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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

China Unlimited and the Chinese dream

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

OECD joins with Argentina to fight financial crime

The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

3 charts to help you understand the American shale boom

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

Trump’s MAGA policy remains unchanged as EU warns to impose additional retaliation tariffs on US products

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

Brexit talks stalled at launch; issues with European Court’s authority in Britain

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

Europe and UN form bulwark against ‘might makes right’ worldview, EU foreign affairs chief tells Security Council

A machine din

Hostages to a rampant banking system

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

UN launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable

INTERVIEW: ‘Defend the people, not the States’, says outgoing UN human rights chief

The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

UN General Assembly President defends ‘landmark’ migration compact

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

Three myths keeping government procurement stuck in the past

Sahel States need international support ‘now more than ever’– UN peacekeeping chief

Why strive for Industry 4.0

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

Berlin favours economic and social disintegration in certain Eurozone countries

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

Oh, well, you are wrong, Google responds to the European Commission

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

3 ways to nurture collaboration between universities and industry

Modern farming is harming the planet. Tech-driven permaculture could heal it

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

China is building 8 new airports a year

EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

‘Power is not given, power is taken’, UN chief tells women activists, urging push-back against status quo

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