People often tend to project aspects of themselves onto a foreign person or culture. They might see false reflections of themselves in the foreign culture, or instead they might see their own opposites. Also, there is sometimes a tendency to absorb the other party into one’s own self-understanding, to reduce the unknown into what is already known, absorbing it into a system. Theorists of crosscultural exchange like Raimundo Panikkar have argued that instead of projecting oneself into the other party or absorbing it into a system of one’s own devising that one should be open to something completely new and different in the other culture. This will lead to seeing both the other culture and one’s own culture in new and different ways. Thereby one can integrate into one’s life the familiar with the new.
Ulrich, Edward T.
"Viewpoint: Learning to be Open to the “Other” at Tiruvannamalai,"
Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies:
Vol. 26, Article 12.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7825/2164-6279.1551