Dear Glasgow report: Tolerance and multiculturalism
On 31 July 2014, as part of The Tin Forest festival, the people of Glasgow were invited to attend Dear Glasgow. Here they were asked to discuss the burning issues in their city. The discussion groups were set by the participants themselves; Tolerance and Multiculturalism, Gender Inequality, Children and Young People, Work, the Independence Referendum, the Environment and Mental Health.
Here’s what the Tolerance and Multiculturalism Group discussed…
All the opinions expressed here are those of participants of Dear Glasgow and not necessarily those of the National Theatre of Scotland or its partners.
- Anti-biased education – In businesses, community groups, churches. No separatism for everyone – religion should be private and personal. Don’t split children up because of religion.
- Taking personal responsibility for challenging ignorance where you find it
- Idea of community – Be pro-active, revolutionary, brave to take the first step, take time to get to know people and understand, make connections, the fear comes from not knowing/understanding others, have a place to connect.
- Not to be afraid to speak out to the government!
Contributor’s quotes from the discussion
What are our dreams?
“See each other as people, we all are the same irrespective of sexuality, background, religion, more respect! Embrace difference and enjoy it! Why doesn’t everyone think that way? Is it background, lack of education?! “
“Should I follow a certain religion because of family, that of a nation, the church of our country? Being 5 years old and separated from friends because of religion. Someone from Belfast who couldn’t wear green because of its association.”
“Education – state schools are Christian (so much % have to be Christian) but it would be great if there was none of that. Shouldn’t people from different religions go into schools and educate children on them all too then decide for themselves? We’re all asked to make a choice and define ourselves at that age!”
“Get Humanism into assemblies to be totally fair (this is right/ this is wrong), as kids who didn’t follow a certain religion in schools wouldn’t have anything to do whilst the other children were at assembly. Teach them about it, don’t indoctrinate them.”
“Sectarianism is down to people wanting an identity. Does a child want to identify with something like that? Maybe not, but they do want to fit in somewhere.”
“Anti-biased curriculum in Seattle – no racial tendencies like there are in Scotland. We like to think of ourselves as open and friendly, but it’s still out there. One woman said the Americans are 15-20 years ahead of us, but it depends where you are. Some people of different races are scared to come to Scotland or can be a non-entity, not as necessarily diverse.”
“Flats demolished in Sighthill, asylum seekers are seen as “them”, they’re taking our houses. They’ve shut down a lot of community centres, can provide socialisation, education, harmony. It’s natural for humans to move and want a better life, and it seems that a lot of Scots want that – multi movement.”
“Random acts of kindness – helping someone struggling with their supermarket vouchers, basic manners, but people get so frustrated at others for nothing. No empathy or patience or time for people anymore. Some supermarkets rush to get you out the door but they’re being watched by the big bosses. We’re all a community but there’s no sense of that anymore – community centres, neighbours, street parties, lending a hand.”
“Scarier to go to youth theatre, community centres and meet new people now because of the media age, which makes us more isolated, this has changed things in the past ten years. We all feel like we need a hand to do things now, no initiative.”
“Religion should be taught equally. In the States, you learn about religion in historical context in some democratic schools. Good schools are seen as private – not state. It’s such a melting pot now that you can’t be bottling each other every weekend after the football.”
“Does traditional religion have a place in the modern world anymore?”
“The Todd Parr books – it’s okay to be different. It covers racism, respect, religion… “