CULTURAL FREEDOM is a fundamental part of human development because, in order to live a full life, it is important to be able to CHOOSE OWN IDENTITY – what one is – without losing respect for others or being excluded from other alternatives. People need the freedom to practise their religion openly, to speak their language, to honour their ethnic or religious heritage without fear of ridicule, punishment or restriction of opportunity. People need to have the freedom to participate in society without having to let go of the cultural ties they have chosen. It’s a simple but deeply disconcerting idea.”

AMARTYA SEN, Nobel Prize in Economics, for the United Nations Development Programme, 2004

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