Theorists and experts in the field of international cultural relations gathered for the 3rd time at the international conference "Intercultural dialogue in the modern world" on May 12-13. The conference was held at two venues: Saint Petersburg State University and St. Petersburg Association for International Cooperation. The event was held under the auspices of the St. Petersburg House of Nationalities.
Chairman of the St. Petersburg Association for International Cooperation Margarita Mudrak highlighted the significance of such event for Saint-Petersburg. Multiculturalism became the main theme of discussion. This theme was chosen not at once, because European politicians have acknowledged the failure of the policy of multiculturalism. "At first such idea raised doubts, however, we must consider multiculturalism not only as policy, but also as a process which has not ceased to exist", - said Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Professor of St. Petersburg State University Vladimir Fokin. According to the participant of the event, the head of the Institute of Finland in St. Petersburg Ms. Elina Kahla, politicians and researchers now prefer to avoid the concept of multiculturalism, but the alternative still has not been invented.
The theme of cultural diversity addressed the guests of honor of the conference: Consul on Science and Technology of China's Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Mr. Mao Yuan and Consul General of India in St. Petersburg, Mr. Arun Kumar Sharma.
Multiculturalism is complex process that is not limited to the preservation of cultural diversity in the world, it is directly linked with all the aspects of assimilation and the preservation of the national culture of immigrants.
"In the US, there is an amount of opportunities to preserve the culture of the immigrants: newspapers in foreign languages, social networks. Earlier the concept of the "melting pot" was very well known, but today American culture is considered as a "salad". This statement makes sense because the national culture of immigrants are saved, but slightly modified, e.g., Italian or Chinese cuisine in the United States still differ from the Italian or Chinese dishes in Italy and China", - said the Consul for Cultural Affairs and the press of the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg Ms. Susan Boden.
At the same time the director of the Danish Institute in St. Petersburg Finn Andersen paid attention to the migration crisis in Europe and the issue of receiving refugees.
Key factors of creation of a common cultural space of the Commonwealth of Independent States at the conference highlighted the Secretary of the Permanent Commission on Culture, Information, Tourism of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly Konstantin Pshenko: "a lot of work has been done, but the development of the dialogue may suffer from the ignorance of the achievements of each other. To tell the truth, the Internet, which is considered as the mean of communication development, may, in turn, reinforce existing stereotypes."
On the second day the conference continued its work within the framework of three sections. Presentations were made by young researchers and professors of St. Petersburg State University. Migration policy and the preservation of cultural heritage, foreign cultural policy and public diplomacy, sport and health care, as well as the development of tourism in Russia were the key topics of the sections.
The moderators of the sections were Professor Vladimir Fokin, Associate professor Natalia Bogolyubova, Associate professor Yulia Nikolaeva.