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The whole process of adapting to a new culture may look simple on the surface, but it has its complexities. There are culture shocks, challenges, stresses both psychological and personal learning, and many other things that you may come across. All the same, there is no culture, which has no good and bad qualities. So it is always advisable to sieve the qualities and then pick out the good ones and discard the rest. The case is applicable even in Russia. This should be taken as normal since every learning situation has its ups and downs. Therefore in any acculturation, one should be ready for anything; culture shocks should be taken as normal. They happen due to a clash of cultural values.
It is fashionable to acquire a new identity however it is never easy to change one’s identity. The first experiences are different and therefore one should be ready to keep his mind open. One should also be ready to make friends, learn the new language; should be ready to know the new world, and should keep active to determine his happiness. When he does these things his acculturation becomes easy and enjoyable. In a word, enculturation is a phenomenon and like any other phenomenon, it has its intrigues and challenges.
The study of acculturation is a very interesting affair; it is about considering ethics identity, the actual extent of acculturation, and changes due to time. As a phenomenon, it is full of problems of its nature. For one, there is this problem of learning a language that is very different from one’s mother tongue. Secondly, one is also faced with the problem of struggling to be understood and also trying to understand others. For Russian immigrants or students who have gone to study in Russian these problems should be taken as normal. There are quite several other problems, which are beyond the scope of this particular study (Swift, 2002).
Phases in adapting to a new culture:
- Excitement upon arrival, everything is new and wonderful.
- Homesickness, frustration, fear, and depression may occur.
- Beginning to adjust, make friends, and participate in activities.
- Difficulty returning to home country reverses culture shock.
What are the factors that contribute to successful adaptation? While struggling with acculturation, is it possible to assist with the transformation in a cognitive state?
The study of the cases listed in the literature, and questionnaire of some acquainted immigrants. People found for the survey after the observations in the immigrant districts, and those who agreed to tell a few words. On the whole, about 50 participants had been interviewed.
The survey was based on the interview, and filing in some feedback forms. The questions were the following:
- Why have decided to move.
- Experienced difficulties, and what has been undertaken to solve.
- Plans for the future.
The main aim was to give people to realize, that they are not alone in this world.
And most of the research projects have been carried out as interview surveys. This is natural when taking into consideration the fact that adoption is an emotionally charged issue. However, most of the projects have involved extremely structured interviews with relatively many informants. Only a few have made use of in-depth interviews that require qualitative processing and analysis and which therefore cannot cover too many people. Over the past few years, however, more such studies have been conducted, particularly since the adoptees have become adults and can themselves tell us about their lives.
There are also many purely quantitative studies in which questionnaires have played a dominant role. By using such an approach, the researcher can reach out to large groups and compare information from various groups of informants. These surveys have focused on foreign adoptees’ general living conditions and quality of life, on their schooling and educational patterns, and more demographic information about themselves and their families.
Procedure and chronology
If one finds himself in Russia; for example, the obvious and first challenge is that of language. Also, he must struggle and learn the language. Another most and equally important is to expect challenges. It would be foolish to place yourself in and a new environment without any friends or family and think that things will just be easy. Right before you step out of that airplane look forward to an exciting, but also challenging time. Be prepared for the worst as you also expect the best, so that you are not caught off guard (Tismaneanu, 1999).
You should also keep an open mind. If you are used to a luxurious life, go out there and maintain your status quo. So as you also learn the language make sure you are ready to learn and do not force yourself to learn overnight; normally it is not possible. You have to be patient in learning the language. Always bear in mind that it is a language that is different from your mother tongue, which you learned from your childhood. As you learn the language you should not be afraid to practice it, in all ways possible.
Make sure always as you learn the language you should try to create chances of learning it, do not sit idle and expect them to come by themselves. If you are lost somewhere try to ask for your direction using the native language as such you will be learning it. You should not be afraid of being laughed at. Trial and error is a normal and common method, so try it (Swift, 2002).
