“The Stranger” Reflection


In “The Stranger,” Schütz also describes the ways in which people become familiar with new places and communities. This is often a disorienting experience, and strangers do not have a clear map to guide them through it. Think of a time when you have been a stranger learning about a new community. How did you adapt to this situation?


Being a travelling enthusiast, I have been to several different places. The places I went to were always different from the place I was raised, so it is normal to see that many cultural barriers between the locals and me present. For example, greeting with a nod with each other is one unquestioned greeting manner in Japan. When I went to Japan for the first time, the nodding greeting is strange to me, as people seldom nod to each other in my country; but after several days I finally got used to it and began nodding to others too, because I was surrounded by the local atmosphere which all citizens are accustomed to their nodding tradition. To me, following the local traditions not only shows a sign of respect to the local culture, but also provides stranger with a tacit consent to be accepted by the locals and thus a sense of belonging in a foreign land.

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