200 people in 40 American communities, finding that when the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, the more racially diverse a community is, the greater the loss of trust. People in diverse communities "don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions," writes Putnam.[158] In the presence of such ethnic diversity, Putnam maintains that

Critics of multiculturalism often debate whether the multicultural ideal of benignly co-existing cultures that interrelate and influence one another, and yet remain distinct, is sustainable, paradoxical, or even desirable.[153][154][155] It is argued that Nation states, who would previously have been synonymous with a distinctive cultural identity of their own, lose out to enforced multiculturalism and that this ultimately erodes the host nations' distinct culture.[156]


Bhikhu Parekh counters what he sees as the tendencies to equate multiculturalism with racial minorities "demanding special rights" and to see it as promoting a "thinly veiled racis[m]". Instead, he argues that multiculturalism is in fact "not about minorities" but "is about the proper terms of relationship between different cultural communities", which means that the standards by which the communities resolve their differences, e.g., "the principles of justice" must not come from only one of the cultures but must come "through an open and equal dialogue between them."[152]

Tariq Modood argues that in the early years of the 21st century, multiculturalism "is most timely and necessary, and [...] we need more not less", since it is "the form of integration" that (1) best fits the ideal of egalitarianism, (2) has "the best chance of succeeding" in the "post-9/11, post 7/7" world, and (3) has remained "moderate [and] pragmatic".[151]

C. James Trotman argues that multiculturalism is valuable because it "uses several disciplines to highlight neglected aspects of our social history, particularly the histories of women and minorities [...and] promotes respect for the dignity of the lives and voices of the forgotten.[150] By closing gaps, by raising consciousness about the past, multiculturalism tries to restore a sense of wholeness in a postmodern era that fragments human life and thought."[150]

Historically, support for modern multiculturalism stems from the changes in Western societies after World War II, in what Susanne Wessendorf calls the "human rights revolution", in which the horrors of institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing became almost impossible to ignore in the wake of the Holocaust; with the collapse of the European colonial system, as colonized nations in Africa and Asia successfully fought for their independence and pointed out the discriminatory underpinnings of the colonial system; and, in the United States in particular, with the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, which criticized ideals of assimilation that often led to prejudices against those who did not act according to Anglo-American standards and which led to the development of academic ethnic studies programs as a way to counteract the neglect of contributions by racial minorities in classrooms.[148][149] As this history shows, multiculturalism in Western countries was seen as a useful set of strategies to combat racism, to protect minority communities of all types, and to undo policies that had prevented minorities from having full access to the opportunities for freedom and equality promised by the liberalism that has been the hallmark of Western societies since the Age of Enlightenment. The contact hypothesis in sociology is a well documented phenomenon in which cooperative interactions with those from a different group than one's own reduce prejudice and inter-group hostility.

Multiculturalism is seen by its supporters as a fairer system that allows people to truly express who they are within a society, that is more tolerant and that adapts better to social issues.[147] They argue that culture is not one definable thing based on one race or religion, but rather the result of multiple factors that change as the world changes.

Harmony Day is dedicated to celebrating Australia's cultural diversity.


The educational approach to multiculturalism has since spread to the grade school system, as school systems try to rework their curricula to introduce students to diversity earlier—often on the grounds that it is important for minority students to see themselves represented in the classroom.[141][142] Studies estimated 46.3 million Americans ages 14 to 24 to be the most diverse generation in American society.[143] In 2009 and 2010, controversy erupted in Texas as the state's curriculum committee made several changes to the state's requirements, often at the expense of minorities. They chose to juxtapose Abraham Lincoln's inaugural address with that of Confederate president Jefferson Davis;[144] they debated removing Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and labor-leader Cesar Chavez[145] and rejected calls to include more Hispanic figures, in spite of the high Hispanic population in the state.[146]

As a Horace Kallen, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke developed concepts of cultural pluralism, from which emerged what we understand today as multiculturalism. In Pluralistic Universe (1909), William James espoused the idea of a "plural society." James saw pluralism as "crucial to the formation of philosophical and social humanism to help build a better, more egalitarian society.[140]

