Essay about Anthropology

Decent Essays
Paulina Para
November 2, 2015
Anthropology 101

“Cold Water”

Cold Water, directed by Noriko Ogami is a documentary from 1986 about cross-cultural adaptation and culture shock. It is about diving into a new culture and having it feel, as one foreign student puts it, like a “plunge into cold water.” Twelve Boston University foreign students express their perceptions of their experiences in the U.S. as each of them (plus one American student and three specialists) is interviewed about living and studying in a new culture. Initial focus is on the arrival and immediate post-arrival period and the culture shock which, for most of the interviewees, follows on its heels. It becomes clear that central to the problems encountered
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Next, things gets easier. The third stage said from this documentary happens to be the adjustment stage. Here things start to clear up and you start to feel more at ease and at home. Frustrations are often subdued as travelers begin to feel more familiar and comfortable with the cultures, people, food, and languages of new environments. Soon the navigation becomes easier along with the friends and communities of support are being established.
Finally the last stage is referred as the “acceptance stage,” according to one foreign student. After some weeks or months we are noticing improvement within ourselves after have wrestling with the emotional stages. The final stage of cultural shock doesn’t mean that the new cultures and environments are completely understood, it signifies realization that complete understanding isn’t necessary to function and thrive in new surroundings. During this stage, travelers have the familiarity and are able to draw together the resources they need to feel at ease.
The same students which laid out for us the stages of cultural shock also shared their experiences expressing how they felt about Americans. Tina Lang, one of the foreign students at Boston University referred Americans as “superficial.” As direct and straight forward as that description was I like to agree with her. As Americans we are so focused on looking our best on the outside that we never put aside any time to work on our
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