The Importance Of Cultural Diversity

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According to these laws, the support of linguistic diversity is legally required, but this recognition alone is not enough, as it "does not guarantee the preservation of minority languages and does not necessarily lead to wider value put on multilingualism" (Vertovec & Wessendorf, 2006: 181).

We assume that there is a widespread tendency towards abandoning minority languages, in favour of national or global ones. Certainly, from a reductionist and materialistic point of view, this is the easiest choice to get access to a better education and to the global market. But speakers of minority languages must not resign themselves to the theoretically inevitable death of their languages. There are many counterexamples of languages which have been able to keep their position and pride, even without being the state language, such as in Quebec, in Wales, and, obviously, in Catalonia (May, 2005: 325). Globalization heads for cultural and linguistic homogeneity, undervaluing diversity. Nevertheless, as defended by UNESCO (2002: 4): "as a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature... The defence of cultural diversity is an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity". Consequently, we defend the intellectual enrichment of the individuals who, through their two or more languages, are open to different visions of the world, facing up the homogeneity of those with one language only. The

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