Let it not sound like a worry to you, when you are told that you have to learn the language of the natives in any country. This normally happens with any student who wishes to study in Russia. Learning the Russian language is a must. In case you experience any problems while there, make sure to consult the necessary authorities. You will always be assisted. You should not be worried about losing your identity. Remember always, that you can not lose it if you do not want to lose it.
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You also have to know that for you to understand someone fully; you must also be able to speak the language that he speaks. This will make your life in a new culture (s) very easy and smooth; so be ready and willing to learn the language. It is one of the best ways of having successful acculturation. Remember always or bear in mind always that for you to understand someone better or his soul you have to be able to speak his language (Swift, 2002).
When in a foreign environment make sure you do not take your prejudices with you. Do not let the culture shock inhibit you, try to adapt as soon or as immediately as possible. They normally say if you cannot beat them join them. Bear in mind that you will give the natives a sense of pride if you try to be like them. There fact that the mother tongue speakers will always surround you, so you will be able to learn the language much faster than you may think (Williams, 1999).
For over a decade now tertiary institutes in N.Z. have been worried about internationalization in various forms. In committing themselves to internationalization, tertiary institutes aim to foster an ability to function intercultural in the global village of the 21st century. This expansion may focus on actively recruiting international students from abroad, and usually also includes more high-minded ideals such as organizing staff exchanges, internationalizing the program while adopting tolerance and realizing for difference, and training students to do the same. There is ample research that expressly deals with the international student experience and the various strategies that academic staff can develop to facilitate this The literature tends to focus on the language and cultural needs of Asian students, and supports the idea that both teachers and students need to take responsibility for developing intercultural understandings. There is, however, little in the literature to examine the knowledge of IAS working in a foreign tertiary context. Researchers who address staff issues in internationalization concentrate mainly on the student rather than staff mobility, managing a multicultural learning environment, internationalizing the curriculum, and teaching abroad whether directly employed, or teaching on international staff substitutes. These reports on teaching abroad explore the experiences of local staff teaching overseas rather than those of international staff in the local setting. This would appear to be an additional perspective and a gap in the research that is worth exploring for the field of proficient enhancement in higher education.
Another point is that of making friends, you try to make friends because it is healthy or is good for your health. You have to note that when you make friends, they will in the process lead you to other friends as well. One should also not forget to maintain old friends, both girlfriends, and boyfriends. When you make friends, you gain the strength of your position in your new environment. The process of making friends may not be that easy for others. Always remember that the first experiences in any new environment vary from one person to another. It may be very easy for some people to make friends. But remember how hard it was even for you making friends back home, so take it normally. You should also be ready and willing to comprise, in so doing you will be better placed to make as many friends as possible. Remember you should not lose heart when your first contacts do not bear fruits.
More so you can register yourself on the Internet if you are to make some meaningful moves of making friends. The Internet is one of the easiest ways of making friends that are known so far. It may not sound possible and reliable at first, but once you try you will notice how easy and efficient it is (Brown, 1997).
In addition, you should try to be as independent as possible. You have realized always that you are someone with your dreams in life; so by remaining independent you will be able to achieve your dreams and you will be able to follow your heart. Remember that you are someone on your own so try to live your life as much as possible. But as you do this, do not rule out that you can sometimes be successful only through your co-operation with others. What this means is that you have to realize your uniqueness (Sterm, 1994).
It is only when you are independent that you will be able to move around your new environment and know it better. It may be painful at first but when you get used it becomes a wonderful experience. One must know that he will be able to meet new experiences, which he would not have thought possible before. Try to do things without the assistance of others. Behave always as if you have no support of any kind. In so doing you will be developing a support network of your own in your new environment or life.
If you are an expert try to mix with other experts, this is only possible if you can stand on your own in your new life. Rely on yourself, try to be your own best way and guide and you will manage quite easily (Barker, 2002).
Another crucial point to always bear in mind for successful acculturation in Russians is to try to know your world. By this point, it means that one should try to explore his new environment. Try to read as much as possible about it. As such, you will be surprised that you will get to know the places better even than some natives. Read tourist information, go through brochures and you will acquire a sense of belonging, and you will also feel at home. You will fall in love with the place, once you get to know it better (Frank, 1994).
