Cultural tolerance is a must: “No sir, I’m not inferior!”

indonesia 2019

Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Unsplash, 2019)

This article was exclusively written for the The European Sting by Ms. Bianca Batista dos Santos, a third year medicine student and works as Local Exchange Officer at IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


When looking for the genesis of the word culture, according to the Oxford dictionary, it originates from the Latin, cultura, which means: to take care of. Therefore, culture is this caring for human nature, transforming it and this change depends on several aspects, such as age, gender, nationality, religion, education, among others. Each individual is unique, however, it is possible to unite them in cultural groups, according to their values, beliefs, behaviors and morals.

Yet, with cultural shock, some problems can arise, such as intolerance, xenophobia and ethnocentrism, which for many years enabled the “civilized” European white man to economically exploit so many countries in Africa and the Americas by imperialism, neocolonialism, justifying his acts claiming to be helping the colonized, exploited and enslaved people, bringing progress and civilization to those who didn’t have the same beliefs and customs.

Brazilian singer Rita Lee, in her music, cultural shock, gives the following message: “When I tripped on the ego. I was blind and I fell in the face. Cultural shock is normal. No sir, I am not inferior!” Here we perceive that there was initially a shock, there was confrontation, there was ego, ethnocentrism, but there was also awareness that there are no differences, there is no unevenness, we are all on the same level, no sir, I am not inferior!

As a Brazilian, I can say that although our country is recognized for its cordiality, kindness, receptive, yet there are differences between ourselves, among our own people. Blacks suffer discrimination because of their afro culture, their beliefs, candomblé, their orishas. The native people suffer prejudices by their rituals, by their superstitions.

However, all this should be valued, because it is part of who we are, a mixed race, who runs indigenous blood in their veins, runs the blood of black, yellow, white people. Who we are is the sum of all these worldviews, we are part of the Brazilian people, a people with so many differences, so many shocks, but at the same time it is united and seeks to live in harmony, with respect to life, understanding cultures.

The IFMSA with the human rights and peace committee (SCORP) provides discussions on refugees, disasters, ethics, discrimination, and much more. I as a medical student believe that such topics are very important for academic, professional and ethical training. Only with the full understanding of different cultures, with mutual respect, can we live in a world where peace and harmony between people reigns.

Where cultural shock is normal so that we can grow, have more creativity, more sensitivity, where cultural shock is normal and there is no disrespect, there is no prejudice, because “no sir, I am not inferior!”

About the author

Bianca Batista dos Santos is a third year medicine student and works as Local Exchange Officer at IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar. She is part of two academic leagues: ophthalmology and otolaryngology and neurology. She is also very active in college activities, from IFMSA campaigns, coordinating or participating, as well as conferences, congresses and scientific projects.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

The Sting’s Team

Turkey’s foreign bribery enforcement framework needs to be urgently strengthened and corporate liability legislation reformed

Earth has more trees than it did 35 years ago – but there’s a huge catch

Talking the talk: the voice-recognition disruptors looking to outsmart big tech

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

Paris is building the world’s greenest business district. What can other cities learn from it?

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

Three ways Finland leads the world – and education isn’t one of them

Novartis and Johnson & Johnson to deprive Europeans of their right to Health

Companies that put employees first perform better

World Summit Awards 2016: Sustainable impact through digital innovation

DR Congo Ebola outbreak now a Public Health Emergency, UN health agency declares

The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Immigrant integration policies have improved but challenges remain

ECB intervenes to clean May’s and Schäuble’s mess

Mozambique: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom meets the child cyclone survivors who’ve lost everything

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

US-China trade war at point of no return: Washington’s demands go beyond tariffs

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

EU trade agreements deliver on growth and jobs, support sustainable development

The developing countries keep the world going

Essential services on verge of shutdown in Gaza as emergency fuel set to run out

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

Nitrate pollution of water sources: new impulses for EU Water Policy?

Activist investors are more powerful than ever. Here’s what that means for the economy

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

Getting African Women into the Boardroom

5 futuristic ways to fight cyber attacks

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

End racist discrimination against Afro-European people in the EU

This is how rice is hurting the planet

Entrepreneurship in a newly shaped Europe: what is the survival kit for a young Catalan and British entrepreneur in 2018?

Elections in Europe: No risks for the EU, leaders readying to face Trump-Brexit

Halt death sentences on children, UN rights expert urge Saudi authorities

Appreciation of euro to continue

A new European banking space is born this year

Pride in practice: Equality in access to health services for the LGBT community in a third-world country

Chart of the day: The internet has a language diversity problem

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Primary Healthcare vs Specialization Careers, how to promote PHC to the Young Health Workforce?

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

Haitian President at General Assembly calls for essential development aid as UN mission shifts away from peacekeeping

Vile act of torture prohibited ‘under all circumstances’, UN chief affirms on International Day to support victims

Monsanto lawsuit ruling a ‘significant recognition’ of victims’ human rights, say UN rights experts

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

Does Switzerland really need more medical students?

New UN rights report paints bleak picture in eastern DR Congo

We can build an inclusive workplace, and it starts with empathy

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s