Diversity and Cultural Shock – these 2 words can go together or separately but both are related to a common experience: ”Open yourself to something different from the origin”.
Since I was a child, I always had the curiosity to discover “The New”. During the past few years, this attitude remained the same, it’s just the places and locations which constantly keep changing. It is there where I met for the first time Mr. “Cultural Shock”.
But, let’s go on step by step.
Diversity. Having to choose a definition, I would describe diversity as “all the qualities or feelings that distinguish two different things, people or cultures”. Some people are scared about diversity, some people love it, some people live for it. For sure, being in a century in which low-cost flights, high-speed connections, social networking, multinational businesses, worldwide interests represent our “daily bread”, nobody can avoid getting in touch with diversity. The reason is simple. Even if you decide to remain in your local environment, at certain a point, somebody will knock at your door, and it’s not the “old tomato of your backyard’ but the “well-travelled mango from South America.”
Depending on the entity and level, diversity can choose Mr. Cultural Shock as a travel-mate. You can find several books and theories on this topic. But I prefer to simplify this concept in 3 main moments:
1. Getting in contact with “The New” is usually a “discovering” moment, exciting and funny for most. Depending on where you are, and if the change has been promoted by you or by others, it can last for those few minutes or several months.
2. After what I call the “Hangover”, people start to see and feel things for what they truly are: DIFFERENT. This is probably the most difficult part. Time to regret your origins and complain about the habits and events happening in the new environment.
3. Regardless, if you are now back to the starting point or you are still part of that “melting pot”, the last part is the one in which things are appreciated again. They have “their own logic”. Some of them will become part of your routine, some others will position themselves as “nostalgic” knowledge that you will always carry on with you. The reality is that you just expanded your horizons and your views by a few additional miles.
The beauty of this process is that the more things you discover, the farther you need to go to meet a new “Mr. Cultural Shock”. Not bad and surely inviting for a person who likes traveling but also for whoever is a lover of local traditions. Be ready to open your door. Somebody is knocking on it again. This time out, i’t not your old tomato, neither the south American Mango. But a new friend from Sri Lanka called Rambutan.
Enjoy diversity. Love it. Live for it.