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Nowadays, due to the economy globalisation, many people come from different countries with various cultural backgrounds living in same city permanently or for a period of time, they live with local people together. Eventually, the mixture of different cultures will lead to multiculturalism. The multiculturalism refers to “a system of beliefs and behaviour that recognizes and respects the presence of all diverse groups in an organization or society, acknowledges and values their social-cultural differences, and encourages and enables their continued contribution within an inclusive cultural context which empowers all within the organization or society.” (AhMad 2017 page 1). This paper is focusing on three main reasons likely cause multiculturalism, concerned the advantages and disadvantages of multiculturalism. And a conclusion is made that the multiculturalism has more benefits than its drawbacks.
International Labour Flow
The international labour flow is one of the important aspects causes multiculturalism. As a part of the intensive globalization, the total number of international labour migration increases continuously. They bring their working skill into a foreign country along with convention and religion beliefs, and the long-term co-existence make multiculturalism inevitable. Taking Auckland as an example, as stable developmentof economy, local labour shortage becomes a serious problem. It is reported, “A forecasted 32,000 new people will be required to work in the construction and infrastructure industry over the next few years” (NZ herald page1). Hence government has to allow employers recruit skilled oversea worker from various countries on talent visas. In 2014/2015,8,668 Essential Skill workers were approved with an offer of employment in Auckland, and the top five source country are as follows: India 21%, China 10%, Fiji 10%, UK9% and Philippines 9%. (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, 2015) It proves that the Auckland’s international labour imported is diverse both ethnically and culturally. As more and more international labour forces came to Auckland, Auckland become multiculturalism city.
Besides international labour flow, the international students is another main stream cause multiculturalism. As worldwide economy uniformity, studying abroad becomes more and more popular in all countries. Students expect to experience a high-quality education in other countries and are eager to have an opportunity to touch exoticness as well. “In 2016, there were nearly 5.1 million international mobile students” (UIS. 2018 page 1). Besides learning academic knowledge, overseas students are affected by local culture, meanwhile, they are showing off their colourful diverse culture to local folks. London, the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom, is one of the most attractive destination for international student. According to website, “London is the top choice for international students looking to study abroad. Over 100,000 international students are studying in London every year, International students come from over 200 different nations” (Study London, page 1 ). Top 5 countries of origin are as follows: China, Malaysia, United States, Hong Kong and India. “Oversea students is making London a global, vibrant and diverse city” (Study London, page 1 ). As more and more international students came to London, London become multiculturalism city.
Refugee also makes great contribution to multiculturalism. The refugee refers to those people who has forced to leave their countries because of war or other humanitarian reasons. It is a group of miserable people, mostly of them are in very poor economic status. They have to move to other countries then bring into their culture and convention. “There are 25.4 million refugees in the world” (UNHCR, 2018 page 1), the number is enormous. Germany has taken in the largest number of refugees among West Country. There were 222,683 refugees came to Germany in 2017, the top 5 countries of origin are as follows: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Iran” (Federal Office for Migration and Refugee, 2018 page 1), many of them were staying in Berlin. Some of them live in refugee shelter and some live with local people together. Berlin itself is a multi-cultural city, among its 3,388,434 population, the Top 5 citizenship origin are as follows: Germany 88.6%, other Europe 3%, Turkey 2.9%,Asia 1.7%,Poland 1%.As to religion ,Protestant 19.2%, Roman Catholic 8.9 and other 71.9%. (City population, 2018 page 1). The coming of refugee increase its level of multiculturalism. As more and more refugees from different countries coming to Berlin, berlin become multiculturalism city.
Advantages and disadvantages
It is no doubt that the multiculturalism will bring many advantages. The multiculturism adds colours to the monotonous modern life, and makes city vibrant and fascinating. People coming from different countries with various habits and cultural heritage will bring fresh exotic experience to local ones. In Auckland, there are dazzling Festival and activities almost every week, besides Christmas, there are South pacific Pasifika Festival, Indian Diwali Festival, Irish St. Patrick’s Day ,Chinese Spring Festival etc., The residents in Auckland would hardly feel bored, they are enjoying the food, music, dance from different countries. All of these will give added weight to charming of city, and attract number of tourists. Consequently, it will boost the tourism industry, increase employment and income, raise local government revenue, hence multiculturalism is good for economy. Many multicultural cities, such as New York, Singapore, London，Sydney are perfect examples. Beyond this, the co-existence is beneficial to mutual understanding and learning among peoples from manifold ethnic groups, the better mutual understanding could be great helpful to eliminate deep-rooted prejudice and racist issues. Further, when peoples live with diverse cultures, they might recognize that the exiting elements in the world could be viewed by various different ways, it is eventually enhance openness and inspire creativity, they might blend different cultures together and creature new unique food, architecture, music, and culture. “New Zealanders value a strong multicultural society, with 89% agreeing that it is a good thing for society to be made up of people from different races, religions and cultures.” (Victoria University of Wellington, 2012 page 1), the people’s positive attitude is the best proof of advantages of multiculturalism.
The side effects of multiculturalism are limited but still worth to be mentioned. Firstly. There is risk of Social Conflict, due to reasons of culture, discrimination, injustice, inequality and religious beliefs. One of the typical examples would be the refugee riots in Europe recently, which have caused many casualties and social instability. “There were around 3,500 attacks on refugees or refugee shelters in Germany in 2016” (Larsson, 2017 page 1). Secondly, for weak minority groups, consciously or unconsciously, there is possibility that they will lose their original ethnic and cultural identity or lifestyle in case the influence of dominated culture is too strong. Thirdly, for an individual from minority group, it is a challenge to get used to a new environment sometimes not so friendly, this status likely make them marginal in mainstream society. And different language environment is a hurdle to their children’s academic performance at beginning.
In conclusion, there are three main causes of multiculturalism has been listed, they are international labour, international student and refugee. It is undeniable that multiculturalism has its advantages, it makes world colourful, demolish prejudice, enhance social creativity and benefit economy. However, the drawback should be mentioned as well, such as social conflict, marginalization etc., the multicultural societies surely have more benefits than its disadvantages, as long as it is managed properly. In general, the multiculturalism is a great opportunity with challenge, such a trend is unavoidable all over the world. People are supposed to embrace it, with a kind positive comprehensive state of mind.
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