Multiculturalism is here to stay
There are not many monocultural countries left today; modern societies tend to be multi-cultural, that is, they encompass people from diverse cultures that exist alongside one another. We, therefore, find people with different religious beliefs, different dress styles, diverse traditions and languages – living together within the same country.
Whether you like it or not, Malta today is a multi-cultural place. This is evident in the presence of thousands of foreigners who are living and working in our country. Many come from European Union countries and some from third countries. Take the catering sector for example. Foreign workers are the ones serving you in restaurants. One rarely finds a Maltese waiter any more. Even in the construction sector, workers are predominantly Sicilian, Syrian and East European. Maltese society today is made up of different ethnic groups living in Maltese and Gozitan towns and villages.
The Maltese people are not of the same mind regarding multiculturalism. Some welcome it wth open arms and are of the opinion that it enhances society. Others criticise it because they feel it that Maltese values and traditions will be eroded.
Notwithstanding, schools should educate students on how to live without prejudice or hate. It is at school that the seed of love and tolerance can be sown and can be extended to the families and to society.
Integrating and accepting other ethnic groups within our society does not mean that our Christian legacy will be given the boot. Multiculturalism means learning to live within diverse cultures and traditions without losing our identity.
Today, more than ever before, multiculturalism is being encouraged in workplaces and places of entertainment. Multiculturalism can have both good and bad consequences. If dealt with well, it can create respect, tolerance and peace; if dealt with badly, multiculturalism can have disastrous outcomes.
Maltese society is what it is. It has become cosmopolitan. Let us live with multiculturalism, as long as this is monitored, controlled and it is ensured that our Maltese culture remains intact.