How I coped with the reverse culture shock when moving from the US to India
“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back” – Wendy Wunder
My explorations are no different from the many Indians living in different time zones across the globe, who hope to return to their hometowns someday.
There is a tipping point when the skyscrapers, the flashy life, the robotic routines, and the adrenaline rush doesn’t cut it for you any longer. Then moving back becomes an obsession and we look for avenues that will lead us back.
I found myself looking for every opportunity at the workplace that would lead me back to my hometown, Cochin. Our kids were ready to leave to college and my wife and I felt that our lives would be more meaningful back home. Our aging parents would be comforted too.
However, moving back to India is no child’s play. First, it gives you a reverse culture shock. Never give up because there’s more to follow. Connecting back with the place that you left behind may take a while, despite your occasional annual holidays.
How to handle moving back – where to start
Adapting to Indian life again was less hard a nut to crack than I thought would be. At least, it was better than adapting to the US culture when I moved out earlier. You will be fine, too. Give it some time, the alien in you will soon die. Kids if moving with you will adapt easier. Being more flexible and resilient, they are better at it than the adults. They will catch up with the culture faster than anyone else in your family. Our Indian families are big on festivities and culture. That’s a good point to start. Attend those glorious, colorful functions, reconnect with your family and relatives. Count big on them.
Making new friends and reconnecting with your old friends
When you are just back you may feel a little lost in time when it comes to friendships that you had before you left. Look for opportunities to interact in the communities that you stay, schools that your kids study in and be a part of your new office circles too. There are plenty of interest groups that you could choose to be a part of which will be an opportunity to meet new and interesting people.
Count your blessings
There are several wonderful things that India can offer that no other place can and you have had a taste of it before. Amongst them, the cultural mega diversity, the delectable cuisine and not to miss the welcome blessing of help at hand for all your domestic chores. They really do make our lives very comfortable.
Dwell on the sounds and sights of India
If you are an Indian at heart, you will love finding the flower lady at the corner of the bustling street, the chips-wala frying away the crisps, the tiffin stalls serving piping hot chai and idlis, and the shopping gullies where bargaining is the norm. Enjoy the Indian summers and the rains. The seasons bring with them the king of fruits – the mangoes and the sounds and sights you can experience only in India. Use your weekends to explore the weekend getaways close to you.
To summarize, moving back to India could just be the best thing that has happened to your family. Thanks, Globe Moving! Savor the journey down memory lane and look forward to the new memories to be made.
Suresh Kumar, Globe Moving Customer
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