I’ve been greatly encouraged by the comments of Guest Thaifanfan’s comment on my blog, “Thailand’s Cultural Excellence”. Prior to Columbus there have been many cultural encounters and exchanges. Julius Caeser conquered Britain in 55 BC and there was interaction with the Celts.
The long drawn Persian war brought about a confrontation of large proportions ending perhaps with the battle of Salamis. I agree with Thaifanfan’s statement.
My views of Columbus as a starting point is limited to the birth of the nascent discipline of the American School of Anthropology and the Britidh School of Social Anthropology,leading to extensive field work and ethnography.Bronislaw Malinowski became a cult figure in the study of culture through his field work in the Trobriand islands. All this has led to a genuine respect for other cultures.
Apart from war, trade and commerce; religion also has played a significant role in cultural assimilation. In case of Buddhism, there has been a seamless integration of south east Asia.
Fah Hien and Hiuen Tsang from China have visited India and recorded their observations on Indian culture, so has Megasthenes from Greece. In case of Thailand, it would be interesting to know early cultural interactions with China and other countries from fellow-bloggers.