Heritage Months are Pushing us Apart Instead of Bringing us Together

Heritage and history months have been celebrated in various countries for many years with the intention of raising awareness about different cultures and their contributions to society. Although their intentions are good, the execution has proven to be poor, and actually leads to more misunderstandings about cultures, pushing people even more apart

Heritage and history months have the potential to both bring people together and push people further apart, based on how they’re used. On one hand, these months provide a platform for marginalized communities to showcase their cultural heritage and achievements, bringing them into the mainstream consciousness. They also provide opportunities for people from different backgrounds to learn about each other’s histories and cultures, fostering mutual understanding and respect. The very existence of heritage and history months also highlights the ongoing marginalization and discrimination faced by minority communities. By separating cultures into specific months, it perpetuates the idea that they are not part of the dominant culture and reinforces the notion of “us vs them.” This creates further division and animosity between communities, rather than bringing them closer together.

Heritage and history months also often highlight our differences instead of presenting commonalities and bringing people closer together. By designating specific months to commemorate specific cultures, society is implying that these cultures are separate and distinct, rather than an integral part of the fabric of society. This leads to a fragmented under-
standing of humanity’s shared history and the diverse cultural contributions that make up our communities. Furthermore, the limited time frame of these months often leads to a shallow and superficial understanding of cultures, reducing it to a mere caricature of stereotypes and cultural
appropriation. This is damaging to the cultural identity of communities and reinforces the power imbalance between dominant and minority cultures.

Heritage and history months may have good intentions, but the way they are currently implemented often serves to perpetuate division and cultural appropriation rather than promoting unity and understanding. Instead of focusing on separate months for each culture, society should strive to incorporate the histories and contributions of all cultures into education and mainstream consciousness, year-round. This will bring people closer together as a society, rather than pushing them further apart.