Diversity Within Unity

HumanDHS is primarily grounded in academic work. We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.

Maintaining biodiversity is crucial for the survival of humankind. Among the most recent important success stories is a new revolutionary antibiotic drug that researchers have isolated from South African soil after screening 250,000 natural product extracts for their antibiotic potential.

Likewise, the cultural diversity that Homo sapiens has created on planet Earth is vital. HumanDHS proposes that it would be beneficial to “harvest” useful cultural practices from all cultures to help us build a global inclusive culture for a decent sustainable future for our world.

The HumanDHS fellowship wishes to promote global reflection on how we can design a new global culture. We suggest we need a new global culture that includes all dignifying aspects of traditional cultural practices from all cultural realms on the globe, be it from indigenous cultural practices, which are currently in grave danger, or from larger entities, such as the Japanese or Chinese or Egyptian cultural realms, many of which increasingly surrender to Western uniformity. We recommend, however, to refrain from including all those cultural practices that have damaging effects which resemble, for instance, bygone Chinese foot binding. And it would furthermore be advisable, we believe, to refrain from including differences that are so irreconcilable that they split the common ground that humankind is in need of if all want to coexist on planet Earth. We commend using human rights as sifting tool to decide how to make these choices..

See, for example, Lindner, Evelin G. (2006). Avoiding Humiliation - From Intercultural Communication to Global Inter-Human Communication, in Journal of Intercultural Communication, SIETAR Japan, (9), pp. 1-16, 2006.
See also:
Avoiding Humiliation - From Intercultural Communication to Global Inter-Human Communication, SIETAR Japan lecture, June 9, 2006, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
Reitaku University Tokyo Kenkyu Center (Shinjuku i-Land Tower, 4th Floor).


We look for interested people, who would like to develop our WDesignED page. Please see our Call for Creativity.



 

•  Japan
•  Africa
•  Australia
•  Europe
•  and so forth, please add


 

Japan

Japanese concepts for connection and togetherness uchi ("inside") an in-group have the potential of serving as cultural blue-prints for a future global culture of humankind. Globalization, a buzzword with many meanings, signifies, among others, the ingathering of the human tribe - this is the correct anthropological term - into one single in-group, emerging from a past where in-groups faced out-groups. Japanese uchi cultural scripts could be very helpful in this process (clearly, traditional cultural paradigms that teach how to keep out-groups out would not be useful in this context).

Haru Yamada (1997), in her book Different Games, Different Rules: Why Americans and Japanese Misunderstand Each Other, offers a number of useful paradigms for a sustainable uchi of the future global village:

•  wa (harmonious integration of the group)
•  nemawashi (collective decisionmaking)
•  uchiawase ("sounding out")
•  sasshi (anticipatory guesswork)
•  haragei (silent communication)
•  amae (sweetness)
•  ninjo (human emotion or compassion)
•  seishin (selfless spiritual strength)

Also the global corporate sector will benefit from learning Japanese cultural concepts. Ryuzaburo Kaku, now honorary chairman of Canon, the Japanese technology company, promotes kyosei : "All people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future" (quoted from the web site of the company Canon, http://www.canon.com/about/philosophy/).

Yamada, Haru (1997). Different Games, Different Rules: Why Americans and Japanese Misunderstand Each Other. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


 

 

Africa

Ubuntu is the traditional African philosophy for living together and solving conflict in an atmosphere of shared humility. Michael Jesse Battle (1997) describes how Desmond Tutu's (1999) work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission drew on ubuntu. Finn Tschudi (2006) explains, "Tutu tells us that ubuntu can be used to describe a personal quality: A person with ubuntu is open and accessible for others, primed with a certainty deriving from the experience of belonging to a larger unity. This unity is degraded when others are humiliated, or otherwise treated as less worthy" (Tschudi, 2006, p.1).

Battle, Michael Jesse (1997). Reconciliation. The Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press.

Tschudi, Finn (2006). Notes Towards an Optimistic View of Restorative Justice in International and Intergroup Conflicts. Tel Aviv: Revised version of paper for Bar Ilan conference on "Restorative Justice and Contact Hypothesis in Managing Ethno-National conflicts," March 5, 2006 Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv.


