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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Dhaka

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

No

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Yes

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Enormous

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Yes, absolutely, I am currently in the anger / rejection stage (3 months after arriving)

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Frustration, anger and short temper, homesickness, annoyance at even small things

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Acceptance of other cultures, friendliness (in general), strong family ties

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Much impatience, poor attempts at Westernization, greed, corruption, lack of understanding about the need for personal space

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Yes, I had an almighty road rage incident, which the locals at whom my rage was targeted could not fathom what it was that I was so worked up about, and probably couldn't understand a word that I was saying (which is probably just as well).

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Learn some basics of the local language before arriving, accept that you are the odd one out and therefore it is you that needs to change not the locals. Try not to compare with the west or nothing will make sense.

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