Adjustment: New word in my dictionary…..

Adjusting to new and unfamiliar circumstances takes time and for some, this can come as a big surprise. People often find moving house, moving to a new city or changing jobs very unsettling experiences, but to do these things all at once in another country where you don’t speak the language is an entirely different matter.

After my marriage, I shifted to South Korea with my husband. Initially it was very exciting and adventures to think WOW! New country, independent life, full of romance & adventure, but it phase lived only for short span. I craved for my family, food and more specifically Mumbai ki bhasha (language).

The change phase which I went through however ended up slight different then what I expected. This stay in abroad, I have learned three main stages of cultural shock, which I have outlined briefly:

  • During the initial ‘Honeymoon phase’ we are likely to be in awe of our new surroundings and everything what we see. Comparisons are favorable at this point and every new difference is viewed with sense of novelty.
  • During the ‘negotiation phase’ here we are likely to less optimistic about the new environment and likely to be resentful towards the cultural differences which we once fascinated about. This phase can be tremendously tricky and demoralizing phase. Detachment from society and homesickness can jolt all over you which make it difficult to function in a positive manner in the daily routine.
  • During the final ‘adjustment phase’ we have now come full circle and will show less resentment towards host country and will be fully equipped in dealing with any new daily situations. It will be much easy to accept all the differences and the new cultural suddenly no longer feels new.

But in the end, all this does not matter if you wholeheartedly accept the new country & its people.


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