Culture hides more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.
Edward T. Hall
How to fit in Maynooth: Cultural and Social Shocks
Embracing diverse cultures and exploring social differences can be an eye-opening experience, especially when comparing two unique destinations like Ireland and Mozambique. In this blog post, we will delve into some of the intriguing cultural and social differences that I encountered during my time at Maynooth campus in Ireland.
One of the most noticeable differences is the weather. Coming from Mozambique’s tropical region, where the heat is intense, it was a refreshing to experience the cooler and rainy climate in Maynooth. Ireland’s temperate climate offers a pleasant change, with lush green landscapes and a distinct charm. While in Mozambique people enjoy spending hours outside, engaging in lively conversations, relishing a variety of fresh fruits on the beach or under a big tree. The weather greatly influences these cultural practices.
One aspect that caught me off guard was the cultural discrepancy in social greetings. In Mozambique, it is customary to greet everyone you come across, and it’s considered offensive not to. In Ireland, however, I learned that some people prefer to keep to themselves or simply smile, rather than actively engage in conversation but are very kind when you need assistance. This social etiquette was a significant adjustment for me, as I come from a background where striking up a conversation with anyone about any topic is a norm.
Another intriguing difference was the shopping culture. Back home in Mozambique, we have bustling open markets where locals can purchase a wide variety of goods, from fresh produce to clothing. However, in Maynooth, I was introduced to a different shopping experience. Supermarkets became my go-to place for everyday essentials, including fresh fruits and vegetables. It was interesting to observe how the concept of shopping differs between the two cultures, reflecting distinct approaches to commerce and convenience.
As a world citizen I think that having a multicultural environment like Maynooth campus with a variety of nationalities provides a unique opportunity to learn, appreciate, and adapt to cultural and social differences .Exploring these differences can foster cultural exchange and open our minds to new perspectives, ultimately enriching our lives.