What are the stages most people go through
in adjusting to a new culture?

When you move to a new country, everything is unfamiliar; weather, landscape, language, food, dress, social roles, values, customs and communication – basically, everything you’re used to is no longer there. You’ll find that the day unfolds differently, that business is conducted in a way that may be hard to understand, the stores are opened and closed at hours that you could never predict.

In seven day’s time it will be “The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” – giving us all an opportunity to link with others from different cultures and nations and learn something knew about them. Take the opportunity to link with someone across the other side of the world and ask them about their lives or work. Find similarities, find differences, but above all find a sense of community in this beautiful world of ours.


Here’s our chance to improve our cross-cultural understanding and become amateur interculturalists or anthropologists. Whether at home or work – why not find out about how other people do things, or how they think and feel about things?

UNESCO’s Diversity Day is an opportunity to help our communities to understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony – one of the most pressing contemporary issues that we face as the human race.  The Day is intended to provide individuals and groups worldwide with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the values of Cultural Diversity and to learn to “live together” better, enhancing the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.

Far from separating us, cultural diversity is a collective strength, which should benefit the entire world. In this sense, it should be recognized and affirmed as a ‘Common Heritage’ of Humanity.” UNESCO

Click here for the official website.

Anyone who has lived, worked or even travelled
extensively in another country, has lived through culture shock. Culture shock is the inevitable process that people go through and is a recognised symptom of interacting in an environment that is different – be it work, domestic or both. It’s a natural emotional reaction to the situation of being in a new (foreign) place and/or adapting to a new language. People used to moving around become more flexible and adaptable, therefore minimising any culture shock symptoms. So how can you recognise culture shock?

Women around the world are integrating traditions and community into
their struggles for change in a way that challenges the very notion of Western models of development. They are showing their strength by subverting the very traditions that once silenced them so that they can give a voice to new aspirations. The three stories about a devout Muslim from Afghanistan, a harmonising group of lesbians from Croatia, and a taboo breaker in Liberia demonstrate that women can use their traditions and culture to navigate change in the face of repression…

Will globalisation lead inevitably to a collision of civilisations?

Today we are witnessing numerous ethnic and religious conflicts, nationalistic trends in policy and regional fundamentalist movements. The International Year for the Rapprochement (bringing together) of Cultures aims to demonstrate the beneficial effects of cultural diversity in order to stem this tide. UNESCO is playing a leading part in building “the defences of peace in the minds of men” through education, science, culture and communication. The official website emphasises tolerance in an era of globalisation as many influential politicians believe that globalisation will inevitably lead to more conflict.