[Thoughts on the Table – 70] Define Culture Shock – Diana Zahuranec’s Take on Relocating and Moving Back

Diana Zahuranec

Diana Zahuranec is back on the show to join the conversation on culture shock – whether it’s associated with relocating, and whether it can also occur when going back. During the episode, Diana shares her experience following her six-year relocation to Italy and her subsequent return to the United States. She also analyzes the life in New York City, where she is now based, in contrast with suburban living in the USA, and in surprising accordance with the Italian lifestyle she was used to in Turin.

This episode’s discussion refers to Diana’s article titled There and Back Again: The transition from Italy back to the USA.

Diana blogs at dianazahuranec.com and can also be found on Twitter @zrdiana as well as on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Diana and I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! What is your definition of culture shock? Have you experienced it? Was it associated with a relocation? Please add your comments 🙂

Paolo Rigiroli

Author: Paolo Rigiroli

Now based in the UK, Paolo is an Italian who lived in Canada for nearly 18 years and blogs about Italian food and its many aberrations.

8 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 70] Define Culture Shock – Diana Zahuranec’s Take on Relocating and Moving Back”

  1. Comment about “define culture shock”: the same happened to me when I won a fellowship and spent a year between New York and Boston! But Diana doesn’t say where she spent her months in Italy ??: there is a big difference between a city like Milan and a small town like Sperlonga…In Italy food is absolutely far far better and people really care for you. In USA ?? ( great and vibrating country!!) food has the same taste everywhere: tomatoes ? big like oranges ? and with no taste,artificial sauces everywhere, etc.

    1. Hi Anna, thanks for your comment! Diana was based in Turin, we gave it for granted in the episode since Diana is a returning guest and we spoke about Turin many times before. Very true what you say 🙂

    2. Hi Anna! Thanks for listening. I miss the year-round great tomatoes and oranges in Italy, I’ve gotta admit…though with trying all the international foods here, I almost forget! 🙂 I found Turin to somehow have characteristics of both a bigger city and a small town.

  2. Hi Paolo and Diana, I was particularly fascinated by the politeness vs. rudeness discussion. I have found that pretty much anywhere I have been in the US and in Italy (and France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, etc…), that people are very kind as long as you approach them in their own cultural manner. Eye contact is not the norm in Europe, so trying to catch someone’s eye and smile seems odd to them. And it made me think of cultural differences we have in the US – the Northeast vs. the Southeast vs. the West Coast. It is all so different! I like to keep my eyes open, watch how the locals act and respond, and then try to assimilate as much as possible. Thanks for a fun discussion about culture shock!

    1. Ciao David, thanks for your comment! I agree — it’s important to try to assimilate and not judge. The Torinesi are certainly a friendly and kind people. The rudeness I experienced was like a superficial trait, to be sure, and noticeable to me because it was in comparison to the overt friendliness (which yes, can seem fake, on the flip side) that I’ve found elsewhere.
      Glad you enjoyed listening!

      1. Ah, yes – the fake friendliness! That is something I find fascinating. The “we must get together” that really means “please don’t even think of calling me…” 🙂 Thanks again for a great conversation, Diana!

    2. Hi David, very interesting observation – I honestly never noticed that eye contact is not the norm in Europe, but I can see what you mean and agree with you. We found a bit of that in Vancouver, actually (not the friendliest city in Canada). The worst for us was when we smiled at a dog owner, and they ignored us. We thought that walking a cute dog was a way to make friends!

      1. That is what I thought about cute dogs, too, Paolo! I didn’t know that Vancouver wasn’t considered friendly. So sad, really. One of the nicest things we found when we moved to Tucson – and something we never expected – was how incredibly nice (and to Diana’s point) sincere people are here.

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