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Unity in diversity is a concept of 'unity without uniformity and

diversity without fragmentation' that shifts focus from unity


based on a mere tolerance of physical, cultural, linguistic,
social, religious, political, ideological
and/or psychological differences towards a more complex unity
based on an understanding that difference enriches human
interactions.
"Unity in diversity" is a popular motto within and among nation
states, and also in political and social movements.
The idea and related phrase is very old and dates back to
ancient times in both Western and Eastern Old World cultures.
The concept of unity in diversity was used "in non-Western
cultures such as indigenous peoples in North America and
Taoist societies in 400500 B.C. In premodern Western culture it
has been implicit in the organic conceptions of the universe
that have been manifest since the ancient Greek and Roman
civilizations through medieval Europe and into the Romantic
era.

Examples of usage
Bah' Faith (1938)
In 1938, in his book The World Order of Bah'u'llh Shoghi
Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, said that "unity in
diversity" was the "watchword" for the religion.
Canada (1943)
Adlard Godbout, while Premier of Quebec, published an article
entitled "Canada: Unity in Diversity" (1943) in the Council on
Foreign Relations journal. He asked

How does the dual relationship of the French Canadia

The motto of the province of Saskatchewan, adopted in 1986, is


a variation, Multis e gentibus vires (from many peoples,
strength).
Meher Baba (1954)
In the message Meher Baba's Final Declaration. He stated
"Unity in the midst of diversity can be made to be felt only by
touching the very core of the heart. This is the work for which I
have come. I have come to sow the seed of love in your hearts
so that, in spite of all superficial diversity which your life in
illusion must experience and endure, the feeling of oneness
through love is brought about amongst all the nations, creeds,
sects and castes of the world."
Unity in Diversity: Interdisciplinary Research Seminar
(1977)
The term was used by a group of academics who formed
the Interdisciplinary Research Seminar at Wilfrid Laurier
University with a sense of community in mind (p. xvi) working
to develop practical wisdom through interdisciplinary activity as
opposed to the trend towards fragmentation and ever
narrowing specializations in academia. Ervin Laszlo presented
his paper entitled "Framework for a General Systems Theory of
World Order" (1974) as one of the first seminar Papers that led
to the establishment of the IRS in 1975.
South Africa (1981,1996)
When the Apartheid of Republic of South Africa celebrated 20
years of independence on 31 May 1981, the theme of the
celebrations was "unity in diversity" as a cynical attempt to
explain away the inequalities in South African life. Antiapartheid campaigners opposed these celebrations and called
on runners of the Comrades Marathon to protest at the cooption of the event by wearing a black armband. The winner of
the race, Bruce Fordyce, was one of those wearing a black
armband.

The term has since been incorporated into the preamble of the
1996 Constitution of South Africa as a central tenet of the new
South Africa.
Michael Novak (1983)
Michael Novak wrote,

Unity in diversity is the highest possible attainment o

European Union (2000)


Main article: Motto of the European Union
In 2000, the European Union adopted 'United in Diversity'
(Latin: In varietate concordia) as official Motto, a reference to
the many and diverse member states of the Union in terms of
culture. Apart from its English form, the European Union's
motto is also official in 22 other languages. "Unity in diversity"
was selected in through a competition process involving
students from member nations. According to the European
Commission: European Union official website

The motto means that, via the EU, Europeans are un

Indonesia (2003)
In 2003 The term United In Diversity ( UID ) is used by not-forprofit organization established with Indonesian leaders from
business, government, and civil society. UID aims at nothing
less than inspiring tri sector leaders to collaborate, create and
implement an action plan to forge a new, positive national
identity for Indonesia, based on the multiple strengths of its
diverse people. its growth thereafter has been an enduring,
positive learning process. UID has galvanized leaders from all
sectors to come together, start a new dialogue of responsibility,
and agree on concrete actions to address root causes of
Indonesia's problems.
Other nation-states

It is also the motto of the nations of Indonesia (see Bhinneka


Tunggal Ika), Papua New Guinea and South Africa.
Indigenous peoples
The Gwichin Tribal Council representing the Gwichin, a First
Nations of Canada and an Alaskan Native Athabaskan people,
who live in the northwestern part of North America, mostly
above the Arctic Circle, adopted the motto Unity through
Diversity.
Commercial House of Blues performance venues have an
emblem at the top of the stage with several religious symbols,
and the phrase "Unity in Diversity".