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.

Advertising

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

Threat from petty criminals who turn to terrorism, a growing concern, Security Council hears

1st Exclusive High Level Dialogue: China-EU Cybersecurity and 5G Cooperation

With science ‘held back by a gender gap’, Guterres calls for more empowerment for women and girls

Security Union: Commission receives mandate to start negotiating international rules for obtaining electronic evidence

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Hunger in Yemen: WFP considers aid suspension in face of repeated interference by some Houthi leaders

State aid: Commission approves Luxembourg guarantee measure to further support economy in coronavirus outbreak

Technophobe or technophile? We need more conversation about digital transformation

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

EP’s MFF negotiators disappointed by failure of EU budget summit

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

World must do more to tackle ‘shadowy’ mercenary activities undermining stability in Africa, says UN chief

Germany to re-invent its security position in Europe and a chaotic world

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

The 5 mistakes we’re making in the fight against global energy poverty

Denouncing attacks against Baghdad protesters, UN warns ‘violence risks placing Iraq on dangerous trajectory’

B-I-R-D: 4 digital technologies that can help supply chains take flight

Tackling ‘deeply worrying’ global rise in anti-Semitism is a job for all societies everywhere, says UN chief

Unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Mali revealed in new report

‘Disaster resilient’ farming reduces agriculture risks, yields economic gains, says new UN agriculture agency report

5 reasons why reading books is good for you

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

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians, UN envoy says on mounting cross-border violence in Gaza

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Further reforms can foster more inclusive labour markets in The Netherlands

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Reparations for sexual violence in conflict – ‘what survivors want most, yet receive least’

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

How to rebuild trust and integrity in South Africa

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

Nauru President warns of possible climate change ‘economic Armageddon’

“We are in Europe, but not of it”, from Churchill to Cameron: British Exceptionalism now threatens the entire EU Edifice

Friday’s Daily Brief: human rights in Sudan, sombre anniversaries for Rwanda and Nigeria, and fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya

Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

UN ‘comes together in sadness and solidarity’ to honour staff who died on board Ethiopian Airlines flight

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

Davos participants call for digital trade deal

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

The world’s largest bus system is starting to go electric

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

Coronavirus emergency: here’s what we know so far

At last Germany to negotiate the costs for a really cohesive Eurozone

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

Economy and living standards of Gaza ‘eviscerated’ by crippling blockade – UN trade and development report

Governments must act to help struggling middle class

Will satellites destroy our view of space?

Commission refers Denmark to the Court for failing to fulfil its obligations in relation to the name “Feta”

A quarter of Americans have no retirement savings

As children freeze to death in Syria, aid officials call for major cross-border delivery boost

Combatting terrorism: Parliament sets out proposals for a new EU strategy

London to say hello or goodbye to Brussels this week

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity: Why consumer products must be looked at urgently”, by BEUC’s Deputy Director General

The secret to Bangladesh’s economic success? The Sheikh Hasina factor

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