What Is a Cultural Mosaic?

A cultural mosaic is a description of a nation that considers the different races, ethnicities and otherness of its citizens essential to its existence. The mosaic is often contrasted with the melting pot, which requires all of those differences to meld together in assimilation.

Scholars disagree over which type of description leads to a healthier diversity in a country. When people have clearly defined differences, languages and values, it can lead to biases and assumptions remaining the same because it can be difficult to relate to people who are so different.

The downside for some people with the melting pot way of nationalism is the tendency to homogenize everyone, excluding those who refuse to assimilate and making minorities feel as if their unique differences have to disappear in order for the country to survive.

As the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation believes, however, being different from each other can be a way to learn new things and experience personal growth without losing that which makes a person unique. In the cultural mosaic viewpoint, knowing and preserving the various cultural values that exist serves to help bring about understanding and tolerance between people and countries.

A good example of a culturally mosaic country is Canada, whereas the United States is known for being a melting pot.