Cultural Shock that Change my Life
Let me define you what is cultural Shock (ukcosa 2004), “Culture shock” describes the impact of moving from a familiar culture to one which is unfamiliar. It is an experience described by people who have traveled abroad to work, live or study; it can be felt to a certain extent even when abroad on holiday. It can affect anyone, including international students. It includes the shock of a new environment, meeting lots of new people and learning the ways of a different country. It also includes the shock of being separated from the important people in your life, maybe family, friends, colleagues, and teachers: people you would normally talk to at times of uncertainty, people who give you support and guidance. When familiar sights, sounds, smells or tastes are no longer there you can miss them very much. If you are tired and jet-lagged when you arrive small things can be upsetting and out of all proportion to their real significance.
This term paper will be discussing the two cultures an American culture and South Korea culture with the following elements that contribute to culture shock: namely climate, food, language and dress. These also discuss the effect of culture shock.
The American Culture
Excerpted from American Family Tradition (2004)
Americans have many Customs and Traditions rooted in the cultures of our forefathers who were either Native Americans or who settled this great land after journeying long distances from the other nations in search of “The American Dream”. Very often the display of an object or symbol that is meaningful to a family or to society can become a Custom, Tradition or Ritual. Family Values are reflected in the Customs and Traditions practiced.
The food of American, 5 Food Groups consist of Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Meat/Fish, and Dairy. The first 3 Food Groups are “Primary” Food Groups because they do not feed on other living things. The last 2 Food Groups are “Secondary” Food Groups because their sources feed on “Primary” Food Groups.
The American dress differently in the different seasons, rules of dress vary with the type of workplace. An investment bank normally requires its employees to wear a suit and tie or jacket and dress, while at a video game development studio, shorts and t-shirts might be the norm. When you first visit a potential employer for an interview or an initial tour, the best rule is to dress a bit more formally. Then, once you are hired, you can adjust to your workplace style. The first day on the job, ask your employer if there are rules of dress and/or conduct. Observe what others are wearing. At the Office, women – suit or jacket with nice blouse or shirt, skirt with hose or pants, pumps or flats and men – suit, shirt and tie, patent leather shoes; “Casual Fridays”: (at some businesses) casual jacket and nice shirt and pants. Cocktail Party, women: cocktail dress and black pumps men: jacket, shirt and tie or jacket and shirt. (Living American)
They have four seasons, the changing of the seasons also influences temperature. During the Northern Hemisphere summer from April to September, the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth is tilted towards the Sun, and consequently receives more sunlight, raising the surface temperatures. From October to March, the Southern Hemisphere receives more energy from the Sun. While it is winter in the UK it is summer in Australia. Differences between wintertime and summertime temperatures tend to be greatest in higher latitudes, and particularly in the interior of large landmasses such as North America and Asia far from the moderating influence of the oceans. Winter temperatures in Siberia and Canada, for example, can fall below -40°C, whilst in summer; they may rise above 30°C. The UK, by contrast, has a more maritime climate, and the yearly temperature range is only 10 to 15°C. The smallest annual temperature range occurs in the equatorial tropical climate zone, where the changing angle of the Sun through the seasons has a proportionally smaller effect on the total amount of sunlight receive.
American Language which they speak different form other country because of language they used is usually “slang”. As discussed in Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia, slang can be described as informal, nonstandard words or phrases (lexical innovations) which tend to originate in subcultures within a society. Slang often suggests that the person utilizing the words or phrases is familiar with the hearer’s group or subgroup–it can be considered a distinguishing factor of in-group identity. College slang is widely used from north to south to east to west. Different colleges in different areas use different terms, and we set out to find what terms are used on this campus.
Comparing to South Korea Cultures
Korean society is based on the tenets of Confucianism, a system of ethics developed in China around 500 BC. Confucianism is big on devotion and respect – for parents, family, friends and those in positions of authority. Confucius also emphasized justice, peace, education, reform and humanitarianism. Many Koreans attribute their country’s remarkable success in recent decades to this attitude. In modern Korean society, Confucianism is most noticeable in relations between people. The Five Relationships prescribe behavior between ruler and subject, father and son, husband and wife, old and young, and between friends.
Korean Dress, is entirely different to American they usually wear long dress while the western country short and exposed body. During the Goryeo period, the long upper garments of the previous period gave way to waist-length attire. As a result, waist belts were replaced by coat tie-strings. As one of the unique features of Korean clothing, the coat string was initially a short, thin cord but eventually developed into the style seen today, i.e., a long, dangling piece of cloth that hangs down below the knees. Around this time, Tang Dynasty’s fashions became less influential. As Korean society turned to the values of frugality and simplicity, the calm, tranquil beauty of agriculture life found expression in the period’s famous blue celadon and white clothing. Korean clothing underwent further refinement as cotton was introduced into Korea from Yuan China. In addition, clothing regulations were introduced from abroad and a system of official uniforms was established for the palace.
