What was Your Culture Shock Experience?(1)
What was Your Culture Shock Experience?(1)
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  • 승인 2009.09.03 21:45
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Wol-Hwa Ki
Chinese Language & Culture
Huazhong University


In the summer of 2007, I participated in an exchange program in Huazhong University. It was a great opportunity for me not only to learn Chinese, but to experience their culture and way of life. During the year I lived in China I had good memories and experiences, but I also had to deal with culture shock.
When I first landed in China, I was constantly surprised. It was August and I couldn't bear the hot weather. The average temperature when I got there was 38-40 degrees and it was also very, very humid. One of the most surprising things to me was that the young men took off their shirts when they were working. They seemed to have no concern about other people looking at them, and they seemed to think it was natural. That attitude is very different than in Korea, and at first I did not understand, but over  time I got used to it.
One of the most memorable events during my time there was the earthquake. Fortunately, the place I was living in only had a mild earthquake, but another place named Sachun was damaged very badly. My friends traveled to Sachun, they were not hurt, but the travel was very difficult.
I think the most shocking thing was the traffic trouble!!! Before visiting China, I heard from my friend that having insurance is really an essential thing because the traffic in China is very dangerous. What I had heard about the traffic was nothing compared to the reality of it. There was a big road with no traffic lights. Many people in Korea may think that most Chinese people ride bicycles, but cars were all over the road. Most people tried to go whatever way they wanted with no concern for anyone else, so I was always afraid to cross the street. However, Chinese people cross the street easily and the cars will actually slow down for them. It is natural to them. After one year, I joked with my friends that if I return to Korea I might jaywalk without thinking twice.
There were many things about China that were different from Korea. I saw the t'ai chi ch'uan on the street; the food is oily, people eat food while they walk, and so on. At first, I had negative thoughts about those things, but after a while I came to understand. Experiencing these things over and over again led me to understand the life of the average Chinese citizen.



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