Indeed, being in a multiracial society brings many benefits, such as learning a new language and experiencing different cultures around us. Despite these benefits, a multiracial society can still come with a few risks. Here are 5 risks of living in a multiracial society and how we can tackle them.
1. Racial riots
When mentioning about racial riots, the 1964 Singapore riots come to mind. This riot was one of the worst and most prolonged riots in Singapore’s history. It lasted for about 2 months and left 23 people dead and 454 injured. The riot occurred during the celebration of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. During the procession, fiery speeches sparked racial tension among the people. As a result, a racial riot occurred between the Chinese and Malays, causing them to overthrow rocks and bottles at each other.
The racial riot happened because of a spread belief that the Malays wanted to wipe out the Chinese. As long as two or more races cannot agree with each other, racial riots break out.
2. Cultural disappearance
When more than one culture comes together, cultural disappearance is likely to happen. This is because the minority culture will end up adapting to the majority culture, leading to a cultural disappearance. Urbanization, westernization and modernization are possible reasons as to why cultures start disappearing.
As such, this could lead to a decrease in the number of cultures present in a multiracial society and it will not be as diverse as it used to be.
3. A belief to separate ethnicity and cultures
This belief stems from the mindset that people of different ethnicities and cultures are unable to coexist. This could end up resulting in social trust negativity. People will only mix around with others of the same ethnicity and culture as they feel a stronger sense of belonging with them. They often feel that people of another ethnicity will not be able to relate to them and thus, can’t get along well.
More often than not, this could potentially cause a division between different ethnicity and culture, therefore slowing down the progress of a country as people cannot work well together.
Discrimination is probably one of the most common topic to discuss about. Due to differences between races, such as skin tone and language, there is a tendency for one ethnic group to mock another ethnic group for the differences in skin tone and language they speak.
Additionally, if one ethnic group is bigger than the other, the people in the majority ethnic group are more likely to feel superior towards the people in the minority ethnic group. As such, people belonging in the minority feel as though their existence and efforts are not recognized, thus they would feel demoralized.
5. Language barriers
You may wonder why language barriers could still occur in a multiracial society when there is usually a universal language present in that country. This is because not everybody speaks the universal language. Some people grow up in a family that uses its own mother tongue as its native language.
When these people start mixing around with others in school or at the workplace, they find themselves unable to understand these people and as a result, prefer to withdraw themselves away from others as they feel like they don’t belong with these people.
How To Tackle These Risks?
However small the risk may be, it is still important to address them. Remembering that all cultures are equal regardless of the number of people in that culture is crucial as number does not define power.
People should also take note that others are not defined only by their race but also their qualities and efforts. Just because we are different doesn’t mean we should be treated unfairly.
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