When doing all these things try not to complain, so that you may not develop a negative frame of mind.
Remember also to keep yourself active as must as possible. Use your free time on your pastimes or hobbies. Adapt to your new environment or life as if you are just at home. Assume it is your old home. Keep active.
Furthermore, try not to feel sorry for yourself. Take yourself as if you are just at home, adapt to your new world with a sense of responsibility and understanding. Focus on the positive side of your new environment and adapt fully without any regrets whatsoever. Follow your heart and please may you realize your dreams. This is one and most important advice for this case, where you should not feel sorry for yourself (Castro, 2003).
The next thing or factor to put in mind for successful acculturation is to determine your happiness. Be happy, generally be happy. Try to change the things, which you find to be unpleasant and remain with what is useful and helpful to you. But the fact that there are things, which may surround us daily of which we have no or little control over them, we should not take it as an excuse of not being happy. Just be your own best friends and not your own worst enemy. As such the process of determining your happiness will become a reality to you. Stick always to the fact that you can determine your happiness, and it is you alone who can make yourself happy. That is, happiness is squarely on your shoulders (Lep, 2000).
However, the aforementioned factors of successful acculturation are not that easy unless the government or state is cognitive enough to cater to the needs of all those concerned. The whole process is usually a struggle, and it is a bitter struggle for others. This is because some struggle with the idea of racial discrimination, poverty, and abuse of their human rights by those people who do not want to care about them. Therefore unless the state is sharp, cognitive, and informed, it would not be better placed to deal with these problems. Other problems are due to a change of climate that may cause illness; another problem may be that of gender-centered one. Another problem may be due to the time factor to adapt; this is true especially when time is limited (Pilkington, 2002).
It is normally easy for any government worth its salt to try and deal with such problems without its name being tainted. For one, the most government have or at one time or another have had in their authorities or establishments a ministry that caters for cultures, it is through such ministries that issues of clash of cultural values are well addressed. The problem comes when the government is full of corruption such that for one to be served must first of all bribe the concerned person in the office. This is very discouraging. But Russian establishments are on record as having been very successful with the issue of graft (Stewart, 1997).
The issue of graft has for long been a problem in most governments and it is still a worldwide problem. Although countries like Russia, which is one of the known cognitive states in the world, have tried to fight it very hard. What normally happens to anyone who meets incidences of corruption or bribery in a new country or new environment the person becomes stressed. Any cognitive state worth its salt must come and fight this sin, since this is not good for the economy or development of the country, especially if it solely depends on tourism. The good name of the state can easily be damaged and this is not good for the country (Barker, 2002).
The state must in this case come out fighting to save its good name. People who are psychologically traumatized over corruption in their new environment must be well guided in the adaptation process. This is properly fought if the government is really serious in fighting corruption, through the necessary machinery. In Russia, it is as if things were worse when the former USSR was in place since some blame the Soviet government of denationalization as well as the de-Europeanization of Russia as a nation. Things might have changed now but they are not as serious as they were when USSR was still in place.; this shows that in the former USSR people, including immigrants would not have easily achieved their dreams and follow their hearts as it is now. Maybe to a certain extent, this was due to communism.
Then it seems the communist government did not fight corruption as the present Russian state. Therefore this shows that any cognitive state must properly put into consideration and choose carefully on the system of governance they adopt. It may be because people at that time did not know a lot, but always to be on the safe side any cognitive state should choose carefully the system of governance it adopts (Sterm, 1994).
The process of learning the language of the natives should be facilitated, through the establishment of many independent colleges and universities, which teach the language. The government should also waiver the taxes for the private colleges and universities for any constructions that they put up. This is because a private college or university may be interfered with to put a very reliable library for its use and end up not putting up because of the burden that comes with the taxes from the government (Brown, 1997).
