Multicultural Communications Month


By Sharon Schweitzer

April is Multicultural Communications Month. Although this holiday has no records of being observed more than two years back, it is an integral part of the wider Diversity Month holiday that was first marked in April 2004. Regardless of what name it is given, the purpose of this holiday is to achieve a peaceful society where people of different cultures communicate with one another, without a show of supremacy.

The U.S. is a typical example of modern multicultural society. And rightly so, it is a nation that has achieved greatness through the collective efforts of various cultures residing in it. In the olden days, ancient Rome — like America today — was equally a multicultural society, synchronized in one way or the other, as one. Additionally, languages such as Latin, Greek, Syriac, and Persian were spoken in Dura Europos as far back as the first century. It suffices to say that even though these great, ancient societies are no more today, their greatness could only be brought about through multicultural communications between the many tribes present in them.

Scholars believe ancient Rome began as a federation of tribes, traders, and other groups, indicating that it was also a multicultural civilization. It’s impossible to say the different tribes lived together without interacting, and so, we can say that communication amongst people of different cultures has its roots firmly set even in antiquity.

The importance of multicultural communication cannot be undermined. The Roman Republic would not have turned into an empire if there were no intercultural communications between Romans and the cultures they conquered. As one report said, “The Roman Empire established a language that solidified its effect on the languages of the world today through the high percentage of interaction between frontier cultures and the culture of the Roman soldiers….” The Greeks for example still spoke their language in the Roman Empire and both inculcated each other’s cultures into theirs. This is seen in the adoption of Greek gods and goddesses by the Romans and vice versa.

Robert Rosen explains why today’s managers must implement strategies that foster better cooperation among members of a culturally diverse workforce: “Corporate survival and prosperity increasingly depend on our ability to interact and manage people of different cultures, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Today, everyone is part of the global marketplace, even though many companies don’t yet realize that fact.” He continues, “To thrive, all leaders must adopt a global-centric approach to business. They must develop a multicultural perspective, an international knowledge base and a global imagination—in other words, cultural literacy.”

“Communication and culture are inextricably intertwined. Indeed, culture itself is one form of communication….” , Victor D.A.

The communication is a prerequisite for shaping cultures (or, from a different perspective, one of the processes through which cultures are created and shared). On the other hand, culture plays an enormous part in a way people express themselves, as well as understand the surrounding reality – in other words, how they communicate.


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Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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