Solitude, isolation and insularity stifle imagination, invention and innovation. Closed communities suffer sclerosis. Left to themselves, with no interaction, commerce or even war with other nations and cultures to develop and diversify their own, they become vulnerable and finally extinct.
No man is an island, but Australia is. The million Aborigenes living there – alone – for 60,000 years had no chance of surviving the British invasion at the end of the 18th century. Precolumbian America was overrun and its inhabitants exterminated by its Spanish invaders. The uninvited intruders from Europe had the advantage of know-how and matériel developed by millennia of interaction with traditions and cultures different from their own.
Progress, history indicates, is born of cultural diversity and interaction. No culture is superior to another, but cultural mix makes for the enrichment of one’s own. Even the discovery and enjoyment of culinary diversity can bring people together in a sort of . . . Holy Communion. Appreciation of exotic food prepared and shared in restaurants and homes of people from different cultural backgrounds can create bonds that perdure long after the meal (or … “Food Safari”) itself. People who dine together are unlikely to shoot each other.