Having a vision of the future is also part of knowing the past.
The term interculturality is, in chronological terms, a relatively recent term. However, although the word is recent, its practice is not.
Through archeology, history and other sciences, we know that contact between people with different cultures dates back many millennia. Perhaps one of the most illustrative examples is the set of routes that became known as the "silk route".
The role that this route played went beyond the commercial scope, through regular trips that included hundreds of merchants of different origins, with different languages and different creeds. These were joined by diplomats, ambassadors and explorers, who sought security and protection in large caravans. Over the centuries, these groups of different people, who came together on a long common journey, transformed the silk route into a true intercultural route.
Even though diversity arose when different social groups came into contact or shared the same space, historical reality shows us that the encounter between different peoples did not always lead to cultural exchanges or peaceful coexistence.
Wars, conquests and invasions, followed by situations of slavery and dominance, are variables that in different times have influenced and defined the social and cultural space that each society occupies among the others. The slave trade carried out via slave ships, which mainly between the 17th and 19th centuries, transported millions of Africans to the sugarcane, tobacco or cocoa plantations of South America and the Antilles is an example.
We then found that, to achieve a situation of interculturality, it is not enough for people with different cultures to establish contact or share the same territory. This cultural exchange depends on multiple historical / cultural factors that influence the way each society interacts with others and defines its place among the others.
On the other hand, intercultural aspects are not static, they are influenced by the context in which they are inserted and by the ideas advocated on the subject at different times.
Take, for example, the Portuguese who settled in the former Portuguese colonies of Africa. They took with them Portuguese habits and customs (many of which they imposed on the locals), influencing African peoples and altering their original way of life. This change meant for the locals an expropriation of some of their customs (polygamy or cannibalism started to be repressed and punished), but at the same time it also represented an overlap in relation to other aspects, which were added to their way of living (among other things included new foods in their diet and had access to school).