Thursday, 12 March 2009

Culture Shock & Cultural Differences

After 15 years in Sweden you would think I would have a pretty good notion of how things work in this country. Yet every time I find myself in a new situation it hits me that I spent the first 25 years of my life somewhere else and that these years still fundamentally form who I am and how I think.

Still, as time goes on it becomes more and more difficult to know exactly where the cultural differences lie. Is it just because it is a new situation? Is it a generational difference? Is it some other reason or is it because my frames-of-reference, my learnings, my experience - my culture, is of a different origin?


  1. Well, being born and bred here I still or rather more and more feel like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole - or more like a round peg trying to fit in a square hole actually - in certain situations.

    A few issues back in the magazine Damernas Värld there was a very interesting article about three Swedish women who had worked/lived abroad for many years/on and off and their stories when moving back here, their feelings towards Sweden and Swedes were really interesting. I could very much relate to most of it, which I'm not sure is an overall good thing if you don't like brooding to much over living in Sweden...

  2. Pia it must be tough feeling like a round peg in a square hole in your own country and I'm sure yo are not alone. I missed that article but it sounds interesting - might see if I can find it online. Repatriation is a big challenge and I can't imagine how hard it would be to move home. I thought it was interesting to read this article recently published in NYTimes