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Different but the same

Sometimes I have the feeling that a lot of people don’t really know, what the meaning of the word discrimination is. That’s why I decided to search for the main definition. What have I found?

That was my first research and it was interesting to find out, that actually almost everybody has discriminated at least once. How did I come to this conclusion? First: the discrimination can be on the basis of:  gender, race, colour or ethnic or national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, social class, age […], marital status or family responsibilities, or as a result of any conditions or requirements that do not accord with the principles of fairness and natural justice. (UNESCO)[2]

And second, they are two different types of discrimination, which are:

  • Direct: “for example, refusing to admit as students, employ or promote individuals because they are black, female, disabled or because of their sexual orientation;” (UNESCO)
  • Indirect: “for example, setting age qualifications which discriminate against women who have had periods away from work because of family responsibilities.”

At this point I had to think about me, when I see one of my male friends, who is trying to do something in the kitchen. Unconsciously I think, that this person wouldn’t manage it, because of his gender. At this point, I have discriminated against him! Even when I know, that the best cooks in the world are men, like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver or Wolfgang Puck.[3]

Or another example: when I see a person younger than me, who tries to do something, what I couldn’t do at that age. Subconsciously I connect the situation to my past and I guess, that this person wouldn’t make it, because back then I couldn’t do it.  The surprise and the astonishment are even bigger, when they succeed. And at this time I realize that we all are different and our life style, experience and professional background are so diverse and that makes out the world colorful and special.

And just one last advice for all of us: before taking a hasty decision about somebody, inquire about their story, be patient and curious. Ask questions and don’t judge. We all have our extraordinary and unique history.

[1] Cambridge Dictionary online: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/worterbuch/englisch/discrimination Stand: 25.11.17

[2] UNESCO online: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/discrimination/ Stand: 25.11.17

[3] See more under: http://gazettereview.com/2017/04/top-10-chefs/ Stand: 25.11.17

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Desislava Manolova

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