Monday, May 21, 2012

Culture Shock...

What is culture shock? One of the most common causes of culture shock involves individuals in a foreign country. Just as easily though, could be one going to another culture or subculture in their home town or any one of the Native American tribes around the USA.  Culture shock can be described as consisting of at least one of five distinct phases: Honeymoon, Negotiation, Adjustment, Mastery and the interdependence. There is no true way to entirely prevent culture shock, as individuals in any society are personally affected by cultural contrasts differently

What is the Honeymoon phase?  In this stage a person is in love with their new culture, the food the clothing, the language, everything about it is new and exciting.  This for me lasted for the first 6 months out here in Dine Bikeyah.

What is the Negotiation phase?  This is were one begins to negotiate through the new culture one is living in.  It is a period of great exploration and also frustration, for me this took about 3 months after the honeymoon was over.

What is the Adjustment phase?  This is where one begins to really adjust to a culture and find ones place within it.  It cant take 6-12 months.  For me, I am just now wrapping up my own adjustment phase.

What is the Mastery phase?  In the mastery stage assignees are able to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture. Mastery does not mean total conversion; people often keep many traits from their earlier culture, such as accents and languages. It is often referred to as the biculturalism stage

This is what any honest traveller goes through, and many times makes re-entry to own one home cultures hard on return visits.  Pray for all of us serving among other culture.  ^_^  You have no clue how much your prayers help us!

~ Traveller Gal, out!