In its most basic form, cultural diversity is the presence of persons from different cultures in the same place, but positive cultural diversity also requires open-mindedness, tolerance and acceptance. Having a mindset that allows for cultural diversity means that people can be aware of how cultural differences can enrich the community but also see how all people are similar.
Culture often refers to a group or community identity, often with shared beliefs, values or practices. Culture can be demonstrated through food, clothing, language, religious ceremonies and even things like how strangers are greeted. Diversity means having a range of differences, but cultural diversity focuses more on inclusion of those differences rather than separation because of them.
The popularity of cultural diversity has been growing over the last few decades, during which online and international business and education have been playing more of a role in society. Many institutions are trying to promote diversity in their bodies of students and employees based on the principle that people from diverse backgrounds can learn more from each other and together build a more accepting community. Irina Bokova, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, says the purposes of cultural diversity are "to learn to live together in the diversity of our languages, cultures and religions, to bring about change."