Korean Foods, is casually represented by bulgogi and kimchi. In fact, however, Koreans are proud of their diet, quite varied and full of nutrition. It is richly endowed with fermented foods, vegetables and grains, soups, teas, liquors, confectionery and soft drinks. Kimchi and doenjang paste made of soybeans are the best-known examples of Korean fermented foods, and these have recently become highly valued for their disease-prevention effects. Korea boasts hundreds of vegetable and wild green dishes. The Korean meal is almost always accompanied by a big bowl of hot soup or stew, and the classic meal contains a variety of vegetables. Korean foods are seldom deep-fried like Chinese food; they are usually boiled or blanched, broiled, stir-fried, steamed, or pan-fried with vegetable oil. The American usually prepared dry foods although they eat with vegetables but they like drier and pre form foods.
Korean Language Uses Hangul, which absolutely different to western countries most English speakers think Korean has thousands of characters, like Chinese, but it actually has a very simple and logical alphabet. The alphabet was invented in 1443 during the reign of the Great King Sejong. There are 14 basic consonants and 10 basic vowels. Letters that have similar sounds also have similar shapes, so it is easy to learn. But American it is difficult to learn and understands.
Climatic Condition of Korea retrieved from icid organization, Korea lies within the temperate zone between the People’s Republic of China and the Pacific Ocean. The climate is mainly dependent on the Pacific Ocean air masses during the summer months and on the continental air masses during the winter months. Korea has four distinct seasons. Summer is hot and humid, while winter is cold and dry. The climates of spring and autumn are moderate and dry. A long drought from winter to spring or a severe spring drought often threatens transplanting of rice which is carried out in May or June. They have contrasting seasons with America.
The monthly average temperature is higher than 20° C during the summer months from June to September and it falls below freezing point during the winter months from December to February. The highest monthly temperature occurs in August and the lowest in January. The highest temperature in Korea was recorded at 40° C in August and the lowest temperature –28.5° C in January. Temperature also varies with the location, showing high in the southern part and low in the northern part. The southeast wind prevails in summer and the northwest wind in winter.
Based on the research above the culture of America is entirely different compared to Korea from food, dress and language. As to the climate it can easily adopted because they have the same four seasons. If you have adjusted well to your new environment, you perform competently the roles that each social context requires and thus avoid the frustrations resulting from inappropriate behavior. Some individuals do not seek cultural adjustment, either because they do not agree with the values and behavior prevalent in the new country, or because they fear to loose too much of their own cultural identity. Living in a cultural vacuum may not be easy and can lead to feeling, and being treated, like an outsider. Others deny or even reject their own culture and unquestioningly embrace everything new.
Finally, adapting to a different climate, different social conventions and different cultural values can be a complex and sometimes painful process, but coming out at the other end is rewarding, enriching and definitely worth the effort! Those who neither completely reject neither their own culture nor that of the new country tend to be most successful at overcoming culture shock. They will attempt to mix and merge aspects of both cultures and thus become bicultural. To those who cannot adjust will carry the trauma for the rest of her life.
American Culture Page. American Family Tradition. Retrieved 7 November 2006, from ;http://www.americanfamilytraditions.com/american_culture.htm;.
Bullard, W., Johnson, S., Morris, J., Fox, K.; Howell, C. Slang. Modern America, 1914-present. Retrieved 7 November 2006.
Characteristic of Korean Food. About Korean Food. Retrieved 7 November 2006, from ;http://www.koreanrestaurantguide.com/about_food/about_0.htm;.
Climatic Condition. Korea Republic. Retrieved 7 November 2006 from ;http://www.icid.org/i_d_korea.pdf#search=’temperature%20in%20Korea’;.
Culture. South Korea Asia. Retrieved 7 November 2006, from ;http://www.traveldocs.com/kr/culture.htm;.
International Students and Culture Shock. UKCOSA 2004
9-17 St Albans Place London N1 0NX, UK. Retrieved 7 November 2006, from ;http://www.ukcosa.org.uk/images/shock.pdf#search=’cultural%20shock’;.
Korean Gif. Korean Alphabet. Retrieved 7 November 2006 from ;http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/Language/Korean.gi;.
Syed and Joyce Zafar, American Dress. Retrieved 7 November 2006, from ;http://www.vidaamericana.com/english/dressing.html;.
Temperature pattern. Retrieved 7 November 2006, from ;http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/Climate/Older/Temperature_Patterns.html;.
What can we get for you today? Retrieved 7 November 2006, from Basic American Food.