Great Britain is known as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, and our well established history of multiple cultures and religions living and working together makes us better exporters. Thanks to our exposure to a rich cultural diversity we are better placed to do business across cultural and linguistic boundaries. London is now more diverse than any city that has ever existed with over 300 languages spoken. Our history of multi-culturalism goes back longer than many people imagine – thanks to Roman invaders the guards at Hadrian’s wall were of North African descent.
For some countries around the world, notably the USA and Canada, immigration and the cultural diversity which results is an intrinsic element of their national identity which is why it saddens me to hear immigrants demonised in the current race for the Whitehouse.
So much of our daily lives in the UK are enriched by the diverse cultures with whom we interact, from the foods we eat, to the music we listen to, the clothes we wear and even the way we adorn our bodies.
For example, the use of Henna to create elaborate patterns is common in Hindu Culture. During Hindu festivals and of course weddings, many women have Henna applied to their hands and feet. It is now a common sight on the UK’s beaches in summer time to see women of all races and cultures enjoying having elaborate designs drawn on their hands in Henna.
Many studies have shown that cultural diversity is good for business, and that diverse teams are more creative, innovative and ultimately more profitable. Unfortunately we are bombarded by press coverage which only seems to highlight the negative side of immigration, but in my experience, meeting people from other backgrounds and cultures can only enhance our understanding and enrich our own lives. Travelling and working overseas allows us to experience other cultures and we cannot help but take something from our experience of meeting people from other countries.