Saturday, 13 September 2008

Adapting to a Foreign Culture

When adapting to a foreign culture, writes Jan Morris in Hong Kong, there are "four stages of reaction that foreigners may expect. First they feel a fine euphoria, so exciting and interesting is the spectacle of Hong Kong, so reassuringly familiar many of its aspects. Next they become tense and bewildered, as they realize how vastly foreign the territory really is, and experience a growing feeling of isolation. Then, sensing their own ethnic identities challenged, they endure a period of irritability, grumbling a lot and being hostile to the Chinese. And if all goes well, finally they relax into the environment, accepting its essentially alien nature, developing new tolerance, greater objectivity and, says Dr. Mildred McCoy, a psychologist at the University of Hong Kong, “appropriate coping skills". "

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