Paris the place where the dream of the millions to set foot, the capital of fashion, is where you need to land to gaze prominent museums and iconic artworks. Eiffel tower, the cruises for a romantic dinner often come to the mind of the tourists. Louvre Museum, Pantheon, Notre Dame Cathedral, Palace of Versailles, and a plethora of other attractions give goosebumps to anyone who dreams of spending a few days in Paris. But do you know the enticing city of Paris can threaten a few? And this is known as Paris syndrome
Can Paris make one sick?
Yes, Paris is capable of making a few people sick. Not physically, but mentally. The negative side of Paris overshadows its beauty and elegance. The City of Lights leads to distress in a few of its tourists resulting in anxiety, increased heartbeat, hallucinations, dizziness, aggressive behavior, and panic attacks. This condition is called Paris Syndrome. It is shocking information that the city can lead to this condition, and get to know more about it.
Who is affected by Paris Syndrome?
Thankfully, only a small percentage of travelers are affected by this condition. However, the affected in severe cases are hospitalized. This is the reason why the condition calls for attention. A Japanese psychiatrist living in France was the first one to research Paris Syndrome. It is often, the Japanese travelers who are often victims, and in fact every year 20 Japanese travelers are affected by this condition.
What exactly leads to this condition? Surprisingly, it is the cultural shock in its extreme form that happens to be the reason. Across the world, Paris is imagined as a fairy tale city, and often overly imagined to be a city that is immaculate. The over-romanticizing of the city shocks the Japanese travelers to the core. Their collective imagination of the city is never the same in reality. French people, often do not respond amicably to the non-French speaking people. The metros and sidewalks in Paris are dirty, which is often common in places where tourists keep flocking. Japanese have a different lifestyle. The community gets the priority, whereas, in France, the individual is of high priority. This is a real turn-off for Japanese travelers. However, this is not the scenario with every Japanese traveler, and only 0.0012% of the Japanese travelers end up with Paris Syndrome.
When Hiroaki Ota researched the condition, he termed it Paris Syndrome in 1986. The condition on later research was found to be ‘a manifestation of psychopathology related to the voyage, rather than a syndrome of the traveler.’ The cultural shock about the plight of Paris and its streets can be called the reason, adding to the homesickness. A major reason is the manner of communication. Japanese are very formal and known for their hospitality. The informal communication of the French is one of the factors that bring about the condition. The language barrier adds to this. Another factor that can worsen the condition is exhaustion. Yes, the tired travelers worry more about the communication and are taken aback due to the condition of the Paris streets.
Why Paris syndrome is often connected with Japanese?
This condition often connected with the Japanese because the Japanese media portray Paris as heaven on earth and all perfect. The style and sophistication of Paris are imagined as seamless by Japanese travelers. Eiffel tower, café, and Louis Vuitton are what are shown in relation to Paris. Additionally, the citizens there are portrayed to be rich. Though it is not yet clear how a city like Paris can inflict such a condition, the truth is that many travelers from Japan suffer from Paris Syndrome. So, the Japanese embassy has a helpline round the clock for the nationals to get in touch, in case of any troubles.
How to overcome Paris Syndrome?
If your baggage is ready for Paris, and you have come across the term Paris Syndrome only now, then how would you tackle this? Here are a few tips to make your Paris tour memorable only in a positive way.
Accept the place as it is:
Any destination is never free of imperfections. While a place receives millions of people all around the year, it is never easy to maintain it in a clean manner. The over-romanticizing of the city should not bring the note that the city has no problems. It has its own problems and environmental concerns. These never make the place less enticing.
Understand the culture:
Every country is different in its culture and people. Try to read about them and gather information. It helps in enjoying the country and keeping you prepared to avoid any kind of cultural shock. The nation and its people exist for their own self, and not the tourists. So, you need to be clear about it.
There can be surprises:
When you have conceived an idea about a destination, and reach there, you might be surprised. It can be bad or good. Understanding this helps you to carry home better memories, and identify a new culture.