strawdogs

and now for my next trick

third culture

with 2 comments

You are third culture when you grow up between worlds.  In my case between India, my birthplace, and Canada, my parents home.  You identify strongly with both but are not really from either one. 

Here is an article by Ruth Van Reken on how Obama’s new cabinet is heavily represented by third culture kids.  From the article:

According to a body of sociological literature devoted to children who spend a portion of their developmental years outside their “passport country,” the classic  profile of a “TCK” is someone with a global perspective who is socially adaptable and intellectually flexible. He or she is quick to think outside the box and can appreciate and reconcile different points of view.  Beyond whatever diversity in background or appearance a TCK may bring to the party, there is a diversity of thought as well.

But TCKs can also feel rootless and detached. The great challenge for maturing Third Culture Kids is to forge a sense of personal and cultural identity from the various environments to which they been exposed.

A personal note:  I taught a class in Bombay this summer, a group of 20+ American students in the maximum city.  Each day brought examples of my ability to understand and mediate between the foreign and local cultures.  It’s inate, as described in the article here:

But we also despaired when his opponents denigrated the importance of Obama’s childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii. “How can they say his international childhood doesn’t count when it comes to foreign affairs?” sputtered my friend and colleague, Paulette Bethel. “That’s just crazy. Barack’s been negotiating between cultural worlds since the day of his birth. No one will have to teach him this skill. It’s already second nature to him!”

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Peter Rudd

February 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I totally agree with what you said about Barack’s been negotiating between cultural worlds since the day of his birth. No one will have to teach him this skill. It’s already second nature to him!”. TCKs have a pure perspective of the world beyond their passport country. Their views on other people are not measured on their passort country’s culture only but by other yard sticks from the many culters that they have been exposed to, and therefor their judgements of others is nomally fair.

    Betty

    March 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm

  2. well put – thanks. are you a TCK?

    peter rudd

    March 30, 2009 at 8:35 am


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