The immigrants in question should also be given room of being active and make friends, just like the natives. In some countries, this does not happen, but in any cognitive state, these things are considered to some extent. The state through its constitution and legislation should put in place the necessary laws that promote freedom to its immigrants so that they should also be allowed to own property. The immigrants should be allowed to express themselves freely like the natives since some immigrants have hobbies like writing and reading. For such people to be active and make friends normally, a room should be created through the laws of the country to protect and safeguard their interests. In today’s Russia, these things are allowed through the constitution of the country, as there is freedom of expression, though to some extent. As well as the case of owning property, the immigrants are allowed by the laws of the country to own property, also to some extent. But it is better than without. The natives and immigrants are not the same.
All the same, when the immigrants are allowed by the constitution of the country to make friends, mingle with the natives freely, and also intermarry then things become better for the immigrants. This makes Russians take pride in being Russians and immigrants as well feel proud in being associated with Russians and Russia (Frank, 1994).
One thing to put into consideration when the immigrants are struggling with the process of adapting to their new environment the government should also try to protect them through any cases of crime (Nathans, 2002).
This happens in two ways, for one, crime against them and secondly when the immigrants themselves commit the crime. Since crime cases are mainly in major towns we cannot say that they do not happen in rural areas; they happen everywhere. When a crime is committed against an immigrant, it would be better than from the word go the state has the necessary legislation in place, even if it means compensating the immigrant in any possible way (s). As for the case of the immigrants committing a crime it easily happens when in their process of adapting to change or transformation in their new country they accidentally come face to face with the ugly face of poverty; this can force them to commit a crime against the natives. As such, cases of this kind should be well protected especially on side of crime and punishment.
In addition, the state in question must try its level best to provide the necessary services and amenities for the immigrants so that they do not struggle with them when they adapt to their new environment. The immigrants have different tastes and habits, which should make the state in question, be ready and alert to them. The special needs of the immigrants are as varied and different as the people there are in the world. If the state cares for its tourists or immigrants it should make sure it provides these special services and amenities. It normally happens that some immigrants are especially suited for high-standards of living, and so the government must try to provide this special need as much as it is possible if in any case, it is to have and maintain a good image to the outside world (Castro, 2003).
Another thing is that through the department or ministry of transport and communication, the government must try its level best to be as competent and efficient as possible this is because the accommodation facilities of the immigrants should be as accessible as possible, so that they may also have ample time and space of communicating. These services are important and should be considered always (Lep, 2000).
The Ministry of Transport and Communication or the department of transport and communication depending on the type of government should ensure that they have an efficient and working communication network in operation. This is because the immigrants in question may need to use the telephone services or the website; as such the state must ensure that these required services are also accessible (Castro, 2003).
The state should not assume that just because the immigrants can put on clothes move about and access those essential services and amenities, then they do not have any more problems. Immigrants problems are usually many and varied, therefore the government in question through the ministry of tourism or related ministry that they provide the immigrants with more than enough information about the country, which should be such as brochures and tourist guide. Once the immigrants are properly informed their sense of independence is enhanced (Tsmaneanu, 1999).
The government in question to be said is cognitive enough should try all ways possible to minimize some of the serious and worst challenges that the immigrants normally face. This can be properly analyzed and predicted through the use of Information Technology. Some of these challenges take a bigger dimension like kidnapping. Such a case can create a very negative attitude to the immigrant as he may end up going away forever. As such the image of the state is tarnished. This situation can be properly curbed if the government ensures its security system or machinery has teeth (Williams, 1999).
Some of the more obvious cases of culture shock and the first attempt of learning the new language should be managed through the relevant Ministry and all will be well.
What is important and should be the goal of any cognitive state is in as much as it tries to provide the best for the natives; it should also especially consider the needs of the immigrants. It should try to make the situation as ideal as possible.
Adapting to a new social system is not an easy task This case is true for anyone who is involved in any acculturation process. Therefore the state in question must recognize this need and how it affects the people, especially those who struggle with it and are involved in it. Enough strategies, plans, and mechanisms should be put in place and these cases properly considered.
