During the last week we have been discussing cultural diversity in general and specific to health care. We watched The Good Lie with Reese Witherspoon. Watching The Good Lie took me back to the time I spent in Toronto, Canada. We interacted with people from all over the world and experienced a wide range of cultures. Living in Utah for the last twenty years has washed away many of the lessons gained from my time in Toronto. As I watched The Good Lie I was reflecting on how Americans were portrayed interacting with these refugees from Sudan. It is very easy to get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t stop to interact with those we encounter as individuals. We tend to treat people as objects in our lives that need to be dealt with and not as individuals that we interact with. Less than 24 hours before these Sudanese refugees found themselves in Kansas City, they lived on the planes of Africa. During their lives they had encountered lions, civil war, murder and death. Now they were in the United States, dropped off in an apartment and expected to know what every item was and how to go about using it. It was a very accurate depiction of cultural in-sensitivity.
Over the next several months we will be focused on Hinduism. As I begin the process of understanding Hinduism, what can I learn that will demonstrate cultural sensitivity to any Hindu I may interact with? Is it a basic understanding of their philosophy? Some basic words or phrases that illustrate I have been exposed to Hinduism? Is it enough to just be open minded and wait for an interaction to occur? I believe that the more I learn about Hinduism prior to interacting with anyone, the more in depth my interactions will be.