The main problem of contemporaneity consists in gathering together the particular and the universal, the local and the global, avoiding at the same time the mistake of translating universality in total homologation subsequently reducing the variety of manifestations of life and culture, intelligence, knowledge, and language, while the legitimate protection of particularity should not lead to localisms, an exasperated cult of roots and that identity obsession that is the cause of violent separations, conflict and discrimination, where the identity of others is trapped in negative stereotypes that picture the immigrant and the different as someone to despise.
The fear of difference leads to the attribution of disparaging and negative identities, creating insuperable mental and symbolic barriers, walls, boundaries and frontiers that legitimate and rationalize judgements of inferiority and practices of intolerance, racism, abuse and violation of the inalienable rights of the person.
Human kind has endless resources and creative capabilities in the possibility of a new creation of a global, cosmopolitan, international citizenship through the transmission of the past, rediscovering recorded history and, at the same time, opening up to change, unconventionality and diversity.
No people can arrogate themselves the right of a chronological priority or qualitative superiority, because every civilization is built on an inter-cultural basis, as the result of trans-cultural interactions, such that every culture is formed by a global intermediation with different knowledge, languages, values, faiths and cultures.
Every particular culture is not uni-vocal or unique, but plural, created by a dynamic multitude of differentiations, exchanges, hybridizations, mixtures, contaminations and junctions. The inter-cultural approach is dialogue, comparison of defined and consolidated opinions, where the interlocutors are willing to question all their assumptions and themselves.
Globalization, creating a single horizon for a multitude of local realities, may seem the best way to picture culture on an inter-cultural level. On the contrary, the tendencies that characterize globalization lead to the homologation of the differences, therefore to the elimination of the multiplicity that determines the growth of a single culture. In fact, for what concerns global economy, treating all the cultures as identical doesn’t mean considering them equal in terms of value, but only equivalent for what regards specific market and financial interests. Market globalization risks aggravating the incidence of migratory phenomenon, if we don’t work for a general improvement of the condition of the workers in the south of the world, they are forced to emigrate in search of better life conditions. The increasing gap between the north and the south of the world and the new conditions of instability and tension among the peoples have heavily compromised the possibilities of exchange, dialogue and interaction.
Inter-cultural education represents the acknowledgement of equal dignity and opportunities of the diversities that have to be encouraged, respected and valued making us reflect upon the numerous daily displays of racism, intolerance and incomprehension against people and minorities, with persistent actions of discrimination between the rich and articulated cultures and the silent realities, depressed and forgotten. Beyond the wall of prejudice, the boundaries of discrimination, the inter-subjective limit of racism, we need to build a trans-cultural way of thinking that travels beyond single cultures, settling common intents and shared values in order to realize a project of peaceful coexistence that guarantees the fundamental rights to liberty, creativity, education and respect for cultural, linguistic and religious differences building an authentic inter-trans-culture, established on a great pedagogic investment that involves the institutions in an instructive project aimed at educating to difference, dialogue and inter-cultural exchange.
An inter-trans-cultural way of thinking can oppose uniformity, homologation, conformism and cultural narrow-mindedness, causes of standardization, intolerance and absence of projects for the future.
Inter-culture is a way of thinking that is reached in terms of knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the otherness, in the practice of plural thinking and creative relation in order to learn and reason in a explorative and transitive form, exalting our own critical and creative component that activates our complex and multiform nature.
Inter-culture is a problematic way of thinking capable of reasoning on the complexity and to move dialectically and with dialogue through the multiple existential and cultural levels of reality, to educate meta-cognitively in a complex, transversal, trans-cognitive way, developing consciousness of the knowledge and being able to mange the thoughts and the information of the authentic and real level of existence, in order to confute, practically and dialectically, dogmas and stereotypes, as a source of racism and discrimination.
In order for inter-culture and trans-culture to realize authentic democracy and to build a democratic culture that spreads through the entire planet, we need to enforce comprehensive alphabets, innovative languages and ancient knowledge, able to unite and weave together, dialectically and creatively, the far and the near, the micro-history and the macro-history in the particularity and the universality, so that the valorisation of the identity and the personal intellectual autonomy can oppose the mechanisms of dependence and homologation aiming at a project of mutual liberation against old and new forms of exclusion, domination, discrimination and racism.
Contemporary men and women are bound, by multicultural cohabitation, to reduce the negative aspects of reciprocal incomprehension and to strengthen the potential of exchange and dialogue.
The world dialogue Cultural Revolution must be based on the principle that sees the other as women and men in their reciprocal diversity where is possible to discover the civil equality of equal rights, dignity and opportunities, identifying ourselves in the others and the others in ourselves, in a new conception of citizenship able to valorise the positiveness of the differences, without forgetting the importance of the realization of a feeling of universal belonging to the world, beyond geographical, existential, mental and inter-subjective boundaries.
Educating to the difference means being able to go beyond our boundaries, our particularisms and interconnecting our differences through a transitive way of thinking able to dialectically and transversally interact amongst languages, cultures, beliefs and values recognizing the creativity of the differences, the plurality of shapes and colours, sounds and odours, ideas and values brought by those people who cross our territories.
Men and women from other countries bring the wealth of differences that express themselves in the originality and particularity of movements, gestures, sounds, accents and costumes where the diversities interconnect and multiply creating new opportunities for dialogue, exchange and comparison. This is why the education to difference and pluralism requires a constant perceptive, sensory, intellectual, emotional and relational analysis, in order to discover the numerous differences that enrich “our” western cities.
*(Translated by [Mattia Brundo](http://mattiabrundo.my.proz.com/))*