In Russia, both politicians and intellectuals have pondered over this important issue over the years and for sure the changes are excellent. Any immigrant will note cases of racism as they are in other countries. As well as challenges of any serious dimension, which may affect the immigrants, are now minimized. It has not been easy for such a cognitive state due to the wide variation of ethnic as well as linguistic identities. All the same, the state has tried (Szparluk, 1994).
Far from becoming as ideal
What these politicians and intellectuals did for Russia is something that took a lot of time to try or rather attempt. Today Germans, Jews, and many other immigrants live in Russia but the whole process is far from becoming as ideal as it was earlier expressed by the administration.
These administrators helped to improve the standard of living of the people. It is the one and most important thing they did such that it is easy for terrorists and immigrants who and used to such life to accept and so, we can see that these politicians and intellectuals of those days did something better for those who are to find themselves in Russia (Swift, 2002).
Other cognitive states should also borrow a leaf from Russia. The world is changing fast and the challenges we had thirty years ago a no longer there. We only have a few of them remaining, so other countries which want to be like Russia should live the way Russians lived and managed as much as what Russians managed (Williams, 1999).
It seems as if the Russians have a way in which they teach their languages, although the language itself may not be easy to every one most people have managed to be the Russian language through how they teach it (Brown, 1997).
When helping the immigrants to cope with the process of acculturation, the cognitive state in question should always make sure that it acts as perfectly as possible. Some of these immigrants who go through the whole process of acculturation tend to feel some psychological torture or their brains tend to stop functioning. As such the government should ensure that it has enough psychologists and psychiatrists to attend to the cases of malfunctioning of the brain. These psychological and psychiatric conditions tend to be very serious even some tend to be beyond any present remedy. So let the government take care of this area, as it very delicate and important (Castro, 2003).
The language barrier is usually the most crucial problem and so it should be well considered; unless this area is taken care of and properly nurtured them a lot of problems to do with acculturation tend to occur. Some mental patients may find it completely hard to communicate in the new language and end up causing more confusion. The wide ethnic differences also make the situation more confusing.
In addition to the varied identities, which are linguistic, so the administration in any cognitive state should put these issues into consideration for a successful acculturation.
It should always be realized that there is a lot to gain once we consider the aforementioned cases and we have everything to lo lose if we do not consider them. The adaptation process should be emphasized that it is not normally an easy process and so a lot of effort and encouragement is needed to transform as successful as possible. It should be borne in mind that the immigrant would be struggling in a new environment, which everything should be taken care of in as much as is possible (Barker, 2002).
The cognitive state should always come up with sound policies to address the important issues of acculturation and they should make sure they implement the policies as much as possible. If the policies are perfect but are not implemented it would be as good as having done nothing at all. Therefore, let the concerned state ensure that everything works according to plan. The state should take care of the immigrants a lot.
As much as people may expect the state to live up to its promises, the case is the same with the state, it expects its natives to cooperate and live up to its words. The state should make sure that the necessary and relevant mechanism of assisting the immigrants with acculturation, especially in learning the language, is in place. This has and is happening in Russia and it can happen in other countries as well (Lep, 2000).
The state should find a way of boosting the morale of its natives in helping the immigrants cope with the new world, as is the case with other cognitive states. The natives should be made aware that the immigrants would not be out to interfere with the traditions, culture, and habits of the natives. As such they (natives) should warmly welcome the immigrants to the new environment. In so doing the natives will be spreading and painting their country positively. On the other hand, tourism attraction will increase and in the process, the natives will enable their country to earn more foreign exchange, and the economy of the country will grow rapidly (Sterm, 1994).
Culture shock is a term used to describe the anxiety that’s experienced by almost everyone who relocates to another culture for an extended period. Learning to cope with confusion with the language, frustration with different ways of doing things, isolation from your friends and family, and homesickness is a part of adapting to a new culture.
In the same sense, this phenomenon called acculturation should always be taken seriously by everybody for it is to be always successful (Pilkington, 2002).
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