Opposite cultures: Should it be a problem?

China 2019

Great Wall of China (Unsplash, 2018)

This article was exclusively written for the The European Sting by Ms. Amanda Prata Siqueira Lima, a 23-year old medical student from Uniderp University in Brasil, who just finished her fifth year at the university. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In today’s world it is no surprise that globalisation is reaching its highest peaks: we have smartphones that can obey to any of our commands, robots that can perform highly risky surgeries, trains that can reach more than 300km/hour in seconds, and a vast quantity of information that was never seen before.

With all that, we get to find out about the vast world we live in, all through the internet, which leads us to an irrefutable desire: travel the hole world. But not everyone are prepared to do such thing, simply because of something that shouldn’t be considered as a problem: culture.

As we all got to study when we were younger, each country has their own culture, habits, food and language; some of these came from thousands of years ago (such as China), leading to a millenary tradition. But what happens when you actually visit places like this? For some people, it can be a difficult and shocking experience, since everything is too different and new from what you’re accustomed to, leading to what we can call as a “culture shock”.

In 1994, Winkelman divided the culture shock in phases or stages: the honeymoon (excitement and positive expectations about the new culture), cultural shock phase (when things start to go wrong and the cultural differences become irritating), adjustment (when you learn how to adjust into the new environment) and adaptation (being successful at managing the new culture).

As seen, this division has been maintained through the years, since in 2016 Jarvinen et al showed the existence of these 4 same phases. But for some authors like Nelson (2014), there can even be added a fifth stage between adjustment and adaptation, called Isolation, which is the confrontation of differences between the person’s lifestyle and expectation.

But why this can be so challenging to some people? Why is it so strange for some people to embrace another culture and be open-minded to their way of living? The reason can come from several things: stress reactions, overload of information, lost of one’s identity (WINKELMAN, 1994), and other factors like lack of cultural comprehension and homesickness. But sometimes, many of the bad experiences caused by cultural shock could be eased by one simple measure: being open-minded.

Having the desire to embrace a place and its people, wanting to know how do they live, what do they eat, what are their beliefs. Being comprehensive about the fact that the world is incredibly big, which gives us the happiest feeling that we can get to travel to endless places, see unimaginable landscapes, collect long lasting memories and create experiences that not all books, internet videos and even classrooms are able to give us; you have to see it for yourself!

Maybe if we changed our point-of-view  we would realise that embracing a culture and wanting to learn as many as you can from it, can definitely change your life and broaden your horizons.

References

JARVINEM, K.; et al. Culture shock and reverse culture shock. Tampere University of Technology, 2016.

NELSON, V. College Parent Central. The culture shock of adjusting to college. Access in December 15th, 2018. Available on: https://www.collegeparentcentral.com/2014/11/the-culture-shock-of-adjusting-to-college/

WINKELMAN, M. Cultural shock and adaptation. Journal of Counseling & Development. November/December 1994. Volume 73.

About the author

Amanda is a 23-year old medical student from Uniderp University in Brasil, who just finished her fifth year at the university. She is a person who loves listening to music, has hundreds of dreams and a huge desire to travel the world. She hopes to learn new languages and achieve big things, like publishing researches, working in different countries, meeting warm and positive people and hopes that one day every country can have a quality health system, that can reach everyone and that can count with technology to improve people’s health.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Social Committee may accept the new ‘contractual’ Eurozone

Mergers: Commission approves the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways, subject to conditions

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Parliament condemns all forms of racism, hate and violence and calls for action

Africa-Europe Alliance: EU boosts pan-African Internet connectivity with €30 million

EU invests more than €100 million in new LIFE Programme projects to promote a green and climate-neutral Europe

Scientists have a new suggestion to create more climate-friendly cows

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


European Union launches WTO trade dispute against Colombia’s unfair duties on frozen fries

Italy can stand the US rating agencies’ meaningless degrading

UN health agency highlights lifestyle choices that can prevent onset of dementia, as millions more succumb each year

Privatisation and public health: a question of Human Rights

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

The ethical dilemmas of medicine

‘Alarming levels’ of methamphetamine trafficking in Asia’s Mekong, UN warns

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

Why Opportunity Zones could be key to transforming our cities

Consumers and businesses to save money thanks to new EU cross-border payments rules

Media and entertainment in flux: it’s time for the close-up

Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

A Sting Exclusive: “Without climate, forget about peace!”, Swedish MEP Bodil Valero cautions from Brussels

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report

Tackle ‘unacceptable inequalities’ in cancer care, saving up to seven million lives, WHO urges

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

5 ways for scientists and clinicians to double up on healthcare

Food finally features in the climate debate. Now what?

Traffic congestion cost the US economy nearly $87 billion in 2018

Dozens killed and injured by new airstrikes in western Yemen, UN coordinator condemns ‘outrageous’ toll

DR Congo: Ebola outbreak spreads to eastern ‘no-go’ zone surrounded by rebels

Currency Union might not let an independent Scotland join the EU as the “Yes” front now leads

Rising political extremism in Europe escapes control

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

Leaders making these 5 key investments can shape an inclusive future

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 over coronavirus concerns

No barriers to free flow of non-personal data in the EU

IMAGINATION, FACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES – THE UNLIMITED POWER OF CHINA

How youth and technology can drive Africa’s COVID-19 response

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

We need a reskilling revolution. Here’s how to make it happen

Is Haiti better prepared for disasters, nine years on from the 2010 earthquake?

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

EU and Japan select first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes

6 ways to future-proof universities

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

Is 2019 the beginning of the end for coal in Europe?

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Residents and visitors to this Dutch neighborhood could share a pool of cars and bikes

European Labour Authority starts its work

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

State aid: Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

Does the sharing economy truly know how to share?

From mental health to suicide: the interruption of this chain reaction by prevention

We all have a ‘hierarchy of needs’. But is technology meeting them?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s