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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Gurgaon, India


A mom who relocated to Gurgaon, India talks about the challenges of living in Gurgaon. She finds that there's a lack out outdoor space to walk and play. Plus, numerous locals on the street have picked up and touched her 4 year old daughter without permission, which has increased her and her daughter's anxiety when out in public. She now finds herself swatting away people on the street.

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

Gurgaon

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

None.

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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?

I did not learn the language though I can understand and speak some Hindi now.

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

As a female, I was worried for my safety.

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

People touching or picking up my 4 year old daughter without asking her or I if it is okay. Perhaps it is cultural, however I do not see people doing it to small Indian children. My child has become frightened and I have become more persistent in swatting away hands.

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?

Anger stage, yes and I still harbour resentment.

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.

I find that I am more sedentary due to the lack of outside spaces to walk and play. I find that my anxiety levels are very high because my daughter is afraid she will be assaulted when we leave the house.

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

The people are generally nice, accepting and patient.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Again, the unwanted touching of my child.

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

I am sure I did, however it may have gone over my head.

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

Stand tall, remember who you are and where you are from, be proud. It's ok if you don't understand what you are supposed to do in different situations, do your best and maybe laugh about it later.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

India GuideIndia Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in India.

India Forum India Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in India on our India forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

India Index India Index
An index of all of our site's India information.

Contribute to India Network Contribute
Help others in India by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in India.

Expat Healthcare Advice in IndiaHealthcare & Health Insurance in India

Expats in India offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in India.

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Expats in India offer advice about healthcare in India.

Real Estate in IndiaReal Estate in India

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in India.

Guide to Real Estate in IndiaGuide to Real Estate in India

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in India.

Pros Cons of Living in IndiaPros & Cons of Living in India

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in India.

Cost of Living in IndiaCost of Living in India

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in India.

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Moving to India? We've compiled a laundry list of advice from expats.living in India about what to bring, apartments, expat life and more. It's must-read guide for anyone researching how to move to India.

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