Stefano’s Stuffs

Paris Syndrome

From Wikipedia:

Paris syndrome (French: syndrôme de Paris) is a constellation of symptoms primarily affecting mood which affects visitors working and vacationing in Paris, France. Japanese visitors are observed to be especially susceptible. First noted in the French Nervure journal of psychiatry by A. Viala, et al. in 2004, it is classified as a form of Stendhal syndrome (French: Syndrome du voyageur). From the estimated six million yearly visitors the number of reported cases is significant.

The authors of the journal cite the following matters as factors that combine to induce the phenomenon:

  1. Language barrier – few Japanese speak French and vice versa. This is believed to be the principal difficulty and is thought to engender the remainder. Apart from the obvious differences between French and Japanese many everyday phrases and idioms are shorn of meaning and substance when translated adding to the confusion of some who haven’t previously encountered such.
  2. Cultural difference – the authors state that the large difference between not only the languages but the manner in which Latin populations communicate on an interpersonal level in comparison to the rigidly formal Japanese culture proves too great a difficultly for some Japanese visitors. It is thought that it is the rapid and frequent fluctuations in mood, tense and attitude especially in the delivery of humour that cause the most difficulty.
  3. Idealized image of Paris – it is also speculated as manifesting from an individual’s inability to reconcile a disparity between the Japanese popular image and the reality of Paris.
  4. Exhaustion – finally, it is thought that the over-booking of one’s time and energy, whether on a business trip or on holiday, in attempting to cram too much into every moment of a stay in Paris along with the effects of jet-lag all contribute to the psychological destabilisation of some.

This is interesting, even my japanese wife knows it and spoke to me about this disease, that hits especially japanese mature men and women at their first European trip…The idealized image of Paris (or Rome, for example), a city where everyone is well dressed, drink noble wines, speak perfect french (or italian) and so on is soon destroyed by the real face of a normal big dirty metropolis, with homelesses, garbage, thiefs and other stuffs. As I often tell to other people, Japan is a true Disneyland where everything works flawlessly like an Ubuntu server;-), at least for tourists (don’t think about foreigner permanent residents or people who knows japanese society); I can easily understand why a japanese who has no experience about “The World” could remain shocked about any other places than Japan…And it sounds so strange for me in the 21st century…I remember that the first thing my wife (who had at least some experience about trip all over the world) told me at our local italian train station: “Why there’s a column on the board dedicated to the delay of the train???Does the train really delay sometimes?”:-))

But remember: “Paris (or Rome, London, Budapest, Prague and so on) c’est toujour Paris!” and I love this city!


October 18, 2008 - Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , , ,

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