Culture Shock

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Topics: Culture
Daniel Dhanaraj

Descriptive Essay

Culture Shock: An Integration in a New Country

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February 21, 2011

The word ‘CULTURE’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘CULTURA’ which means to cultivate, to grow (Harper 2010). Anthropologist Edward B. Taylor, defines culture as “That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits.” (O’Neil 2006). This is the basic premise that beliefs, morals, and customs are all based on one’s culture. In the essay, “No Place Like Home” by Neil Bissoondath, the author describes how multiculturalism creates uneasiness on different levels to immigrants in Canada. The author points that Canada’s Multicultural Act, focuses on cultural uniqueness rather than cultural integration that has provided for stereotypes and other problems for ethnic minorities in the country. Bissoondath is describing people of different cultures are put into different genres regardless of where they come from. Any disorientation, uneasiness, and insecurity they feel when they encounter cultures radically different from their own such as religion, skin colour, language, lifestyle, is considered to be culture shock. 2 Living in a new country can have its share of difficulties, but at the same time provide insights into a whole new culture. India is known as the melting point of different cultures, each one unique in its own respect from the art, food, religion, language, lifestyle and politics. When I was 15 years old, my father, who is an accountant by profession, accepted a job offer to work for KPMG India. The KPMG branch was located in Bangalore. My parents, originally from Bangalore, moved to Canada in the 1980’s. They were thrilled by the opportunity to visit India and my relatives after a very long time. However, the case of leaving all my high school friends, the food, entertainment and lifestyle behind and moving to country I had left behind when I was 2 years old, was



Cited: Harper, Douglas. “Online Etymology Dictionary.” 2010. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=culture O’Neil, Dennis. “Human Culture: What is Culture?.” Friday. May 26. 2006. http://anthro.palomar.edu/culture/culture_1.htm Bissoondath, Neil. “No Place Like Home.” Strategies for Successful Writing. Ed. James Reinking, Robert von der Osten et al. 4th Canadian ed. Toronto: Pearson Canada, 2010: 363-367. Print. Information Technology Associates. ITA. “India Economy 2011, CIA World Factbook.” 2011. http://www.theodora.com/wfbcurrent/india/india_economy.html

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