Staff of President Clinton's One America Initiative. The President's Initiative on Race was a critical element in President Clinton's effort to prepare the country to embrace diversity.
"Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs... This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties."[138]

Continuous mass immigration was a feature of the United States economy and society since the first half of the 19th century.[135] The absorption of the stream of immigrants became, in itself, a prominent feature of America's national myth. The idea of the Melting pot is a metaphor that implies that all the immigrant cultures are mixed and amalgamated without state intervention.[136] The Melting Pot implied that each individual immigrant, and each group of immigrants, assimilated into American society at their own pace which, as defined above, is not multiculturalism as this is opposed to assimilation and integration.[137] An Americanized (and often stereotypical) version of the original nation's cuisine, and its holidays, survived. The Melting Pot tradition co-exists with a belief in national unity, dating from the American founding fathers:

In the United States, multiculturalism is not clearly established in policy at the federal level, but ethnic diversity is common in both rural and urban areas; see Race and ethnicity in the United States.

Little Italy (top, circa 1900) in New York City abuts Manhattan's Chinatown.

United States

After the beheading of honour killings, female genital mutilation and implementation of Sharia law into the country.[132] Allison Pearson blamed the culture of avoiding "rocking the multicultural boat",[133] and Leo McKinstry blamed multiculturalism itself,[134] for the Rotherham child abuse scandal in 2014.

Multicultural policies[129] were adopted by local administrations from the 1970s and 1980s onwards. In 1997 the New Labour government committed to a multiculturalist approach at a national level,[130] but after 2001 there was something of a backlash, led by centre-left commentators such as David Goodhart and Trevor Phillips. The government then embraced a policy of community cohesion instead. In 2011 Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron said in a speech that "state multiculturalism has failed".[131]

United Kingdom

Although Arabic is the official language of the country, English, Malayalam, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Bengali, Indonesian, Persian and many other languages are widely spoken and understood, particularly in the main cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The UAE hosts expatriate workers from 200 countries, with a majority coming from the Indian subcontinent. Despite being an Islamic state, the UAE has widely accepted all other religions, granting them permission to have their temples or churches. Foreigners make up about 85% of the population. However, the UAE does not have an open immigration policy and Emirati citizens form a largely homogeneous Arab society; all foreigners reside in the country as temporary workers.

United Arab Emirates

Although many debates still take place as to whether Korea really is a multicultural society or not, it is generally agreed that Korea has probably entered a stage of multiculturalism and has moved away from its homogeneous identity. Around 35~40% of Korean men in the rural area outside Seoul are engaged with wives from different countries. According to the Dongponews, an online media that connects migrants and immigrants of Korea, the number of foreigners residing in Korea reached 1.43 million by 2012, and is likely to increase more and more, reaching to the scale that cannot be undermined. More than that, Korea is going through a serious stage of low birthrate, leading to an aging society in shortage of labor forces. Another big changing factor is that Korea already has multi-ethnic, multi-cultural families appearing in great numbers, as one in every ten marriage is between a Korean and a foreigner, and in the rural side this portion is greater.[128] As such change takes place in such short period of time, it can be understood that many conflicts arise among different groups of people; the immigrants, government, and the rest of Korean society. Recently a lot of media attention is given to these people; documentaries on the lives of wives and their children are often shown, as well as talk shows that portray struggles and conflicts these people go through such as Love in Asia; a talk show hosting foreign wives, sharing their experience of marriage and family life, broadcast by the national broadcasting channel, KBS. Many Koreans nowadays do recognize the change that the society is going through due to these media attention. Government policies have also changed very recently; a lot of welfare programs and extracurricular activities are launched under the name of "multicultural policy." The policy is quite recent phenomenon.

