Did you know?

July 19, 2019
5 minutes read
Did you know?

There are 195 countries in the world, definitely we are a global mono-culture comprising of variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region. Globalisation is often said to have a negative effect on the world’s cultural diversity. 

This is how it feels when you just enter into a region and you realise everything is different. Can you imaging coming from a country where the traffic rule is to keep left and you land into a country where they keep left? yes am sure you can relate. This post is meant to give you tips on how to deal with the culture shock. First thing you should always remember that it does not mean we can’t fit into a new place but we actually need time and information to prepare for it. 

In order to process the new culture there are 4 stages that you need to understand in order to understand which stage you are at a certain point.

Stage 1: The honeymoon stage- The excitement of touch down,here you are very positive and also curious to experience the new way. You can’t actually believe that you are here after several months of planning the journey.At this stage you start looking for things that you had read about and they are now similar and you start thinking that it is what it is! At this stage we are not talking about the differences yet only the similarities.

Stage 2: The Hostility /Negotiation stage- At this stage your feelings start to get affected, you start to wear off, you actually realise  the difference and start to be irritated to the ways things work differently, you start getting frustrated on the new culture and you can now easily identify its shortcoming. 

Stage 3: The gradual adjustment stage: You now develop a balance and start feeling more relaxed, instead of getting mad and frustrated you become more interested the way things work and start making positive efforts to fit in and learn more

Stage 4: The Adaptation stage: Here you are more relaxed and even have developed a balanced and positive view of your experience, we call it new level of comfort, you start to understand and respect the cultural nuances. Your routine become more natural and now new friends and activities are party to your new life. 

Now that we know the stages we can now look on how to deal with the culture shock

  • Read and research about the new location before you actually go, it means you read about their climate, time difference, political system, law enforcement , customs and religion (s), type of food etc
  • Start training your mind to be open minded and be willing to learn about anything and everything
  • If it is possible make the effort to learn their language, you can start by knowing the basics e.g. greeting, saying thank you, excuse me etc
  • Train to be emphatic instead of judgemental
  • Prepare some short notes so that you can refer to them when your mind get disoriented
  • Avoid the withdraw behaviours, actually travel within the country, visit cultural events and location e.g. the museums or historic sites, attend local festivals if there any etc
  • carry a few touch of home with you such as photos of your loved ones, if possible invite a friend or a close family member
  • Stay in touch with people at home by video calling either using phones or Skype ( you can actually download Skype from their website which is easily accessible and gives you a better chance to even see them) or you can phone call or use postcards, this is to avoid the reverse culture shock when get back home
  • Finally, Identify at least one thing that you really love, it can be your favourite place or type of food and when things get tough go back to that place or eat that food and relax, that way you will not forget that you came to this place to have a wonderful experience.
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