 

 

Australia

Aborigines


 

 

Europe

Martin Buber (1944) developed a philosophy of dialogue that views human existence in two fundamentally different kinds of relationships - I-It and I-Thou. An I-It relationship is the normal everyday relation of a human being towards the things surrounding her. Fellow human beings may also be treated as Its, from a distance, as parts of the environment. An I-Thou relationship, however, is one into which a human being enters with her innermost and whole being, yielding genuine encounters and dialogues. I-Thou meetings are in Buber's eyes reflections of the human meeting with God. Emmanuel Lévinas has also worked on dialogue and caring. Lévinas's first magnum opus, Totality and Infinity (Lévinas, 1961) analyzes the face-to-face relationship with the other, the fellow human being.

Buber, Martin (1944). I and Thou. Edinburgh: Clark.

Lévinas, Emmanuel (1961). Totalite Et Infini: Essai Sur L'Exteriorite. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

 




Links

Please note that the entire HumanDHS website is maintained by volunteers since its inception in 2003, and this is mainly done by Evelin Lindner. Until 2012, she usually pasted interesting news into this Links section, since July 2012, she also tags interesting information here.

The Tyler Clementi Foundation
Jane Clementi co-founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation alongside husband Joe because she wants to make sure that our society learns the consequences of discrimination and bullying, as she learned all too personally through the loss of her son. A native of New Jersey and devoted mother of three sons, Jane speaks passionately to parents and community leaders about the need to not merely "accept" or "tolerate" children who come out as LGBT, but to embrace them as wondrous creations of God. Jane, a registered nurse, speaks on the need for parents of LGBT children to come out and speak openly of the love they have for their children, and in doing so each one of us can impact the world around us and create accepting environments. Since losing Tyler, Jane's spiritual journey has continued to carry and transform her in ways she never would have imagined. She left her church home of many years because she felt that while sitting in the pews of a church that condemned LGBT people she was herself a bystander to bullying. Jane leads an inspirational life through her unique experience which she shares with other parents, and speaks passionately about the need to divorce the concept of "sin" from homosexuality. She has made difficult choices in an impossible situation, and leads by example. She has spoken out in support of LGBT rights and the need for families and communities to embrace their LGBT populations. Jane has spoken at BNP Paribas Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a variety of universities including The College of New Jersey, high schools and churches.

The System Improvement Process
SIP was developed to solve any difficult large-scale social problem. This includes the "excessive humiliation problem." Systems Engineer Jack Harich invites all researchers to study SIP (in a personal message, 15th January 2013).

Google Labs
Type in a word or phrase in one of seven languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese) and see how its usage frequency has been changing throughout the past few centuries.

Ethnic Clothes Mental Health Link
Teenage girls from some minority communities who stick to their family customs have better mental health, researchers say. Queen Mary University of London found Bangladeshi girls who chose traditional rather than Western dress had fewer behavioural and emotional problems. The team said close-knit families and communities could help protect them. Pressure to integrate fully could be stressful, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reported...
Please read more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/7347092.stm.

Survival Names 'Terrible Ten': Key Abusers of Tribal Peoples' Rights in 2007
To mark UN Human Rights Day (10 December) Survival has named the 'terrible ten': the key abusers of tribal peoples' rights in 2007. Indonesia, Australia, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Botswana, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay and Malaysia are all highlighted.
Tribal peoples in West Papua face appalling violence at the hands of the Indonesian military, experiencing killings, arbitrary arrests, rape and torture while their lands are exploited by the Indonesian government and foreign companies.
In Botswana, the government evicted the Bushmen from their land in the Central Kalahari in 2002, and continues to prevent them from returning home, despite a landmark court ruling in 2006 that declared the evictions 'unlawful and unconstitutional'.
Cattle ranchers occupying Guarani Indian land in Brazil are hiring gunmen to target the Indians. This year two Guarani leaders have been murdered and two Guarani women raped in land conflicts, while at least 26 Guarani have committed suicide.
Peru is home to an estimated 15 of the world's last uncontacted tribes and all of them are facing extinction as the government opens up their territories to oil companies and illegal loggers flood in. The Peruvian president recently suggested the tribes didn't exist.
The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode in Paraguay are the last uncontacted Indians south of the Amazon basin. But powerful logging companies are destroying their forest at breakneck speed, and the government is failing to protect them.
In Malaysia, the tribes of Sarawak have had their land taken to make way for logging, dam construction and oil palm plantations. The government has told the nomadic, hunter-gatherer Penan that they have no land rights until they 'settle down' and start farming.
Despite supposedly being liberal democracies, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA were the only countries to vote against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was approved by the General Assembly in September this year. 143 countries voted in favour.
Please read more at http://www.survival-international.org.

Tribal People at Risk of Extinction from Diabetes
Read the Survival's report, Progress can kill, at http://www.survival-international.org/campaigns/progresscankill.