What does intercultural mean?

Intercultural describes communities in which there is a deep understanding and respect for all cultures. Intercultural communication focuses on the mutual exchange of ideas and cultural norms and the development of deep relationships. In an intercultural society, no one is left unchanged because everyone learns from one another and grows together.

What is the difference between multicultural, cross-cultural, and intercultural? 

While they all might be under the same roof, they describe entirely different rooms.  The differences in the meanings reflect the perspectives we take when interacting with people from other cultures.

Multicultural refers to a society that contains several cultural or ethnic groups.  People live alongside one another, but each cultural group does not necessarily have engaging interactions with the other groups.  For example, in a multicultural neighbourhood people may frequent ethnic grocery stores and restaurants without really interacting with their neighbours from other countries.

Cross-cultural deals with the comparison of different cultures.  In cross-cultural communication, differences are understood and acknowledged, and can bring about individual change, but not collective transformations. In cross-cultural societies, one culture is often considered “the norm” and all other cultures are compared or contrasted with the dominant culture.

We work to inspire Australians to build community, social cohesion and prosperity through a deeper understanding and relationship with the First Nations People of this land. We help new arrivals to the continent, establish pathways of inclusion and integration and offer story-sharing platforms that seed, support and grow a HEALING and UNIFIED community. Ensuring social inclusion and support for culturally and linguistically diverse people, learning about the ancient connection to land and oceans from our two First Nations peoples (Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) and our convict, colonial and farming past, is how we contribute to building a better future for all.

Credit: Image Source – https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/intercultural-understanding/

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