Our overview on issues going on around us, how we perceive, interpret and understand the world originates from our cultural background. The best example that would be suitable to aid in conceptualizing this would be the ideal marriage procedure in many Kenyan societies. In the head of almost every Kenyan person, there is a protocol aligned from the time people start dating to the time they decide to get married.
First off, people date with the idea of marriage in mind and the dating people would generally introduce their significant other to their friends for them to get to know each other, then they would introduce them to close relatives where the girl would probably meet the parents of the boy if things are serious enough. The man then formally goes to the girl’s home to introduce himself and acknowledge his interest in the girl. After this, the man then comes back with his parents or guardians on the agreed date and they negotiate the terms of the girl leaving her home to live with this man, in other words, they decide on what bride price is to be paid as a token of appreciation to the girl’s family.
This procedure is borrowed from our ancestors and it continues to flourish within our societies. Alternatively, we borrow some of our cultural aspects from different cultures through the process of assimilation especially when one interacts with people of a different culture for the longest period. Before then, one tends to undergo a process of culture shock which defines that period when one is experiencing feelings of disorientation. The process has five stages that include, Euphoria which is also known as the honeymoon stage is defined by fascination and enthusiasm about the foreign culture. The foreigner is optimistic and curious to know about the foreign culture.
Next is the crisis-phase which is the actual culture shock stage (Manz, 2003). This stage entails feelings of homesick, frustration and confusion. The foreigner notices the differences between their own culture and the foreign culture including language and values.
Recovery phase then follows. In this phase, the foreigner starts to adjust to the environment they are in, language improves and so does the relationship with the foreigners. Lastly, the foreigner gets assimilated into the foreign culture and goes back into the honeymoon phase.
These phases are helpful in the sense that one would be able to understand the stages when going through them and would avoid over reacting. Also, it would help understand when someone else is undergoing the culture shock process and therefore help them through it.
Manz, S. (2003). culture shock. ebooks and books, 2.1–2.2.