In order to reflect on our own language we need to be confronted with a new language system and its concomitant values and traditions. The isolated Amazonian languages that I am currently studying show that self-reflection can hardly take place without the presence of difference.
Intercultural communication and the reflection on one’s own cultural values functions just in the same way as languages. Without otherness there can be no self evaluation. Only if we challenge the very core of our ideologies, the foundation of what we always thought is infinitely true and universal can we be truly perceptible to expand our tolerance and understanding of the world and its inhabitants. In such a process, the very understanding of humanness can be renegotiated and the revelation of one’s cultural imprint shows how we have come to construct our own reality along the social input we have been given. If we manage to question these nuclear imprints and break down the imaginary borders of humanness, we can meet our environment with a truly open mind and in the process redefine our place in it.