"If you stay too long, Koreans become uncomfortable with you. [...] Having a 2 percent foreign population unquestionably causes ripples, but having one million temporary foreign residents does not make Korea a multicultural society. [...] In many ways, this homogeneity is one of Korea’s greatest strengths. Shared values create harmony. Sacrifice for the nation is a given. Difficult and painful political and economic initiatives are endured without discussion or debate. It is easy to anticipate the needs and behavior of others. It is the cornerstone that has helped Korea survive adversity. But there is a downside, too. [...] Koreans are immersed in their culture and are thus blind to its characteristics and quirks. Examples of group think are everywhere. Because Koreans share values and views, they support decisions even when they are obviously bad. Multiculturalism will introduce contrasting views and challenge existing assumptions. While it will undermine the homogeneity, it will enrich Koreans with a better understanding of themselves."[127]

The Korea Times suggested in 2009 that South Korea was likely to become a multicultural society.[126] In 2010, JoongAng Daily reported: "Media in Korea is abuzz with the new era of multiculturalism. With more than one million foreigners in Korea, 2 percent of the population comes from other cultures." It added:

"Korea no longer has to decide whether it wants to become a multicultural society. It made that decision years ago – perhaps unconsciously – when it decided to be a full participant in the emerging global economy. It confirmed that decision when it decided to actively recruit foreign migrants to meet the economic and demographic needs of a fast-growing society. Korea is faced by a different decision today: what type of multicultural society does it want to be?"[125]

The same year, Stephen Castles of the International Migration Institute argued:

However, the word "multiculturalism" is increasingly heard in South Korea. In 2007, Han Geon-Soo, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kangwon National University, published an article entitled "Multicultural Korea: Celebration or Challenge of Multiethnic Shift in Contemporary Korea?", noting: "As the increase of foreign migrants in Korea transforms a single-ethnic homogeneous Korean society into multiethnic and multicultural one, Korean government and the civil society pay close attention to multiculturalism as an alternative value to their policy and social movement." He argued, however, that "the current discourses and concerns on multiculturalism in Korea" lacked "the constructive and analytical concepts for transforming a society".[124]

South Korea remains a relatively homogenous country ethnically and racially.[122] Foreigners and immigrants are often rejected by the Korean society or face discrimination.[123]

People in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea

During the British colonial rule, there are areas which are enclaves containing a large population of certain ethnic groups exist in areas such as Chinatown, Geylang and Little India in Singapore. Presently (2010), remnants of the colonial ethnic concentration still exists but housing in Singapore is governed by the Ethnic Integration Policy.[121] The current Indian/Others ethnic limits are 10% and 13%, the limits for Malays are 22% and 25%, the limits for Chinese are 84% and 87% for the maximum ethnic limits for a neighborhood and a block respectively.

Besides English, Singapore recognizes three other languages, namely, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil and Malay as its official languages, with English being the national language. Besides being a multilingual country, Singapore also acknowledges festivals celebrated by these three ethnic communities.


Although there had been no ethnic-based incidents of aggression between many Christian and animist groups, religion still plays a role in further fractionating Philippine society. The enduring war in Mindanao is one of the most prominent examples of religious conflicts pestering the economically frail southern Philippines. Since the 1899 Moro Rebellion, Muslim groups across Mindanao have bolstered armed offensives against foreign colonizers due to aspirations of self-determination. However, these efforts have failed resulting to the annexation of Islamic regions particularly the Sultanate of Sulu to the Philippines.

