culture shock vs reverse culture shock.

Indonesia
June 15, 2008 1:34am CST
I know the words "culture shock" from a Japanese friend who lived in my country back then. She said that in Japan mostly people would be required to take off their shoes when they visited someone's house and the owner of the house would hand them sandals to wear in the house. And in my country, she encountered a culture shock when some owners of houses she visited even told her "no, no need to take off your shoes" and some others house would require taking off shoes but the guests would need to walk with bare feet within the houses. However, recently I have just found out that there is "reverse culture shock". A relative has gone to other country for years, and then when holidays come, she has decided to pay a visit to her parents' house and then she met the "reverse culture shock" here. Seems like she has been adjusted with her new country and she found herself being a stranger in her 'former' home country. I think such experiences could have happened within the same country, like coming to a different city or province, and returning back to the hometown. I realize that I have encountered both these things since I have lived in different districts of my city during this life, I only didn't know that the latter one called "reverse culture shock". I think I would meet the culture shock once again soon in a near future as we plan to move. Anyway, have you ever encountered such experiences and feel to share?
2 people like this
3 responses
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
15 Jun 08
I guess you could say I've experienced it, both ways. I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I lived there most of my life and it used to be a very nice place, but gradually got to be a place I didn't recognize anymore... rude people everywhere, everyone thinking they owned the road they were driving on, trash everywhere, worrying about getting robbed or mugged, etc. My husband and I moved to the country in the Virginia mountains, where life is ever so much slower, quieter, friendlier, cleaner, and just plain nice! Even though it is such a delightful place and one which I've dreamed of living for most of my life, it did take awhile to get used to the casual atmosphere here. Then, while visiting my son back in Baltimore, I was shocked by the rudeness, the trash, the need to hurry everywhere, not talking to strangers (not even to just say hello), no one trusting anyone else, etc. I was shocked by the very reason we left it in the first place! I guess that's what you call 'reverse culture shock'. Yes, you do get used to your surroundings. We did it in less than a year before I felt that 'reverse culture shock'. Everything seemed even worse than when we left it.
• China
15 Jun 08
It is really worse than when u left it.When I was a child,I stayed with my parents in countryside,people lived in there were very kindly,friendly.But now,I living in a big city,here there r a lot of people who came from different region.We do not know each other,even though ur neighbor.Sometimes I feel lonely and helpless.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
15 Jun 08
Well, welcome to myLot, james! I know it is even worse when you are raised in the country and then move to the city. I know how cold and heartless cities can be. But at least you have found myLot! There are many, many wonderful people here and we are all one big family ready to laugh with, cry with, support lean on you. We are always here for each other, so I'm glad you found us! When you're feeling lonely, just come here. I know you will make many wonderful friends. Again, welcome!
• Indonesia
20 Jun 08
hi mentalward and James_fan, Welcome to myLot, James_fan. Yeah, people in cities tend to mind their own business and some people even feel annoyed if a stranger tries to behave too friendly in the beginning. But not all people in the cities are living this way, and I hope you will meet good people and neighbors in person. :) I guess everywhere in this world most people would always find similar culture shock and reverse culture shock situation when they move from a city to the country or vice versa. Yes cities are colder and heartless. And it always makes me wonder on how the cities have still attracted the country people to move to the cities. The blinking of luxurious life promises, perhaps? But when they have their lives adjusted to the cities, then visit the country again, the country people would find them “have changed totally” and sometimes the country people couldn’t accept the “new” them. So I guess that both sides do have culture shocks in this case, both direction culture shock, probably I should say. It’s difficult to stay the same as we were, but mostly the person doesn’t even realize that he / she has changed either.
@siZidni (1860)
• Indonesia
15 Jun 08
yes off course it can happen within the same country.. people from the big city will have rpobelem to adjust themselves with the custom of small village or even small city. and it can happen vise versa. i got experience of such thing. we were 6 boys who just passed our senior high school in small city in riau. we went to Bandung to take the UMPTN.. we should have studied hard to pass the UMPTN. but you know what happened? we amazed with the night life of kota kembang Bandung. we hanged around the city as much as we could. then you know the result. most of us didn't pass the umptn. it was only me who passed.. since i didn't hang around like they did.
• Indonesia
15 Jun 08
wow, that's good to hear that you still passed. so later you studied in Bandung? and then when you ever went back to riau, did you meet a situation like 'reverse culture shock'? I moved from west district to north district of Jakarta when I was a high school student. and then, four years later, I moved back to west district but another area, and I felt the culture shock again. when I graduated from university, I had to work at the north district again, the exact same district, and got the 'reverse culture shock' because I felt strange towards the change of the north area. there was a big change and I felt I was totally an alien being there. LOL.
1 person likes this
@siZidni (1860)
• Indonesia
15 Jun 08
no.. i studied in Depok then. actually i am kind of person who can easily adapt to the new environment. i can easily feel at home at most places. so it's not a big deal for me. there's funny thing i ever experience for moving within the same city. once when i was at 12/13 yrs old. my family found new house to live. when i went back from school i always forget the direction to come back home. i pass through my old house accidentally. it happens again when i move my kost from depok to jakarta. when i went back home from office i took the bus to depok rather than to my new place. it's funny..
• China
16 Jun 08
Well,as human civilization developed,people's custom changed a lot.Just like the author refer above,whether taking off shoes,in China,first we do no need to take off shoes,but when apartment appears,our houses become more and more beautiful,we take off the shoes.Slowly,we find it is not convenient enough,for some people's feet maybe smell bad, so now we let them no take off shoes but wear shoes cover by machine.I think as technology and economy developed,a lot of our customs will be changed.
• Indonesia
20 Jun 08
It sounds like Japanese house owners let the guests changed their shoes into the sandals prepared by the owners of the houses before letting them enter in. Interesting. Reading your explanation, now I wonder if that was also the reason behind the sandals’ usage for the guests. Yeah, modern lifestyle will change people’s customs as well.