Health Culture Diplomacy at the Global Tea House

Cultural diplomacy is defined by the International Institute for Cultural Diplomacy as, "A course of actions, which are based on and utilize the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture or identity, whether to strengthen relationships, enhance socio-cultural cooperation or promote national interests; Cultural diplomacy can be practiced by either the public sector, private sector or civil society." 


The word culture comes from the Latin word color meaning cultivate. In Hebrew ur means light. A synthesis of these roots of the word suggests that culture is, in essence, the cultivation of light. Cultural Diplomacy is the action one takes in the process of seeking peace through culture as the cultivation of light. 


Diplomacy, the highly refined communication skill demonstrated in relationships between peoples of different cultures, is an antidote to the culture clashes that can lead to frustration, power struggle, anger, and violence.


Culture clash occurs when people with different perspectives seek to extend their influence by convincing others of the “rightness” of their views. Culture clash is the greatest obstacle to building healthy caring communities. At the center of culture clash is the fear of loss of control and the subsequent need to dominate others and convert them to one’s own cultural beliefs and practices. The purpose of health culture diplomacy is to open and maintain a dialogue that considers a variety of views about health and healing so as to promote community-building through healthcare practice and education that is genuinely person- and community-centered. Health culture diplomacy suggests the pursuit of the complementarity of four health care cultures: the biomedical, complementary therapies (a sub-culture of the biomedical), self-care, and the traditional/indigenous. Health culture diplomacy seeks to improve communication, understanding, the exchange between cultures, and to draw upon all health resources when addressing tough health problems that challenge us all.