Waikato based community organisation Earth Diverse and Waikato Interfaith Council are starting language and diversity classes in the city from the second week of February.

The schedule of Term 1 of the classes was announced earlier in January that offers several regional, and national language classes along with sessions on different world religions and their contribution towards the diversity people live in.

The languages for which classes will be held include Hindi, Urdu, Hebrew, and there are plans for future also to introduce other languages not taught in New Zealand such as Arabic, Farsi, Malayalam and Punjabi.

“At Earth Diverse, we believe that language is culture, and there is no true understanding of other cultures unless we make an effort to learn non-English languages. If we truly wish to engage with others, we must begin to learn some of the other spoken languages and written alphabets of our diverse earth,” a media release from Earth Diverse read.

Earth Diverse’s language course is designed for introductory learners, those who cannot read, write or speak a foreign language, children of migrants who wish to learn more about their heritage language and people with who want to engage better with native speakers.

Earth Diverse is currently offering three distinct series of courses on religious diversity with each series consisting of four terms that are spread for a full year. In a calendar year, any of the 12 courses can be taken independently without any requisites.

The religious diversity classes are designed in parts to with a focus on the history, development and contemporary beliefs and practices if the world’s main religions and traditions. The next series will explore contemporary issues in diversity, and the new ‘World Religion’ series that will delve in-depth classes of eight-weeks each Term on Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

The courses designed in the religious diversity classes will be taught from an objective and anthropological point of view- about religion, and its behaviour. The course aims to create a greater understanding of the depth and scope of diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.

There is, however, a nominal charge for the courses per term and people are encouraged to make the most of this opportunity. The classes will be held in Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Tauranga. More information about the courses and classes can be obtained from Earth Diverse website.