Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Market in Bandar Seri Begawan, The Capital Of Brunei
An expat living in Brunei appreciates that people there are generally and almost naturally friendly and helpful. And, although he enjoys the simplicity of life in Brunei, he admits that the lack of conveniences compared to other countries makes him appreciate the basics in a new light.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Bandar Seri Begawan
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
No training however I used to visit my parents working here prior on a number of occasions.
Moving to Brunei soon?
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?
They speak a different language and English, of which I am fluent in. Learned the language while abroad.
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
Didn't consider it at the time
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
Slight significance. Culture resembles my own countries culture in some aspects, but religious practice very much different
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?
Jumped from the honeymoon phase to the cultural adjustment stage immediately.
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.
Increased eating and drinking, bouts of frustration and homesickness, but they faded pretty much after the first year
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
Simple life, standards, and expectations. People are generally and almost naturally friendly and helpful. Lack of many advances in conveniences compared to other countries makes you appreciate the basics in a new light.
The willingness to trust in the capabilities and willingness of people to address everyday activities
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
the language and the norms in compliance with their religious practices and beliefs
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
None that I can remember. We tried very hard to be careful from the start and learned to study the culture and get information from all sources. People are still generally easy to talk to and cooperative if you need assistance to understand their culture. They appreciate your efforts to conform.
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Nothing to mind at the moment
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