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28 Січня 2021

Cultural shock

Well, today we would like to talk about such a person’s condition and complex of human feelings as a culture shock. How to come through this period and how to smooth out all its dark sides...

How many books have been written and films made about people who fly from Mars to Earth, for example. These people were raised by Martians from childhood, after all, they think completely differently from the Martians, but still on our planet they are experiencing a culture shock. In general, is it possible to draw a parallel between the Martians and immigration? And can an immigrant really feel as on another planet in another country? Let's think about it. 

Culture is generally an important component of a personality, if we may say so. And, we know, that is no matter how closely we keep in touch (television, travel, etc.), 95% of immigrants still “fall out” from their native culture, and often feel as if they “woken up on another planet”. For example, you knew what problems the society is concerned about, what moods are in the air. After all, what kind of music is popular and what is fashionable to wear. You had a certain information environment, but now it has changed dramatically. Now you, one way or another, "fell out" of the general flow. And this is normal and natural, of course, but a bit sad.

Cultural shock is a period or a human condition when he/she adapts to life in a foreign country and in a new environment. Moreover, he/she changes not only his/her usual lifestyle, but also changes his/her views on life and rebuilds the picture of the world.

Many people know that adaptation is a rather lengthy process, it's not like “snap your fingers”. But what does this process includes? How is it going? So there are 5 stages.

1. Euphoria
Right after the moving everything is all right and wonderful, just because the moving took place in general, and from the situation changed as whole: the air is cleaner, the grass is greener, etc. It looks like an adrenaline rush after a successfully completed case.
At first, a person does not notice minor troubles. Even after starting to notice them, he/she still pushes everything aside. "After all, it's better here, we can put up with these misunderstandings".

2. Anger / frustration
It happens when you think that it’s just heaven on earth in another country, but it turns out that “in every hut there are rattles”. When you are faced with the fact that the order of things is not the same as at home, and you do not understand / do not accept / this causes outrage or rejection, etc. You don't like how the people of this country eat, drive, their language is strange and it is impossible to learn it, etc

3. Bargaining / Orientation stage 
And then you start to doubt.
“Did I make the right decision?”, “Was it worth to move?”, “It is okay for others…so maybe it’s something wrong with me?”

4. Depression
Here you are at your worst. Everything is bad. It seems that it will last forever and nothing will change. But in fact, you are almost close to winning!


5. Acceptance / Active stage
You start to notice positive things around you again. At the same time, you still see the negative aspects. You do not feel helpless and hopeless. You see the country in reality, and not in pink glasses, but you don’t wear black glasses, in which everything looks bad. A real picture of the country with its pros and cons is being formed.

Cultural shock and the period of adaptation in a new country for you is a natural process, no matter how old you are and what kind of travel experience you have. Changing countries of residence, everyone reacts differently, but in any case, reacts.

But we hope that understanding the stages of culture shock and your emotions can help you be prepared to go through this difficult period away from your home country.


And remember that when the wind of change blows, it is better to set sails instead of walls!