On 16 June, 2023, Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice organized a half-day workshop on intercultural dialogue and its relations to peacebuilding. Intercultural Dialogue is a subject that is gaining momentum in Nepal in the recent times as the field of dialogue in general is gaining more traction between the scholars and practitioners of peacebuilding in Nepal.
Facilitating the session, Ram Tiwari highlighted how stereotypes about other cultures persists in Nepali society and how that often impedes multicultural understanding and acceptance of different cultures in Nepal. In the recent times, conflicts in Madhesh province tend to show that it was stemmed mostly from intolerance which often was founded on intercultural ignorance. He cited references to the fact that intercultural dialogue has been more salient and the objective of such intercultural dialogue dialogue is to learn to live together peacefully and constructively in a multicultural world and to develop a sense of community and belonging. Openness and empathy remain at the core of inercultural dialogue, he highlighted using examples and practical exercises.
After this Mr Sabin Lamichhane, Youth EngagementSpecialist, Social and Human Sciences Focal Point of UNESCO took a session and explained the fundamentals of intercultural dialogue and how UNESCO is promoting ICD in Nepal. He also shared the fact that with the recent publication of UNESCO called “We need to talk”, the need for ICD has been expanded to broader applications of peacebuilding.
With workshop was concluded with various immediate and short-term action points for the participants who came from various organizations interested in the dialogue work in Nepal. Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice is the Secretariat of Nepal Dialogues Initiative which brings together individuals and institutions involved in dialogue in Nepal.