Life in the Far East is quite different than in the western part of the world. There are many factors that play into these differences. Due to many eastern countries manufacturing much of the goods from the western world, some employers are finding it necessary to ask some of their employees to consider moving to an eastern country. However, it can be quite a shock for a westerner to move to a Far East country because the culture is so different…
The expression “Far East” became popular during the period of the British Empire before World War I. Far Eastern countries are those that are the farthest of the three “easts,” past the Near East and the Middle East. Other expressions that are used to describe this area of the world are East Asia and the Orient. Countries included in the Far East include China, Japan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, South Korea, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Far East Russia, among other countries.
Culturally, the Far East is a culturally exotic area of the world. It is very removed from the Western World and thus, has a world of its own. People who move to the Far East are often shocked at the difference in lifestyle, mannerism and culture. It’s not often an easy move for those brought up in a Western culture and can be very frustrating at times.
Of course, with any move, one can expect basic changes of climate, language and local customs. The better you are educated about these things ahead of time, the better you will be. Because there are so many different countries in the Far East, you will find a variety of governments, population, landscapes and language.
One thing that you may be surprised to find is the way that far eastern people live. They live by a totally different set of values and therefore, the manners, customs and ethics that a western person is used to will not necessarily be honored. In fact, it’s best to expect nothing to be the same when moving to the Far East.
Most families in the far eastern region of the world are a very strong unit. The children show great respect to their parents and grandparents. They have their share of problems, as others do, but when they need help of any kind, they generally turn to family. They also show great respect for the dead, having special celebrations and ceremonies once a year to remember the deceased.
Although you may see pictures of far eastern young people dressing in faddish type clothing, their sense of morals regarding love and marriage are still quite old fashioned. People often get the idea that because of their sense of style, they are permissive as many of the western countries, but it simply is not true. They expect to finish school, get married, have children, and maintain a close relationship with their families.
People in the Far East tend to be very hard workers, especially in China. They are not afraid of work, and although they do not make much money, they are thankful that they have a job. They are very proud of their jobs and will do very simple, tedious jobs without complaint. In China, students begin their school day at 7 AM and finish their last class at 9:30 PM. They often also attend classes on Saturdays and Sundays also, without complaint. They know that when they get older and need a job, their education may make all the difference. There is also a sense of wanting to be better off than their parents are, so they do not mind making the necessary sacrifices.
The most helpful thing to remember when moving to the Far East is to be flexible. There is much to be learned in the far eastern countries, especially if you have been raised in the western world. It is unlikely that you will be able to completely master the language before arriving, so being confident enough to muddle your way through is important. Having a resilient personality and enjoying adventure can both help you be successful in Eastern Asia.
It’s not unusual for people to experience some culture shock when coming to the Far East because of the many differences. There are various stages that one goes through when moving. Again, allow yourself time and try to remember that these feelings will pass.
Even though there are many differences, you will find your move to the Far East one of excitement and awe. The culture, history and lifestyles are different from what you may have known; you will find the people to be shy, but friendly and accommodating. They will likely find you, a foreigner, most interesting, but they will accept you and be your friend if you will continue to make the effort and be friendly.