The term Culture Shock is used to describe the emotional rollercoaster that someone experiences when living in a new country. Anyone who has worked and lived in a foreign country will experience culture shock of some sort. Recognizing culture shock is an important way of being able to deal with it. Dealing with it helps minimize the risk of becoming disillusioned with a new country and the possibility of deciding that a quick return “home” is the only solution. The four stages of culture shock are: excitement, withdrawal, adjustment and enthusiasm. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Sayad Sofat who came to America from a middle-class family in India. I currently work with Mr. Sofat and we have been colleagues for a couple of years. When I approached Mr. Sofat to interview him he was extremely eager to participate and declined any opportunity to remain anonymous stating "I am happy to be of help". The interview with Mr. Sofat gives me a wonderful opportunity to understand his life and his perspective. Stage 1: Excitement
Mr. Sayad Sofat is a 41-year-old man from Bhopal India. Mr. Sofat came to the United States with his father, mother, and brother in 1979. When Sayad and his brother were told they were moving to America by their parents Sayad said "it brought anxiety to our hearts wondering how we would get adjusted to our new home". Upon arriving in America Mr. Sofat found himself elated and still a bit nervous with the new environment. “The moment we stepped off the airplane in the land of opportunity my brother and I looked at each other and smiled and looked ahead to a bright future we had in front of us.”. The experience of having air conditioning in all buildings was a new one for Mr. Sofat. "Everything was so clean and orderly." Stage 2: Withdrawal/ Difficulty
Building on the promise of a great future required getting used to the difficulties that America brought to his family. One such...
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