A serious culture shock


Pay-TV broadcaster M-Net wants to take South Africans out of their comfort zone and show them how a€˜the other half’ lives. Culture Shock, starting February 2007, attempts to change participants’ perceptions of their lives, and the lives of the rest of South Africa by helping them experience each others’ cultures, from the inside.

Culture Shock sees families from two different cultures swapping homes and lives for two weeks. Two families of a minimum of four members each will be selected for each of the six episodes. One parent and one child from each family will swap places for the two-week period, experiencing each other’s cultures and realities. The show not only follows the drama from a third party perspective but also has constant in-depth and personal interviews with the participants about their thoughts and feelings.

Carl Fischer, Head of M-Net Original Productions, says that the show will not be seeking to pit stereotypes against each other, but rather to illustrate the diversity of cultures in South Africa. “Culture Shock is not about winning, it’s not about prize money and it’s not about fame – but rather about the participants having fun. It is about understanding themselves and their fellow South Africans better, and providing some answers to all those urban and rural cultural legends,” he says. “For viewers and contestants alike, Culture Shock could change how you see people, how you understand people and provide some insight into the South African psyche.”

The families may not see the other members of their family for the duration of the two-week period, and cell phones are banned. Swapped participants may only use facilities, shops, transport, money, help, modes of communication etc. that their hosts would use.

For entry details vist www.mnet.co.za.


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