Living in a new culture (cultural differences)

This may sound strange, but I didn’t feel any particular cultural differences in Japan. I think that it was due to the fact that I have been interested in Japanese culture for many years, that is, for me this society turned out to be quite familiar. All the typical Japanese national characteristics, such as diligence, punctuality and courtesy close to me and I appreciate them in others.

In my opinion, the feature that distinguishes strongly the Japanese from many other European nations is politeness, which manifests itself in everything. People are always ready to help, think about others, try not to create inconveniences and so on. We can notice it in everyday life (university, dormitory) in contact with other people, and the service sector, where you will always be served politely, quickly and qualitatively.

Also, Japanese society is characterized by a clearly expressed sense of belonging to a particular social group (work collective, family, student group), which is also expressed in special relationships within the group. In Japan, great importance is attached to the notion of “duty” and “obligation”. Although this is a common social norm for the behavior of the Japanese, in some cases, for example in relations among young people, this concept is simpler.

I would also like to note a special attitude towards religion, which occupies an important place in Japan. Regardless of age, each person visits temples and sanctuaries not only on holidays, but also on usual weekdays. In the same time, in the mornings we can often see how people perform small action at sanctuaries, which is located in dormitory districts of the city.

There is lots of temples in Kyoto
There is lots of temples in Kyoto

I can also add traditional clothes to the everyday life in Japan. On the streets you can often meet girls in kimonos and young men in hakama. Most often these outfits are worn to make beautiful photos during the cherry blossom or to go to the festival. Such traditions create an even greater immersion in Japanese culture.

Also magnificent reflection of the Japanese culture is its original writing, consisting of three systems (hiragana, katakana and kanji), which I am now trying to master. For me, this is also an important part of cultural differences, because through language we can truly learn another’s culture.

In conclusion, I would like to note that Japan is a unique country with unique traditions and features, even in small things (for example, using sticks, traditional architecture, language, etc.). People here have a lot of features that we also should cultivate. So I continue to study this country, learn new about its culture and immerse in it.

I hope my blog also helps someone in this ヽ(・∀・)ノ