Culture shock is a feeling a person may experience of a period of time due to a lot of stress of understanding the new culture and social environments. Culture shock is not only experienced by people who emigrate from one country to another, but it is also experienced by people who move from rural area to urban area. Culture shock is natural and lasts temporary. Most culture shock is experienced by people who travel less or people who spend much time surrounded by family and friends.
I have experienced culture shock when I moved from a small city to Jakarta. I severely struggled with many aspects of life here. I found it hard to make friends; I even withdrew from society and closing up myself. Moreover, doing simple things like going to church, work or shopping was challenging for me in Jakarta. I was likely to feel anxious, insecure and homesick. I was always sad, misunderstood and the worst part was falling physically sick frequently.
Based on my experiences, I am going to tell you some tips for cultural adjustment in Jakarta:
1. Be patient
Jakarta is a high pressure city. Traffic jam, tangled cars and motor bike and also noise pollution are ever persistent in Jakarta. This situation might lead you to stress. However, it is important to be patient in time of stress whenever you meet unpleasant atmosphere in your new routines.
2. Be yourself
In the beginning, maybe you will try hard to make friends with some new people. It is good, but when you find that you have different principles with them and you couldn’t go along with them, just let them go. You don’t need to be friends with anyone who don’t even recognize your existence. Take time and be yourself and I believe that you will meet a true friend you’ve never expected.
3. Be confident
It is very important to be confident in Jakarta or maybe in anywhere else in the world. Keep your head up and look alert while you’re walking on street or overpass. Make eye contact with those around you and be aware of your surroundings.
4. When in Rome, do as the Romans do
Adapt yourself to the customs of the place. You will find people in Jakarta are bold, loud, sometimes rude and apathetic. Get yourself used with the situation. I don’t suggest you to be apathy or rude, however based on my experience, sometimes you have to be bold, loud, rude and apathetic in some cases while you’re in Jakarta.
5. Find a hobby
Pursue your interest, find something that exhilarates you and ignore the rest.
6. Get outside
Enjoy your new environment rather than worrying whether or not you could survive. The only way to conquer your fears is by facing them. Do a micro traveling or take a walk to observe your new environment and get a new perspective.
7. Write a blog or a diary
Show your emotions through writing. It is important to express your feeling and experiences in a blog or diary. Recent research shows that write journal is an effective stress relief exercise.
8. Stay connect with family
Be sure you’re connected with home family. A phone call from home will make you feel better. However don’t be over obsessing your hometown since it would take you to deeper depression.
Admit that you experience culture shock and not trying to hinder it. The more you try to struggle the more you feel depressed. Take a deep breath and look around. Say it to yourself than you can go through this. People are not going to hurt you and you will be fine.
As I told you before, culture shock is only temporary. Take it slow and let it flow. As time goes by, your culture shock will go. You will have a routine and you will feel more confident to a new culture. You will understand and accept things the way it is. You will deal with every day situation with humor rather than anxiety. At a certain point, you will feel like you have found a new home in the new culture and you become a more balanced individual.
ps: images above were copied while i was browsing on Google