Teleconference Seminar: ”Multiculturalism in Democratic Society”

By Mandeep Kaur Gill

Editor -

BANDUNG, itb.ac.id- Process of democracy is never a perfect journey without multiculturalism. A multicultural society is marked by the sense of appreciation towards one another and relization between groups to prioritize negotiation in solving problems. Multiculturalism principles is the opposite of conservative principles which is the result of colonialism is growing alongside the globalization phenomena today. Because of this, democracy, multiculturalism and true globalization are connected to one another. This is what Dr. Gregory Jay said in a seminar through a teleconference titled ‘Multiculturalism in a Democratic society” between United States Embassy in Jakarta and ITB Library Center, Thursday (22/5) Jay started his presentation by picturing the multicultural society now growing in America. As an example, he focused on the problems in Wisconsin- a state with a population of 1.5 million and a large number of them are of colored skin. Pioneer and Director of the University of Wisconsin Cultures and Communities Program stated that intense interaction among the society’s groups in Wisconsin managed to nurture a mutual understanding, peace and harmonial relationships in the society. “To understand multiculturalism, I repeatedly urge my students to learn about the communities as much as they can. Only with interaction with other communities make it possible for us sympathize with the experiences they live through,” Jay said. Jay noted the development of the multiculturalism concept can vary from country to country because each society has their own way of interpreting this concept. As an example, United states understand the difference between the political system (state) and religion (church) Dr. Gregory Jay is an English Language Progressor in the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, United States. Dr. Jay’s involvement in social issues started since he was a student at University of California until getting his BA in literature in the 1970. Jay, born and raised in California is a writer and editor of six books about the study of American culture. His book titled “American Literature and the Culture Wars” is one of the books every student must have to study the issues of multiculturalism.