How Hard It Is For Immigrants to Adapt to a New Culture?

Categories: CultureImmigration

Adaptation to a new culture can be tough on a person given their values and traditions raised in different circumstances. Approximately 300,000 people move to canada every year. These 300,000 people just like me come from different countries, Socio-economic classes and cultural background. Our settlement journeys greatly differ due to the aforementioned factors but we all have to face a similar struggle when it came to adaptation.

Language barrier is one of the top issues that are still faced by many immigrants. In order to communicate with people, it is very important to learn native language as wherever you go be it school, shopping malls or any other place, you need to be able to talk to people in order to interact with them.

Even for me, it was very hard at the beginning to communicate with people and make them understand what I actually meant. Although I was experienced in English, it was my accent that made it harder for others to understand me.

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The stigma around the immigrants and how they are outsiders in this community is evidenced by our different accents. So, I was hesitant to speak to others without being scrutinized. So to cope up with this issue, I joined a bunch of clubs and Sports teams which helped me to interact with people and understand the language in a better way. I made myself more social and open, which helped me understand the language and the different communication methods found in various places. And I was able to do so because of the welcoming attitudes of my peers and their ability to move past my accent.

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Moreover, cultural shock was the other problem I had to face. Many immigrants face this problem as soon as they arrive. The cultural differences have a huge impact and impression on people as many aspects are foreign to them. Adapting to new cultures is arduous as during the process you tend to leave your own culture behind. Indian culture is more traditional, whereas Canadian culture is more open and advanced. For instance, In Canada, it is more acceptable for girls to beat the heat by wearing short clothes such as tank tops and denim shorts. In India, such clothes are considered taboo. Likewise, culture shock had a great impact on me. Moreover, as a student, I had to adapt to a whole new education system and this impacts me both physically and mentally. So, to cope up with it I tried to introduce myself to cultural events and activities which are part of the culture. I joined the culture club in my school as they opened the doors to many different cultures from all around the world. Cultural events like Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving and their history was celebrated. And I too was to represent my culture using the same platform. I also joined the dance classes to learn new forms of dance. Therefore, all these events made me more comfortable towards the new culture rather than making me into an outcast.

Lastly, there was homesickness. Often when people move to new countries they feel nostalgic. They long for the countries they left behind. They remain attached to their memories and neighbourhoods they grew up in. They remember all the small details from their old life which makes it difficult for them to enjoy the things around them. However, there are multiple ways to cope with homesickness. I made myself overexposed to the areas that made me happy for example; I made new friends that share similar hobbies and backgrounds like me. I tried some local while still indulging in food from back home and I decorated my house with my own culture which made me feel like I still have a piece of my own culture with me.

Despite all those hurdles I still admired Canada for its tolerant and open-minded society. The right to dress as I choose is just one example of freedom. In Canada, young girls are encouraged to take up part-time jobs, focus on their education, and in short-stay out of the kitchen. Canada does not live in an era where women are told to go make a sandwich. India could not be more different in terms of women’s rights as in India, young girls just like me were told to look pretty, like glass dolls, and kept in small cages known as our houses.

When people move to new countries, it is apparent that they have to face challenges. Everything will not be perfect and it’ll be really difficult to adapt to the new environment. It takes time but once you face these hurdles and challenges, life will become better. Citizens of the country must also realize that these people have come from different walks of life which affects how they handle many situations. They should not be quick to react or cause any sort of harm to others as every culture is unique and must be respected in order for immigrants to accustom their values into a new lifestyle.

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How Hard It Is For Immigrants to Adapt to a New Culture?. (2020, Sep 05). Retrieved from

How Hard It Is For Immigrants to Adapt to a New Culture?

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