Saturday, March 11, 2006

Dear Global Villagers . . .

. . .many U.S. expatriates I have met here in Munich describe their experience, when visiting the U.S. as very difficult.

Conversely Germans who, after a prolonged stay abroad, return, find it very difficult to adjust.

Many "global villagers" are aware of this phenomenon, also called "reverse culture shock".

Certainly the underlying psychological reasons are complex,
but more importantly there are ways of coping with this startling experience.

One first step would be to exchange thoughts about it.

In my case - I have lived in the U.S. for more than ten years - and find it extremely enriching - to have been exposed to more than one culture.

Yet at times there is also the feeling that it is difficult for other people to get a sense of who I am, which seems to make them anxious and irritated. This in turn bothers me a lot.

What are your experiences and how are you coping?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in the UK for 2 1/2 years and still get stereotyped because I am German. People often seem to try to combine how I behave with what country I am from, and I can sometimes find it highly offensive.

Also, they think jokes about David Hasselhoff are funny.

8:16 AM  
Blogger translationfound said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:13 PM  
Blogger translationfound said...

Americans, including Jewish Americans in the S.F. Bay Area, where I have spent some years, always went out of their way to avoid sending me "typical German" messages. I agree with you, that the same could not be said for a lot of British people, whose stereotyping of my behaviour I find numbing and brutal at times.

Greetings
Gisela

7:08 PM  

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