Homesickness for Turkish Expats
Living in a European country brings a lot of opportunities including economic, educational, and social advantages. These drive Turkish people to live in a European country. However, they may face a common problem for many; homesickness. In this article, I mention the way Turkish expats have homesickness and the strategies to cope with that problem.
Photo by Paola Chaaya on UnsplashWhat is Homesickness?
“Homesickness is the feeling of emotional distress when you’re away from home and in a new and unfamiliar environment. The feeling is negative as you can understand.” Let’s look deeply when the intense homesickness is present;
Feelings of sadness, anxiety, disturbed sleeping patterns, feeling isolated and alone, low self-esteem, and lack of appetite.
As it can be understood, it is familiar to depression and anxiety, but it is neither depression nor anxiety. It is homesickness therapy. It is as normal as breathing and feeling hungry. These are the symptoms. I will explain the situation for especially Turkish expats living in Europe.
Photo by Anna Berdnik on UnsplashWhy Turkish People feel homesickness and How to Overcome These?
Turkish society has a collectivistic culture. That means they eat together, feel together, think together, care the others’ opinions at every time, and have deeper social interactions. However, they may not find the same deeper interactions in Europe. This may result in some difficulties for them to adapt to culture. I mention two areas they face difficulties in adaptation.
1. Daily routines: Daily routines make people feel safe because people foresee the future. People know the places, and the activities, they know what the next activity is. However, when they are outside the home environment, they can’t continue their daily routine as it was in the past. People need to make changes in these routines. Thus, “change” can make human beings anxious, because people don’t know the future. There is uncertainty.
These words are addressed to Turkish expats;
Let’s say your routine is going to some places with your friends. You get used to a lot of deeper social interaction in those activities in Turkey. You may not do it in Europe as you want at the same style. But is this the end?
No, of course. You, as a Turkish expat, may get used to socializing a lot with your friends and get used to know each other with every detail. However, you can still socialize in Europe, but at this time it may have some borders. Different people in different European countries may have some borders in social interaction. It may be a long or short border according to the individualistic culture, personal differences, etc. You can socialize by being aware of this fact, so you can optimize your expectations in social interactions. When your expectations are real, you can start and grow your social interaction as you want.
Photo by RODRIGO GONZALEZ on Unsplash2. Cultural Values: Turkish people have strong belonging to religious values and cultural organizations. They go to the mosque every Friday together. They go to visit relatives and friends on special days. They may feel alone in Europe because people get used to doing those actions together. They may not find a similar environment in Europe. They may feel distant to those values when they live in Europe. That may also result in feelings of loneliness. But is there any way to deal with feelings of loneliness?
Exactly. There are too many Turkish people in Europe. They have also come together on special days. New Turkish expats can search and find places for these activities and get enrolled in them. Don’t forget. You, as a Turkish expat, may still feel loneliness, but it may lessen. Give time for you to get used to people and different activities there. Then you can also get involved in European activities. You can search for it and try to adapt to their environment. Don’t worry all you get is knowing new people and new culture. Don’t get into a hurry. You have time to adapt. Know your way and go with small steps. You will feel at home at the end.
I write about common psychological problems Turkish people face in Europe. If you are a Turkish expat, living in Europe, follow me for more articles.
Expathy is a mobile application that is the bridge between psychology professionals and expats. By Expathy, expats can get online counseling as live one-to-one video call in a reliable mobile platform. They make it at an affordable price. Download the app and start your psychological developmental journey.
Homesickness for Turkish Expats