That diversity is more than just two traditions and as we broaden the understanding of diversity and move away from a flawed two traditions model, we also move away from polarity to plurality.
There are certainly three main traditional influences which have shaped Ulster - English, Irish and Scottish -and they have left all their imprint on our cultural landcape. We also have an Orange cultural tradition, with its colourful regalia, the pageantry of its parades, the artistry of the banners, the music of the bands and a heritage of Orange song and poetry.
This diversity is one of the things that makes Northern Ireland such a unique and distinctive place and the diversity, along with its component cultures, should be recognised, valued and celebrated.
In more recent years we have seen the arrival in Northern Ireland of new communities from abroad and they have brought their own cultures with them These communities have added to our diversity but their numbers are still comparatively small and the indigenous cultural traditions mentioned above are still the cultural traditions of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland. One has only to consider the numbers of people who watch Gaelic games or Orange delebrations to realise that this is still the case.
Secondly, these cultural traditions should be treated with equity and fairness. We cannot have a situation where special and preferential treatment is given to one tradition over another. That would be inequitable and unfair. Moreover that principle of cultural equity has to be applied in several important areas - recognition, respect, resources and representation. The road to cultural equity will be a long road but that is not an excuse for day. Equity delayed is equity denied.
A better and wider understanding of that interdependence can do much to build social cohesion in our society and promote good relations. For that reason our cultural sector should look at opportunities to reflect our cultural interdependence.
We often speak about cultural communities, such as the Orange community, the Ulster-Scots community or the Irish language community but we also want to see an overarching Northern Ireland community. This is about community cohesion and sharing.
In developing our cultural life in Ulster we must ensure that a 'shared and better future' remains a priority and it must be more than just a vague concept, which is why the 'equity, diversity and interdependence' model is so valuable.