Reading Comprehension | Culture Shock Experiences

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about some culture shock experiences and do the comprehension questions

Culture shock

Culture shock experiences: eating with hands

Culture shock can be a daunting experience. It might cause depressive and anxious symptoms, but it might also be an enriching experience as it allows you to become aware of how diverse are the cultures of the world and as a result leads one to develop tolerance towards the differences between the different countries. Besides, culture shock provides you with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of your own cultural awareness, standing back from yourself and becoming aware of your own cultural, values, beliefs and perceptions.

Culture shock experiences

The following are examples of culture shock experiences, reported by travelers around the world.

Eating with my hands in India

"I’m the kind of person who eats a pizza and sometimes even a sandwich with cutlery. So, using nothing more than my fingers and some chapati to eat curry took some getting used to."

Not Speaking the Japanese language

"I didn't speak any Japanese. I took some lessons at my exchange university and picked up a few basic phrases, but with a completely different alphabet, it can be tricky to get around places and buy items. Japan is quite rare in that hardly anybody actually speaks any English, so a lot of interpretive sign language was required."

Kevin Seidler

Not knowing about the amazing advantages of the product return policy in the USA

"None of my friends back in India believed me when I told them that you can literally buy anything, including food, and return it within ninety days for a full refund even if you don't have a specific reason for doing so. Most stores actually have a 'Buyer's Remorse' category under Reason for Return options while returning the product."

Aniruddh Chaturvedi

Not knowing about 'small talk' in the UK

"You would think that Poland (the country that I’m from) and the UK shouldn’t be very different when it comes to the culture, I couldn’t be more wrong. Where do I start? For example –“small talk”. It just doesn't exist in Poland. We do not talk to strangers and ask them what they have for dinner. Why would you even want to know that? I remember how surprised I was, when whilst shopping, I was approached by the shop assistant and asked about my personal life and plans for the evening."



  1. Jo Fitzsimons had a problem eating with her hands in India.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. Kevin didn't learn any Japanese.
    a. True
    b. False
  3. In the USA, you can return a bought product for no specific reason.
    a. True
    b. False
  4. Polish people tolerate small talk.
    a. True
    b. False.

Related Pages