Understanding Intercultural Transition

Understanding intercultural transition, we must first know the cultural transition. A cultural transition refers to a particular place in which people, cultures, influential and adaption towards to environment have been shifted back and forth from time to time. ( ChaCha 2012 ) Besides that, we have to identify the types of migrant group. The examples of migrant groups are voluntary migrants, where people choose to move to another county by will and it is optional. Sojourners are those travelers who move into a new cultural area for a limited period of time and for a specific purpose.

They have freedom and means to travel. This includes business, missionaries and studies. As for involuntary, where they were forced to moved to another country. Next, to understand about intercultural transitions we have to know what cultural shock is. The definition of it is the trauma a person experience when you move into a culture where is different from your home culture. For this particular case study, I’ve interviewed a few foreigners who came from abroad to further their studies here in Malaysia, The first question being asked was “What is their biggest challenge living in Malaysia? A few bunch of Korean boys answered that he felt a distance between us because of the language we speak. They said they can’t understand our mother tongue and find difficulties communicating with the students and their respective lecturers. They had a hard time to deal with come in form of the language barrier. In addition, they find it hard to adapt to the hot, dry and humid weather in Malaysia. Thus, the biggest cultural shock in hurdle to overcome will also be dealing with people that comes from a different culture and with the range of choice available from a day-to-day basis.

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Although Malaysia does not only have one official state religion, more than half of Malaysian population practices Islam. They specifically said that it made an impact in their daily life, sometimes in ways such as hearing pre-dawn call to prayer at the mosque. The Korean girls had experience stares and discrimination from a group of Malaysian when they wear slightly revealing clothing. They also mention they miss home and they admitted that they couldn’t get use with the food we usually eat. Students from Indonesia, Shenntyara Yusuf Mirtha(19) was one of the participants in the process.

To her one of the greatest challenges when first moving to Malaysia was the unfriendliness of local Malaysians towards foreign students, especially in her case towards Indonesians. This made adjusting to the new environment harder; luckily she said she found friends from the same cultural backgrounds with her. Similar interests came up and she eventually was well adjusted to her life in Malaysia. The next question was to ask them to identify variables to help them ease the adjustment process.

As for the Koreans, Iranians, Indonesians and students from China, they had the same answer for this respective question. They said, they could definitely find it easier to adapt and to feel more comfortable if the people could accept them and not outcast them. Finding friends who can click with them would definitely make ease the adjustment process living in Malaysia. Shenntyara simply answered “Malaysian should make an effort to be friendlier towards; it helps when you feel welcomed by the people around you. Shinjisugawara from Japan, claims that Malaysian curse and speaks loudly and he was in shock.

He said that the Japanese had their formal and informal way of speaking and for the Malaysian, we somehow just utter words and curse when we don’t get the way we wants it. The third question was to suggest behaviours in the Malaysia can adopt that could help to ease their adjustment process to those who live here. Many of them suggested that Malaysian should be friendlier and be more open-minded to different cultures. Thus, they also think we should understand that they are new to our culture and should guide them. Victor who is from Indonesia, said that Malaysian should learn to accept the foreigners and to not judge.

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