Culture shock for new immigrants abroad
“The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher” ~Chinese Proverbs
The culture shock is the feeling of anxiety and emotional discomfort that an immigrant suffers when moving to another country or another place with very different culture, customs and social environment.
No matter how open minded we are, it is hard to ignore the differences around us when we first venture out to a foreign land. Be it as a student or as an immigrant, the vast difference in culture and customs is a part of the new encounters, and the early experiences in a new land.
The surroundings and the social settings of the new country are always dramatically different for a newcomer. Everything that was once taken for granted in home country is up for recalibration: the language, the accent, the skin color, the dress code,…. Everything is new; everything is different. The system works differently; the food is not the same, the traffic laws are confusing…
All of a sudden, our own way of life, our own way of speaking and our own customs become a foreign concept in the new land. This radical change and the sudden differences everywhere in the new country is what we call the culture shock.
This culture shock basically comes from the significant differences in the cultural and social settings as one migrates from one place to another. These resulting effects of all this could include anxiety, confusion, lack of direction, the feeling of not knowing what to do, or how to do things in a new country…. Not knowing what is appropriate or inappropriate, what is accepted and not accepted etc. are the daily dilemmas.
Migrating to another country is an adventure that involves many ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ – the culture shock being one the very first ‘downs’. 🙁
The feelings and symptoms of culture shock: This mental and emotional phase of confusion from culture shock comes with many new feelings. Depending on the personal tolerance or attitude, the feelings may include: Continue reading “The overseas culture shock”