Acculturation for the Culturally Challenged

3 Aug

Based on Sociology, culture shock is the uncomfortable feeling we get when we are suddenly immersed and surrounded by norms and rituals which are not our own. Moving to another country, this obviously happens a lot. Like you have to weigh produce & get stickers, pay for plastic bags, not take creepy taxis & even simple things, like you stay to the right on fast-paced, 90degree angled escalators. 

But the thing is…no one tells you this. 

Why? Because that would be wayyy too easy! You have to make mistakes and look like a tourist idiot first before you take the hint that everyone around you is judging hardcore. You have to break culture rules in order to learn them. 

It’s totally scary and weird, and maybe you won’t even realize you’re making a social faux pas at first. But eventually, you learn. And if you don’t then maybe someone who feels sorry enough for your awkwardness will straight up tell you whatsuppp.

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(Above: this is the pool we went to! It was huge and even had a waterslide!)

I am steering this topic now to my experience at the Prague public pool today. Now, as you know, Europeans have no problem with nudity. To their culture, it’s very basic biology, not some forbidden taboo no-zone that no one should ever speak of. It’s natural. 

Therefore there are several nude beaches, and in Prague’s case, a topless pool. Before we went I obviously had my mind made up how I would handle this situation. I would acculturate. Because after you see your first topless woman, the shock value kinda ends. (The men sporting speedos were more interesting anyway…) So who cares anyways. 

So I laid down,  pulled my bathing suit down and acculturated. It was super liberating! Deep down, I also have no problems with nudity, but in my culture the less clothes you have and the more skin you show conveys specific and not to mention negative meaning. It was like I was shedding all restrictive social norms, not to mention my own personal constrictive norms. AND IT FELT GREAT. 

After 10minutes of sun, my point was proven.

Then do you know what I did? I went down a waterslide at the pool, and was one of the only girlS to jump off the cement diving board. Because if I wanted to sit on the sidelines hating my body, being self conscious, worrying myself to death of what everyone else thought of me…I could just go back home and do that every day, like I always have.

But I am in Prague, and I’m not going anywhere.

-JG 

 

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2 Responses to “Acculturation for the Culturally Challenged”

  1. Axel Perez August 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Don’t mind me creepin,’ but I love reading your posts. Keep being fabulous ❤ Love you!

  2. jgravesss August 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Thanks for the support, love! All I hope is that the rants & raves of my crazy life bring a smile to someone’s face 🙂

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