Culture is the way of life of a given people. It entails how people behave and perceive different life issues. It includes aspects like religion, customs, language, beliefs, food among others. Culture varies from one place to the other depending on the circumstances surrounding a place such as climate and environment and how people perceive things.
The difference between cultures brings about the issue of culture shock. Culture shock is experienced differently by various people and is believed to be temporary. In this assignment, I will give my experience and how culture shock affected me.
It was last year when I decided to have a change of environment; after having a very tight school schedule. I held the idea that spending my summer on a farm far away from the busy city life would be a relief to me. Since childhood, I had spent my life in the city and hence I was used to city life and all the attributes that go along with it. This made the countryside look so different for me in regard to various aspects including the environment, the customs, the food taken, the values and beliefs among other things.
The first thing that gave me problems was the environment and climate in the new place. Initially, I found it interesting due to the fact that it was free from congestion and pollution and everything seemed cool.
It was however very cold, which made me to clad in warm clothing so as to put up with the weather. Communication is another concept that was so different. Unlike in the city, respect in the countryside was a key issue especially when interacting with people who are much older. I had to be taught the words I would use when addressing older people.
Although it sounded awkward, I had no choice but to learn. Shaking hands was also important since you had to show concern to the other person. People had to engage in lengthy conversations whenever they met differing to the city life where they just say hello and leave. Food and how meals were taken was also amazing. Most of the food offered to me was very unfamiliar; some tasting okay while others were just unbearable. Meals were taken many times a day and people took time together.
This is unlike in the city where everyone is rushing and taking a meal together as a family is rare. Some customs in the countryside also seemed unbearable, for instance, having to work hard for specified duration of time and having resting hours. It is a relaxed experience compared to the busy lifestyle in the city. Generally, some of the feelings that I experienced as a result of culture shock include feeling out and misunderstood, frustration, anxiety, homesickness and worse still developing a negative attitude towards the new culture.
It is evident that culture shock is a reality that people have to face from time to time as they encounter different cultures that are markedly different from theirs. This is mainly because of the differences that exist in regard to values and beliefs. All in all, culture shock is temporary and requires just some time before one adjusts and thus move away from the confusion.