Celebrating Diversity – Publishd September 10th

Celebrating Diversity - Publishd September 10th

The UK is becoming a melting pot of cultures and modern life – including the media, international trade and travel – means that different cultures are being forced to mix. But while Britain boasts huge strength in its diversity (Between 1991 and 2001, Britain’s ethnic minority population grew by 48% from 3.1 million to 4.6 million), there are also blocks of resistance created by ignorance, mistrust and fear.

Drawing from 25 years’ experience of "fitting in" Dr Shah looks at open-mindedness, good neighbourliness, religion, the workplace and portrayals of diversity in the media, showing how we can build bridges and be sensitive to the needs of others.

Dr Shah was born and raised in Kenya by parents of Indian origin. He was a minority in Africa before coming to Britain at the age of eighteen to become a minority here.

Celebrating Diversity leads the way to some great feature ideas. Dr Atul Shah could talk to you about:

The importance of mindset: instead of focusing on human beings, learn to understand that we are but one species on this planet, and the whole planet is rich with bio-diversity. If we look at the world from this perspective, then difference becomes normal.
Mental gymnastics: prejudice begins in the mind and to remove it, requires mental exercise.
Learning to think beyond boxes and boundaries, to be willing to celebrate and learn from whatever is good in others.
The critical nature of dialogue: we need to engage with people from all walks of life personally and directly if we are to benefit from our rich diversity.
Cultivating and nourishing open-mindedness: the book shows how this can be achieved in practical terms and nourished and sustained regularly through languages, travel, meditation and curiosity.
Listening to and learning through children. Children help us to stay innocent and to remove preconceptions and stereotypical views.
Hospitality: the key to building lasting friendships.

In Celebrating Diversity Dr Shah references his own culture and religion (Jainism) and draws on other ancient cultures and philosophies, which have stood the test of time. “At a time when Britain is looking for identity, it should look to its Hindu and Jain communities who silently and uniquely integrate human diversity with bio-diversity and have equal respect for all living beings. They have a culture of tolerance and peaceful co-existence which is helping thousands to lead a better life,” he explains.

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