On the other hand, there have been many threats to the maintenance of interethnic solidarity in the country. Aside from economic and political dissatisfaction touting the capital as imperialist mostly among Visayans and Mindanaoans of the south, there have been longstanding concerns regarding the promulgation of the national language, Filipino. Amidst Filipino being heralded as the national language of the Philippines according to the 1987 National Constitution, many groups specifically from Cebuano-speaking regions resisted.[118] This is due to the fact that the said Filipino is no different from Tagalog although being justified by the regulating institution, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, as a different language that unites all peoples of the Philippines because of the significant difference in lexicon from its Tagalog base. Such enforcement of a national language based solely upon one language being spoken by one of the many ethnic groups in the country was seen as a form of ethnic marginalization and bias toward the Tagalog who have long enjoyed residence and proximity within the political and economic center, Manila. This was also seen as an injustice since a larger portion of the population speaks Visayan languages more than Tagalog during the time the national language was decided. Because of such disparities, there have been issues regarding discrimination particularly toward Visayans whose languages and cultures were seen as inferior if not unsophisticated. One recent example was the Filipino movie entitled Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo whereby one scene openly denigrates the use of Visayan as it was seen as "un-Filipino."[119] Some Filipino politicians have aired their criticism toward this act of intolerance; however, there had been no concrete actions done to resolve the issue.[120]

The Philippines ranks 8th among 240 countries in terms of ethnic diversity.[116] Among its several ethnic groups, the Philippines has 10 major distinct groups mainly the Bicolano, Ibanag, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Moro, Pangasinan, Sambal, Tagalog and Visayan. The Philippines also has several aboriginal stocks such as the Badjao, Igorot, Lumad, Mangyan and Negrito. The country also has considerable communities of American, Arabic, Chinese, Indian, and Hispanic descent, and other ethnicities from other countries. The Philippine government has various programs supporting and preserving the nation's ethnic diversity.[117]


Mexico has historically always been a multicultural country, with people of ethnic groups including those of indigenous background, various European backgrounds, Africans, and a small Asian community.[114] Mexico City has recently been integrating rapidly, doing much better than many cities in a sample conducted by the Intercultural Cities Index (being the only non-European city, alongside Montreal, on the index).[115]


Multiculturalism has been a characteristic feature of the island of Mauritius.[112] Mauritian society includes people from many different ethnic and religious groups: Hindu, Muslim and Indo-Mauritians, Mauritian Creoles (of African and Malagasy descent), Buddhist and Roman Catholic Sino-Mauritians and Franco-Mauritians (descendants of the original French colonists).[113]


These pluralist policies have come under pressure from racialist Malay parties, who oppose perceived subversion of Malay rights. The issue is sometimes related to the controversial status of religious freedom in Malaysia.

Preceding independence of the Federation of Malaya, a social contract was negotiated as the basis of a new society. The contract as reflected in the 1957 Malayan Constitution and the 1963 Malaysian Constitution states that the immigrant groups are granted citizenship, and Malays' special rights are guaranteed. This is often referred to the Bumiputra policy.

The Malay Peninsula has a long history of international trade contacts, influencing its ethnic and religious composition. Predominantly Malays before the 18th century, the ethnic composition changed dramatically when the British introduced new industries, and imported Chinese and Indian labor. Several regions in the then British Malaya such as Penang, Malacca and Singapore became Chinese dominated. Until the riots 1969, co-existence between the three ethnicities (and other minor groups) was largely peaceful, although the three main racial groups for the most part lived in separate communities - the Malays in the villages, the Chinese in the urban areas, and the Indians in the towns and plantation. More Malays however have moved into the cities since the 1970s, and the proportion of the non-Malays have been decreasing continually, especially the Chinese, due in large part to lower birth-rate and emigration as a result of institutionalized discrimination.[111]

The Malaysian New Economic Policy or NEP serves as a form of affirmative action (see Bumiputera).[110] It promotes structural changes in various aspects of life from education to economic to social integration. Established after the 13 May racial riots of 1969, it sought to address the significant imbalance in the economic sphere where the minority Chinese population had substantial control over commercial activity in the country.

