Theme of Culture Shock in the movie Outsourced

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Intercultural communication is a global phenomenon in the world due to technological advancement. Intercultural communication can be said to be a cultural interaction which communities have a shared interaction. Culture shock can be defined as the challenges that people face when they go to other countries or other parts of the globe. Many people have been able to travel to other parts of the world. Many people have been able to visit other countries or parts of the globe for different purposes like working, studying and leisure.

Communication between people has been made easier and faster through technological advancement. Many people consider those people who have managed to travel to other parts of the world as being lucky but that are not the case. People who travel to other parts of the globe are usually faced with cultural shock. Adaptation to a new culture is usually not a very easy thing. The food, religion and how they generally conduct themselves may prove to be a hard thing.

In the movie Outsourced, the director John Jeffcoat shows a wide range of cultural shock that the main Actor Todd Anderson faces when he moves to work in India. Todd Anderson faces a lot of culture shocks as he works in India as outsourced personnel from the United States (Blake, 2018). Outsourced is a comedy and a romantic movie which was released in the year 2006. The movie was a great movie that attracted a lot of awards in the following number of years. The movie was awarded numerous awards both in America and Asia for it being exciting and having a romantic touch.

The main actor Todd Anderson is not happy when his boss informs him that he has to go and work in India when the department he is working on is outsourced to work in India. Todd tries to resist the change but he is informed that he would lose his stock option which gives him no option but to accept the change. In India, he is faced with the challenge of making the Employees of Gharapuri to adapt and understand the American customer’s expectation (Seitz, 2018). Todd implements a reward system which motivates the employee of that organization to work and improve the customer service expectation.

Todd tries to adapt to the new culture of Indian people which seemed awkard at first for him. Todd manages to attend and experience the festival of Holi. In the movie, Todd is faced by many cultural shocks. He is faced by the culture shock of food. There are different types of food that are consumed by people in different countries. Each culture has a way that they like a certain food to be prepared in a certain way. If a food is prepared in another way, a user may refuse to take the food which may be considered to be rude and disrespectful. Food is essential for every day as food is life.

In the movie, Todd feels aggravated with the Indian food. Todd is a guy who does not like much sugar to be put in his cup tea. When Todd visited Ji’s at her home, he refused the servant who is working there to serve him a lot of sugar in his tea (Wayne, 2018). In Indian culture, it’s normal for a cup of tea to have much sugar. Having much sugar in a cup of tea is not a comfortable thing in American culture. Todd also sees an advert in a newspaper that shows there is Mac Donnells, he visited the Mac Donnells place expecting to find the same type of food that is sold back at home in Mac Donnells.

Todd orders cheeseburger with beef. To his adamant shock, he is served a burger with vegetables. In India, they do not consume beef because cows are considered to be sacred. This really frustrates Todd as he is not accustomed to the India culture (Blake, 2018). Another instance, is when Todd is given “massala” an Indian drink to take he is shocked by the weird taste. This shock is shown by the expression he makes on his face. Every culture has its own tradition that it tries to uphold and maintain. The tradition is part of a heritage that the people of that culture are usually proud to uphold and pass it from one generation to the next. Individuals who visit other countries and experience new culture may get culture shock (Wayne, 2018).

In the Outsourced movie, Todd feels that an arranged marriage is not a good thing. The Indian people are accustomed to a planned marriage where a man wife is being searched for by the family. Dating and getting to know somebody is an alien thing in the Indian culture. The family looks for a wife or husband on someone behalf then they are married off with the consent of the family. In the American culture, for one to get married, they have to date and court each other. The dating and courting process makes people bond and gets to know each other better. This process is alien in the Indian culture. Todd gets shocks when he learns that Asha was engaged to a man when she was just barely four years old.

Another culture shock that Todd get is when is shirt is smeared with colored powder. This is usually a ritual in the Indian culture where they celebrate a holy festival (Seitz, 2018). At first, Todd is adamant to be smeared with the paint but he eventually gives in and he joins in the celebration. Todd equates this celebration to the Halloween back in the United States. Language is a key element in a culture. When one goes to another country, they may be faced with the issues and challenge of having a change in accent and correct pronunciation.

In the movie Outsourced, Todd name is mispronounced by a pickup driver as “Mr. Toad” This makes Todd miss the ride and he is forced to take another taxi to go to the station. This frustrates Todd and he gets a culture shock (Seitz, 2018). Every culture has different lifestyles with which their people are accustomed to it. In the movie Outsourced, Todd gets shocked when he learned that he cannot eat his food with the left hand. In the Indian culture, left hand is usually considered to be an unholy hand which should not be used to eat or take any food.

In American culture, someone can use any hand they like to take food. This culture shock frustrates Todd and makes him uncomfortable to take his food. Todd is also shocked when he visits the toilet and he is not able to find tissues paper. The Indian people usually use their left hand to make hygiene after using the toilet. This habit makes Todd be frustrated and embarrassed as he is not accustomed to this type of behavior. Another cultural instance is when Todd sees cows roaming freely on the streets. In India, cows are usually considered sacred and holy. This makes the Indian people be friendly to the cows.

In the United States, there is no animal that roams freely in a public area (Blake, 2018).This makes Todd to be shocked when he sees cows roaming freely. Todd thinks that the cows are smelly and dirty and they should not be allowed to walk freely on the streets. If I were Todd, in order to be accustomed to the new culture, I would have tried to carry out research of the new place he would be staying. He should try to learn as much as possible about the Indian culture. I would also be an open-minded person who is willing to learn the new culture and ask questions where it’s necessary. I would also try to build a great friendship bond with people who are residing in that new locality.

In the movie, I dislike the way Todd was open-minded and ready to learn the Indian culture. Todd, he is just amused by the culture of Indians which he thinks it’s weird. Todd should have researched about the new area which he would move to and be ready to adapt to the new culture. From the movie Outsourced, we can draw the lesson that it is important for an individual to be able to study and research the culture of a new place if he or she is planning to travel. People should also be patient with the new culture and accept it as a way of life and try to adapt within it.


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Theme of Culture Shock in the movie Outsourced. (2021, Oct 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/theme-of-culture-shock-in-the-movie-outsourced/



How did Todd adjust to the new and strange environment outsourced?
Todd felt very lost in the new environment. It was very different from what he was used to.
What are the challenges or culture shock that Todd experience in India?
Todd waschallenged by the poverty and pollution he saw in India. He was also shocked by the caste system and the treatment of women.
What does India stand for in the movie outsourced?
India stands for a lot of things in the movie Outsourced. It stands for a new place for Todd to start his life, it stands for a place full of culture and color, and it ultimately stands for a place that Todd comes to call home.
What is the theme of outsourced?
Film addresses the conflict and romance that can arise when U.S. and Indian cultures collide . The movie "Outsourced" focuses on the cultural differences a U.S.-based manager faces when he loses his job and must train his replacement at an India offshore location.
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