The west expends energy trying to be recognized as fulfilling the very definition of diversity. For some reason to fulfill this diversity definition and being looked at as a prime example for a cultural diversity definition is important. However, in answering the question what is cultural diversity? the west does not meet the requirements found in the answer and this is exactly why energy needs to be expended towards fulfilling this definitions requirements.
In Bangkok where everything is politically incorrect, corruption abounds and cultural competence is being fought against vehemently both consciously and subconsciously, all you see is a text-book example of a cultural diversity definition. Religions, beliefs, languages both spoken and written, races, food, customs and celebrations from every corner of the earth are ubiquitous.
So, what is cultural diversity anyhow? A definition of diversity can be stated as the inclusion and acceptance of a variety of different cultures and differences based on cultures in a specific area. A required understanding and awareness of the differences based on gender, ethnicity, race, socio-economic statuses, age, physical and mental abilities, sexual preferences, religious and political beliefs and other ideologies in order to make it through the day.
In the east, a diversity definition is not practiced, it just exists. There is no energy being expended to create and develop cultural diversity, if anything, there is energy being expended to reduce or eradicate cultural diversity.
In Thailand, governments, as recent as 2010, have tried to impose laws to make Buddhism the official belief of the land. Like Japan, Thailand has an extremely small amount of official alien residents or naturalized citizens other than naturalized citizens from centuries ago. Governments are actively against residency or naturalization. From 2006 until 2012, Thailand did not accept applications for residency requests. In order to become a Thai national, you need to first become a resident.
Juxtaposing this official policy against cultural diversity, a quick walk down Sukhumwit Road reveals the smells, sounds and sights of a multitude of cultures. Mosques and berkas, Kurti, kabobs, various hill tribe ethnic attire, westerners, Arabs, Africans, ladyboys, Aussies, wats and Europeans along with the sounds of their music and languages and smells of their foods are ubiquitous. Hardly a soi can be walked without hearing 3 or 4 different foreign languages let alone the various dialects of Thai.
In the west, there are laws to help promote cultural diversity, cognitive decisions from people, municipalities, state and federal governments with the intent to be more diverse. Monies are being spent to create a more diverse society; companies HR practices are fully aware of their own cultural diversities and have implemented policies to an end in regard to cultural diversity.
So why do places like Bangkok thrive in regard to cultural diversity whereas Canada and the U.S. have to exert so much effort? The strong policing policies of immigration, strict laws, relatively small amounts of various ethnic groups from around the world and clash in culture seems to be preventing cultural diversity from taking hold in Canada and the U.S.
The relatively weak policing of Bangkok and Thailand allow various ethnic groups to get a foothold in Thailand. Stronger discrimination and larger gaps between rich and poor, as well as corruption help enforce acceptance of different cultures. Weaker education system inspires curiosity amongst Thais for other countries and cultures ways of life. Just walking the streets in Bangkok is one of the best diversity training activities there is for cultural diversity.
Sometimes western nations promote what they believe is the politically correct policies to support, hoping that the enforcement of these policies will rub off and the goals of these policies will manifest themselves. Not trying so hard and relaxing draconian laws that protect power and status might have a more successful result.
Just knowing the answer to what is cultural diversity is not enough. Manifesting a society that is a picture perfect example for a cultural diversity definition requires more than talking the talk, it requires walking the walk. In order to have a society that exemplifies a definition of diversity, it requires real-life, daily, diversity training exercises. Before a society can proclaim itself the poster child of a diversity definition, it needs to be exposed to real life diversity training.