Malaysia is a multiethnic country, with Malays making up the majority, close to 52% of the population. About 24.6% of the population are Malaysians of Chinese descent. Malaysians of Indian descent comprise about 7% of the population. The remaining 10% comprises:


According to Harvard University professor Theodore Bestor, Japan does look very homogeneous from a distant perspective, but in fact there are a number of very significant minority groups — ethnically different minority groups — in Japan today.[109]

Japanese society, with its ideology of homogeneity, has traditionally rejected any need to recognize ethnic differences in Japan, even as such claims have been rejected by such ethnic minorities as the Ainu and Ryukyuan people.[106] In 2005, former Japanese Minister Taro Aso described Japan as a "one race" nation.[107] However, there are "International Society" NPOs funded by local governments throughout Japan.[108]

An Ainu man, circa 1930


Chinese Indonesians is the largest foreign-origin minority that has been residing in Indonesia for generations. Despite centuries of acculturation with native Indonesians, because of their disproportionately influence on Indonesian economy, and alleged question of national loyalty, Chinese Indonesian had suffered discriminations. The Suharto's New Order adopted a forced assimilation policy; which indicated that Chinese cultural elements were unacceptable.[104] Chinese Indonesians were forced to adopt native Indonesians sounding names, and the government was banned Chinese culture and language. The violence targeting Chinese Indonesian erupted during riots in 1998 as the looting and destructions took place, numbers of Chinese Indonesians as well as looters were died. The Chinese Indonesians were treated as the scapegoat of 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and it was the result of ongoing discrimination and segregation policy enforced during Suharto's New Order regime. Soon after the fourth Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid came into power in 1999, he quickly abolished some of the discriminatory laws in efforts to promote acceptance and to improve inter-racial relationships, such as abolished the ban on Chinese culture and allowed Chinese traditions to be practised freely. Two years later President Megawati Sukarnoputri declared that the Chinese New Year (Imlek) would be marked as a national holiday from 2003.[105] Today, Chinese Indonesians enjoy equal rights as the rest of Indonesians.

However, this transmigration program and close interactions between people of different cultural backgrounds might caused socio-cultural problems, as the inter-ethnics interactions might not always conducted harmoniously. After the fall of Suharto in 1998 into the 2000s, there were numbers of inter-ethnics and inter-religions clashes erupted in Indonesia. Such as clashes between native Dayak tribes against Madurese transmigrants in Kalimantan during Sambas riots in 1999[100] and the Sampit conflict in 2001.[101] There were also clashes between Muslims and Christians, such as violence erupted in Poso between 1998 and into 2000,[102] and violences in Maluku between 1999 and into 2002.[103] Nevertheless, Indonesia today still struggle and has managed to maintain unity and inter-cultural harmony, through national adherence of pro-pluralism policy of Pancasila promoted and enforced by the government and its people.

Due to migration within Indonesia (as part of government transmigration programs or otherwise), there are significant populations of ethnic groups who reside outside of their traditional regions. The Javanese for example, had reside out of their traditional homeland in Java to the rest of the archipelago. The expansion of Javanese and their influences throughout Indonesia had risen the Javanization issues. While Minangkabau, Malay, Madurese, Bugis and Makassar people through their merantau (migrating) culture also quite widely distributed throughout Indonesian archipelago. Chinese Indonesians can be found in most of urban areas. Because of urbanization, major Indonesian cities such as Greater Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Palembang, Medan and Makassar has attracted large numbers of Indonesians from various ethnics, cultural and religious background. Jakarta in particular, has almost all of Indonesian multi-ethnics represented.

Indonesia's national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ("Unity in Diversity" lit. "many, yet one") enshrined in Pancasila national ideology, articulates the diversity that shapes the country.[99] The government nurture and promote the diversity of Indonesian local culture and adopting pluralism approach.

Pluralism, diversity and multiculturalism is a daily fact of life in Indonesia. There are over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia.[96] 95% of those are of Native Indonesian ancestry.[97] The Javanese is the largest ethnic group in Indonesia who make up nearly 42% of the total population.[17] The Sundanese, Malay, and Madurese are the next largest groups in the country.[17] There are also more than 700 living languages spoken in Indonesia[98] and although predominantly Muslim the country also has large Christian and Hindu populations.


