By: M. Zurita
In our last PSHE section, held on May 5th, 2021, Form 1s had the amazing opportunity of talking with Indianara, an indigenous woman from the Guarani-Kaiowá ethnicity, and Roselayne, an Aruak-Terena.
Indianara started by explaining that the name Aruak-Terena comes from their original myth, which narrates how the people started habituating the earth after getting out from a hole in the ground. Roselayne started by telling us how her people are spread around Brazil, as they have groups living in São Paulo, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. Indianara then talked about the Guarani-Kaiowá geographic distribution in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay. She said that there are several different names for the group depending on the locations and added that based on mythology, the Guaranis are seen as a war population.
Roselayne is a teacher in a school named Escola Estadual Guateca Marcelo de Souza that mostly receives students from the group Terena and Guarani-Kaiowá. Indianara is a nurse, and talked about the rise of indigenous people working as doctors, dentists, and nurses. She graduated and worked in the Hospital de adição which receives 90% of the indigenous population and is more aware of their cultural specificities. Now Indianara is in the University of São Paulo (USP) college of medicine.
However, the indigenous population still faces many stereotypes, such as, believing that their culture is the same, that they are less able, rudimental, unevolved, and have nothing to contribute to today’s society. Roselayne also shared about some appearance questions that people bring up when they see that they wear glasses, braces or use technology and if they do, people often will comment that are not indigenous anymore.
From their perspective, to be indigenous means: being a citizen, having your own story, path, identity, conquests, fights, and being part of the diversity of knowledge that is Brazil. We learned about their lifestyles, the difficulties they face every day, how they are dealing with covid, and the languages that they speak in their societies. We all thank Mr. Lanfranchi for this opportunity.