The Paris Syndrome

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While reading a blog from last week about a student of ours who had come to America after living in their native land for years to notice how we have ways of doing things that may seem normal to us but are not common practice in the rest of the world I was interested about that and while reading up on the topic I came across an article on the Paris Syndrome. Basically this is a mental disorder that has been found to be exclusive to Japanese tourists in Paris when they come to find out their perfect view they have of the city portrayed in movies is false when they are confronted with its hustle and bustle and rude people they may encounter. It is common for the culture because they come from a strong background of respecting authority figures to respect others even if in a case of severe disagreement as was mentioned in the book and lecture which leads to a build up of frustration and anger and this can lead to a mental breakdown. The Japanese embassy there has a hotline just for this case apparently. Anyways it struck me as interesting so I figured I'd share it with


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This is a very interesting post. I understand how it could be a shock and could somewhat ruin your vacation if the people are rude, but the fact that there is a hotline seems like a little bit too much. It would be interesting to learn more about this, and how other cultures who highly respect authority figures cope with being in Paris or other European cities.

This is very interesting, but i wonder why it only happens to Japanese people. When I went to Paris for the first time, I was disappointed by the rude workers and annoying tourists in the high profile areas also, but I didn't become very frustrated at all. Also, I wonder if it is only for Paris, France. There are a lot of cities around the world that you dream of going to as a child and build up huge, unrealistic ideas about. Can people also suffer a mental breakdown from being disappointed by a city such as Rome, Italy?

This is an interesting concept. My parents had gone to Paris when they were much younger on business. They were at a restaurant, in nice apparel, having a drink with the company. The waiter came up to the table, looked the table up and down, scoffed, "Americans," and then brought back a menu with only pictures present. It shocked the waiter when every one at the table had spoken their order to the waiter in nearly perfect French. He spent the dinner refilling the wine glasses and smiling to the table. I guess he had realized he had made a mistake and not everyone deserves to experience Paris Syndrome.

I have been to France and Paris a few times before and I think this is just part of the French culture. More so in Paris then other cities. They don't really like tourists or people who aren't like them and they aren't shy so they will make sure you know about it. It's just how they are and it takes some time to adjust to when you take a trip there.

I think that this has to do with people having certain expectations for places, and the disappointment when the places aren't what they're expected to be. What I wonder however, is if people experience this in cities other than Paris.

I think the Paris Syndrome is a form of culture shock. A big city like Paris, in reality, is not going to be as friendly and love-filled as it seems to be in movies. I find it kind of odd that this kind of experience and reaction would be classified as a mental disorder specific to Japanese tourists. I think that other tourists from other countries may also not find Paris to be how they imagined it, but that's just reality and I don't think it should be something that makes someone depressed.

I think this post is very interesting. I personally have never heard of the Paris Syndrome but it makes sense that it would come to a shock to people from such a respectful culture to experience such rudeness.

I guess when our ideals clash with reality, the effects can be jarring.

The Japanese are a very interesting people with an interesting culture. In Japan, you cannot be too polite. I translated some Japanese text today (with google translate!) and found 2 "thank you"s in the same sentence, and then a thank you in the next sentence as well. I think they go to Paris with false expectations that they'd not have when going to, say, Minneapolis.

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This page contains a single entry by mcle0228 published on April 8, 2012 9:08 PM.

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