In India, secularism means equal treatment of all religions. Religion in India continues to assert its political authority in matters of personal law.[94] The western model of secularism is criticized in India for being an outdated concept as Rajeev argued that since Western model was developed when society was more homogeneous but since in the era of globalization, society is becoming more heterogeneous therefore a new concept, suitable for the present situation, is needed. He even argued that since Europe itself is no more homogeneous hence West should also follow the principled distance model which on one hand respects the diversity and at the same time empowers the state to interfere in case of any discrimination in the name of religion.[95]

Largest population of non-Indian religions, such as Bahá'í Faith, Zoroastrianism resides in India.

Occasionally, however, India has encountered religiously motivated violence,[90] such as the Moplah Riots, the Bombay riots, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,the 2002 Gujarat riots, and most recently the 2012 Assam violence. This has resulted from, traditionally disadvantaged communities in public employment (e.g.: policing of the same locality), apprehension of owners in giving properties for sell or rent[91] and of society in accepting inter-marriages.[92] On the other hand, perennial suspicion by communal and linguistic minorities of their constitutional guarantees (e.g.: minority institutions[93] and personal law) being tinkered with, doesn't help matters either.

Religiously, the Hindus form the majority, followed by the Muslims. The statistics are: Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian (2.3%), Sikh (2.1%), Buddhist, Bahá'í, Jain, Jew and Parsi populations.[87] Linguistically, the two main language families in India are Indo-Aryan (a branch of Indo-European) and Dravidian. In India's northeast, people speaking Sino-Tibetan group of languages such as Manipuri (Meitei-lon) recognized by the Indian constitution and Austroasiatic languages are commonly found. India (officially) follows a three-language policy. Hindi (spoken in the form of Hindustani) is the official federal language, English has the federal status of associate/subsidiary official language and each state has its own state official language (in the Hindi sprachraum, this reduces to bilingualism). Further, India does not have any national language.[88][89] The Republic of India's state boundaries are largely drawn based on linguistic groups; this decision led to the preservation and continuation of local ethno-linguistic sub-cultures, except for the Hindi sprachraum which is itself divided into many states. Thus, most states differ from one another in language, culture, cuisine, clothing, literary style, architecture, music and festivities. See Culture of India for more information.

The term multiculturalism is not much used in India. Within Indian culture, the term unity in diversity is more commonly used.

India is culturally, linguistically, religiously and to a certain extent, ethnically, one of the most diverse if not the most diverse country in the world. According to the 1961 Census of India, there are 1652 indigenous languages in the country.[84] The culture of India has been shaped by its long history, unique geography and diverse demography. India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture and customs differ from place to place within the country, but nevertheless possess a commonality. The culture of India is an amalgamation of these diverse sub-cultures spread all over the Indian subcontinent and traditions that are several millennia old.[85] The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed jātis or castes.[86]


Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, made a distinction between tolerance and multiculturalism, citing the Netherlands as a tolerant, rather than multicultural, society.[82] In June 2011 the First Rutte cabinet said the Netherlands would turn away from multiculturalism: "Dutch culture, norms and values must be dominant" Minister Donner said.[83]

Multiculturalism in the Netherlands began with major increases in immigration during the mid-1950s and 1960s.[80] As a consequence, an official national policy of multiculturalism was adopted in the early 1980s.[80] This policy subsequently gave way to more assimilationist policies in the 1990s.[80] Following the murders of Pim Fortuyn (in 2002) and Theo van Gogh (in 2004) there was increased political debate on the role of multiculturalism in the Netherlands.[81]

Süleymanìye Mosque in Tilburg built in 2001


In October 2010, Angela Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam, near Berlin, that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany had "utterly failed",[75] stating: "The concept that we are now living side by side and are happy about it does not work".[75][76] She continued to say that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany's culture and values. This has added to a growing debate within Germany[77] on the levels of immigration, its effect on Germany and the degree to which Muslim immigrants have integrated into German society.[78] The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Germany is the first Muslim group to have been granted "corporation under public law status", putting the Community on par with the major Christian churches and Jewish communities of Germany.[79]



This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.