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Newsletter editorial, Aug '13: Reverse culture shock

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Newsletter editorial, Aug '13: Reverse culture shock

Postby Dave » Sun 1 Sep 2013 11:30 GMT

This month's newsletter editorial was all about reverse culture shock - what happens when you return back to your home country after an extended period of living abroad.

It can be every bit as traumatic as moving overseas for the first time. In some ways more so, as your past points of reference have shifted or even disappeared while your back was turned.

Have you experienced reverse culture shock? Do you have any strategies for coping with it? If you have, please share them with us! :-)
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Postby Graeme » Sun 1 Sep 2013 18:55 GMT

Not exactly reverse culture shock, but on each visit back to the UK I have seen significant changes which worried me. I had always thought of the UK as unchanging and really staying as I remembered and it was surreal to go back after a gap of 15 years and find it had changed in so many ways. I realised that I couldn't live there anymore and that really was a shock; I'd changed, the UK had changed, and like an old girlfriend we'd moved apart and were no longer compatible.
I liked the quiz on the Tower of London, back in the 70's that used to be part of my beat out of Wood Street police station, down past the monument to the fire of London in Pudding Lane, past Billingsgate Market (now gone) to Tower Hill and onto the Tower Quayside. I managed to get 4 of the questions right (mainly) but you had me stumped with Sir Walter Rayleigh, I never knew he'd been put to death at the Tower. Funny(in a sad way) how he'd been a favourite and then a sacrifice to politics.
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Postby ruggie » Thu 5 Sep 2013 16:48 GMT

One common theme is the parochiality of the people back home, unless you are returning to a cosmopolitan society where many of the members travel and work abroad frequently. You can't understand why they're not interested in your experiences 'outside' and they think you're affecting superiority. I believe children can suffer more than adults. Of course, if you tell them that the UK feels like a third world country, that isn't going to help your cause...
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