Today, 21st May, is World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development.

to show how diversity can be embraced, I wanted to post this picture as a demonstration…

This picture was taken the 1st time I went to work in India. I had been hired to set up a team in India and my first trip brought me to Chennai, where I met my team members.

Because I did not know if I would come back, I decided to stay over for the weekend. I wanted to learn more about the country,. My colleagues were kind enough to show me around and bring me to places I probably would not have seen on my own. 

Since I was in India, I wanted to ‘fit in’. I wanted to show that I was embracing the culture. I therefore decided to dress with Indian clothes.

My female colleague wanted to make me feel comfortable in India and decided to wear Western clothes. When we saw each other, we laughed. We thought ‘great minds think alike’. This allowed us to appreciate and respect each other even more.

Not everything is what it seems…

The strangest thing happened afterwards when we were visiting places. Some Indian people were praising me for wearing Indian clothes while they were blaming my Indian colleague for wearing western clothes!

I was surprised by both types of comments. But there are 2 lessons here to take:

– By embracing diversity, we not only learn about people from other backgrounds, nationalities or cultures. We also gain wonderful experiences that open our minds even more.

– Perception can be deceiving. We should never judge people by the way they look or by why they do certain things. There’s always a reason behind it…

This article was published on Linkedin.

#vlvcoach #diversity #inclusion #leadership #womeninbusiness #professionalwomen

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