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.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

Commission reports on 2019 European elections: fostering European debates and securing free and fair elections

There’s a global learning crisis and it’s leaving millions without basic skills

UN human rights chief regrets closure of Burundi office following Government pressure

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

Leaders making these 5 key investments can shape an inclusive future

Banking Union: Non-performing loans in the EU continue to decline

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

Journey of my life

Thousands of health professionals call on world leaders to prioritize a greener future, post-pandemic

8 ways ASEAN consumer habits will change by 2030 – shaped by COVID-19, tech and more

2021-2027 EU Budget: €378,1 billion to benefit all regions

The age of influence: why digital platforms must come clean about political ads

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Oslo leads the way in ‘Breathe Life’ campaign for cleaner cities in climate change era

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

Will France vote for more or less Europe in the next presidential elections?

Eurozone: Austerity brings new political tremors

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

What can be done to avoid the risk of being among the 7 million that will be killed by air pollution in 2020?

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EUR 400 million Special Measure on education adopted

The French army is enlisting sci-fi writers to predict the future

Gender Equality in Medicine: are we now so different from the Middle Ages?

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

Global South cooperation ‘vital’ to climate change fight, development, Guterres tells historic Buenos Aires summit

These six intelligences will drive smart leadership in disrupted times

Don’t understand the US-China trade war? This metaphor could help

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

Shanghai has tough new recycling rules – and it will stop collecting trash from communities that don’t comply

China answers clearly to the European Commission’s investment negotiations with Taiwan

Car bomb attack on National Police Academy in Colombia, ‘strongly condemned’ by UN

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

Mobile young people create the European labour market of tomorrow

How young entrepreneurs should be supported: what assistance should governments provide?

Problems Faced by Young Doctors and What We Can Do About Them

Parliament condemns all forms of racism, hate and violence and calls for action

Mental health and social isolation: how do have an active participation in self-care?

How banking with blockchain can stamp out corruption and increase financial inclusion

The banks want now free capital from taxpayers

How a 3-point plan could help rebuild business for the long-term

The inhumane face of crisis mirrored in numbers

Why economic growth depends on closing the interview gap

Young people demand a transparent job market: new campaign launches on international interns day

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

Antimicrobial resistance: how can an intersectoral approach between society and healthcare professionals be developed and applied?

Companies need help to overcome rising

Long-term EU budget: MEPs lay down funding priorities for post-2020 budget

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

The Junior Enterprise concept, one of the best ways to develop practical skills

Policymakers can ensure the 4IR is fairer than the last three

MEPs approve €585 million to support refugees from Syria

World-famous cultural institutions closed due to coronavirus are welcoming virtual visitors

These countries give the most aid – and are the most principled about it

We now know how much ice Antarctica has lost in the last 25 years – three trillion tonnes

Greece: The new government of Alexis Tsipras shows its colors

American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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