Tag Archives: Ethnic diversity

Night Owls Hoot Away In Denmark

An interesting experiment on the streets of Narrebro involves a group of adults dressed in distinctive yellow jackets wandering the streets and offering their presence to assist any young person who feels the need to reach out for help. There are at least 7,000 Night Owls in 223 local associations and they are on the streets to offer advice or to serve as a deterrent when a few young people are getting ready to engage in violence. Teams composed of women from various ethnic backgrounds have proven to be of great value in many situations and apparently young boys and girls trust them to serve as guides. However, a recent outbreak of violence is now compelling Night Owls to abandon the streets because they have never viewed their role to be an active force such as the police when violence occurs.

The problem with depending on volunteers is that at some point, it requires police when things get rough. It might be more beneficial to develop police teams known as Night Owls because in many cases it is lack of communication between law enforcement and youth in ethnic groups which is at the base of trouble.

Anti-Ethnic Feeling Rises In Sweden

Recent polls reveal a surprising shift in viewpoints of Swedish people on the issue of diversity. There is an increasing hostility toward people who come from other cultures. The percentage of people in the Swedish population with extremely negative attitudes toward ethnic diversity has doubled since 2005. However, in comparison to other European nations, Swedes with hostility toward ethnic diversity represents a much smaller percent of the population than what is found in other European nations. Overall, the percent of Swedes expressing negative attitudes has risen from 3.6% in 2005 to 5.7% today. The most surprising numbers came from the increase in negative attitudes among women which rose from 2.3% to 4.1%.

However, despite these figures, Sweden is more open to ethnic diversity than most European nations and has welcomed immigrants from all over the world, including many from Iraq. Despite the figures there is no evidence Sweden has the deep hatred and hostilty toward foreigners that is found in nations like France.

China Earthquake Shifts Ethnic Attitudes

The past several months have ben a time of conflict, upheaval, and natural disasters for China, but an unintended outcome may well be a decline in ethnic prejudice. Beichuan-Qiang county was in the center of the earthquake attack and it was home to theQiang ethnic group who have faced considerable discrimination over the years. However, the disaster has brought together people of diverse backgrounds as they huddle in temporary quarters and cooperate with one another in relief efforts. According to Cai Xiangrui, deputy head of a local people’s congress, “the damage in Beichuan, an ethnically diverse region, was devastating,(but) people of diferent ethnic groups” are coming together.

During relief efforts, Chinese authorities have even been considerate of the eating habits of Muslims and endeavored to get them their own foods. There is no question, the Chinese government has been more open with reporting news of the disaster and has given foreign newsmen opportunities to report fairly.

The Soft Indian Power of Bollywood

The world has heard much about India’s rise to economic power and its development of nuclear energy, but do these things alone make a nation a world power? India is headed to become the world’s most populous nation, it has the world’s fourth largest armed forces and it already has the world’s fifth largest economy. But, something else is also surging India into the ranks of those nations which can influence the world’s population. Once there was only Hollywood, today, Bollywood shares power in shaping the way people behave, think or dress.

In Afghanistan these days, the evening hour is spent watching India’s soap opera, “Kyunki Sass Bhi Kabhi Bahu” which apparently has even impacted attendance at religious activities. It has impacted a conservative Muslim nation in which family problems are hidden from view, but, now due to the power of TV people are discussing family issues and values. India is fast becoming a cultural influence even in the most conservative of Muslim societies. Indian cuisine is spreading as is its fashion designs as are its movies. In an age in which Information dominates the daily lives of people, India is fast becoming one of the most important players in the drama of capturing the minds and hearts of people.

Perhaps, the most important message India has sent to the world occurred when after its national elections in May, 2004, the Catholic leader of the winning party(Sonia Gandhi) made way for a Sikh, Manmohan Singh) to be sworn in as prime minister by a Muslim(President Abdul Kalami) — in a nation that is 81% Hindu. Welcome to the 21st century.