Yes, it happens. Even if you were born a Bangladeshi and recently repatriated, do remember that the country has moved on while you were wherever you were and had an image of our old home country that no longer is true. And for those who are from other countries, the degree and type of shock would be different depending on where you called home.
Here is an uncategorized list of culture shocks for expats. Note – it’s not all culture related.
- Personal Space – With 150 million people packed into a country the size of Wisconsin, Bangladeshis had to almost give up the notion of personal space. Don’t be weirded out, if the person talking to you is a close talker.
- Personal Questions – People are well meaning but curious and they may ask questions that might disconcert expats, particularly those from the West. Be prepared to field these questions and rather than being rude in response, try to think of a polite way of responding without answering. Questions such as:
- are you married?
- why are you not married?
- how much do you make?
- Spitting – people spit. On the streets, on the walls, on many outdoor spaces. Get used to it.
- Eating with the hand – Bangladeshis normally eat with their hands. If you are adventurous and visit places far from where the tourists hang out, you should practice the art of eating with your hands. Food tastes better this way.
(Is Everything More Delicious When You Eat With Your Hands? – An NPR story, see below)
- More to come