Tuesday, April 10

Culture. Shock?

When I first thought of what to write about this topic, it seemed natural that I would cover the experience of living in a foreign country. But then I thought...

Culture shock relates to a lot more than just going from one country to another. Whenever you step away from the way you are used to doing things (your culture) and have to adjust to someone else's way of doing things (their culture, natch) you're bound to experience some sort of culture shock.

Even moving from middle school to high school can be difficult. The "rules" are different. The procedures are different. The people are different. Everything can feel strange and overwhelming. Bingo. Culture shock.

We encounter something new - go on vacation, move across town, across the country, across the world, start a new job, switch schools, etc. - and we are amazed, shocked, dismayed, whatever. We've all had the experience at one time or the other. I think that's why fish-out-of-water stories are so prevalent... we can relate to them.

So how do you deal with culture shock?

(And, since I can't resist throwing some of the living in a foreign country stuff in here, I have to share this YouTube with you...


Yes, keeping a sense of humor definitely helps.)


Wendy Toliver said...

Mmm, that photo of sushi (sashimi)has me craving some!

alexgirl said...

I like the "dive right in" approach--at least in terms of being on holiday and trying to get accustomed to the way of life.
It's totally different when you're changing high schools. In that case, eeeeeeease your way in. I was terrified when I changed schools and kind of hid and tried to blend quietly for a while.
Great post. LOOOOOOVE the sushi pic. Getting hungry!

Alyson Noel said...

Change, culture shock- bring it on! I love to travel to new places, a new country, even a new county- I like the surprise of something surprising and different!
Though I admit, this view came later in life, because when my family moved when I was a kid-- it felt tragic!

Kelly Parra said...

I moved a lot as a kid, different schools and it was always a shock to adjust. That's probably why I'm such a hermit now, and don't travel as much as I should! :) :)

Simone Elkeles said...

Okay, sushi is like my favorite food in the world and I, too, saw the picture and craved it! I'm the kind of girl who tries to go with the flow, and "when in Rome live like the Romans" although I'm a safety nut. I hate walking on deserted streets and always watch my back (maybe it's those "stranger danger" movies my mom took me to at the park district when I was a kid.


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