Sunday, 30 October 2011

Twitter update week 43: All about kids growing up in other cultures

9 Great tips Baby steps to biliteracy
start when the baby's in the womb

Thanks for the mention by "10 more tweeters all expats should follow"


Dutch third culture kid celebrating halloween in Beirut all about growing up globally!

I was on the great wall, sorry to have missed out on the toboggan! Sounds like fun read

Orchids, I love tropical flowers.
“Learning a 2nd language: I know my children will be thankful later on”  

Freshaliciously- Sunshine Soup by Jo Parfitt is the perfect book to read if you are an expat. Loved it!


Read this Children of expats may gain valuable advantage in global workforce arena
 

"Preparing Your Global Nomad for Transition to University" by

RT TCKs would you describe yourselves as rootless? Look forward to your thoughts on

Informative post: A Guide to relating with third culture kids, written by a TCK:

An unexpected culture shock on returning home (China) from overseas. Third culture kid Elizabeth tells her story http://bit.ly/nUoHxj

Wish I could attend 3 nov'11 20 pm free lecture on Third Culture People A New Cultural Reality in Athens

Interested in how a guidance counselor at an international school in China explains what third culture kids are?  

Have you heard of the new book for third culture kids? Slurping Soup & other Confusions

Interesting article The right to vote in the place you live...complicated!
 

Wisten jullie dat Mauro ook een third culture kid is? Net als ik, lees meer over TCKs
Wat zijn dat?

Leuk stukje over third culture kids Ken je Jutta König? Weet je wat TCKs zijn? Wereldburgers?

For more links see my twitter update week 38 all about kids growing up globally. Do you have any interesting links on this topic? Please let me know.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Libby Stephens explains what third culture kids are!


Libby Stephens explains in this short video what third culture kids are. Libby is a cross-cultural transition consultant. In short she knows lots about third culture kids and has been working with them for more than 25 years. Let's just say she's an expert on this topic.

In my last post A confession to make about the term third culture kids I already wrote about the definition.

Putting it simply. She explains what the 3 different cultures are.
  1. The first has to do with legality. What is your nationality? In my case that would be Dutch.
  2. The 2nd culture has to do with geography. In which countries have you lived in? I have lived in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands.
  3. The 3rd culture has to do with community. It is all about a group of people that have lived some of their growing up years internationally. So this is all about relationships. It's true I really feel at home in an international environment.
Have you seen the short trailer "Les Passagers" all about third culture kids by Aga Magdolen. It's really worth watching!
    Do you have any questions about what third culture kids are? Have you heard of the term before?

    Thursday, 27 October 2011

    A Confession to make about the term Third Culture Kids

    Well I have to admit that I have a confession to make. So listen all. I hope you have discovered that I am passionate about third culture kids and that I want more people to know what third culture kids are. I want you all to know why and how cross-cultural childhoods affect children and that cross-cultural childhoods do matter.

    For those who are new to this DrieCulturen blog. I want to let you know that it all started on the 12th of June 2011. As I write I want to let you know that the past 24 hours people from 8 different countries have visited this blog. You came from Germany, Singapore, India and Sweden for example. The blog is just over 4 months old and people from more than 50 countries of this globe have visited here. I am so glad you came and I really hope you found what you were looking for. In Indonesian they say "Selamat Datang" meaning Welcome!

    The most readers to date were from these countries. Here's my top 5:
    1. the Netherlands
    2. USA
    3. Belgium
    4. UK
    5. Canada
    Now the confession. When I started this blog I took the definition of third culture kids from wikipedia. Recently I discovered that experts like Ruth van Reken are not happy with this definition and actually think it is a little incorrect. This is the definition I found on wikipedia in June 2011.

    Wikipedia: 
    A third culture kid (TCK, 3CK) or trans-culture kid is "someone who, as a child, has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture." 

    To all the readers who have read the definition on my blog I want to say I am sorry that I had the wrong definition. The problem with the above definition is that it talks of integrating pieces of culture. Culture is not individualistic, it must be shared.

    The correct definition is the definition used in the book "Third Culture Kids, The Experience of Growing up Among Worlds" written by David Pollock and Ruth van Reken. So please forgive me for leading you astray. I will better my ways from today.

    “A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”

    While I am writing this blog post I have just discovered that wikipedia has recently changed the definition of a third culture kid. It is now a correct definition. In April 2011 Ruth van Reken wrote an article explaining what third culture kids really are.

    Dr. Ruth Useem a sociologist from Michigan state was the first to introduce the name third culture kids in the 1950's. Originally her definition was very simple "A third culture kid is a child who accompanies a parent into another culture".

    If you want to find more information about third culture kids visit TCKid.com
    DenizenMagazine is an online magazine dedicated to third culture kids and written by third culture kids. It's really worth a visit.

    Read my blog on: Third culture kids learning to be themselves and on cultural identity confusion and third culture kids. Well that's enough talk on definitions. I was really relieved to discover that I was a third culture kid. Relieved that there was not something wrong with me but that the feelings I experienced had to do with my cross-cultural childhood. What a relief that was, of course it does not explain everything but it gave me a good starting point from which to go forward. What are your thoughts on "third culture kids"? Are you one? How was it to discover that? Do you know one? Please share with us. Thanks.

    Sunday, 23 October 2011

    Ontdekken dat je een "Third Culture Kid" bent.

    Tegenwoordig zijn er steeds meer kinderen die opgroeien in andere culturen. Op mijn werk is er pas een collega vertrokken naar Australië met 3 kinderen. Een vriendin uit mijn studie tijd woont en werkt in Mexico met haar man en 3 kinderen. Andere bekenden zijn dit jaar vertrokken naar Peru met 4 kinderen. Het reizen gaat steeds makkelijker en door de mogelijkheden van internet lijken de internationale grenzen steeds meer te vervagen. Zelf ben ik geboren in Zambia en heb ik als kind in Malawi en Zimbabwe gewoond. Ik heb eerder al een blog geschreven: Waar kom je vandaan? Het gaat over mijn begin tijd hier in Nederland.

    Doordat wij steeds meer en makkelijker internationaal verhuizen ben ik van mening dat het aantal kinderen dat buiten zijn of haar eigen paspoort land opgroeit alleen maar zal toenemen. Deze groep kinderen hebben de naam third culture kids gekregen. Ze hebben een deel van hun ontwikkelingsjaren doorgebracht in een andere cultuur (dus meestal in één of meer landen). Ik heb nog geen goede Nederlandse vertaling voor het woord third culture kids gevonden. Ze worden wel eens derde-cultuur-kinderen genoemd maar persoonlijk vind ik dat geen mooie term.

    Laatst kwam ik een artikel tegen over de fases die je doormaakt bij het ontdekken dat je een third culture kid bent. Het spraak mij wel aan en ik zal het hier kort toelichten. Ik heb deze fases zelf ook doorgemaakt maar op dat moment had ik het zelf natuurlijk helemaal niet door. Meestal is het moment dat je ontdekt dat je een third culture kid bent ergens in je tienertijd of iets daarna.

    1. De fase voordat je iets over third culture kids weet, onwetendheid

    Ik heb veel fijne herinneringen aan deze tijd: kamperen in Zimbabwe, vuurtjes stoken tijdens het kamperen, mount Mulanje beklimmen in Malawi, zwemmen in het meer van Malawi, veel verschillende kinderen in mijn klas op de internationale school. Wij moesten wel regelmatig verhuizen en afscheid nemen maar dat deden de andere "expats" om ons heen ook. Het was dus normaal in mijn beleving. "Anders zijn" was ook normaal.
      
    2. De ontdekking dat je een third culture kid bent

    Dit gebeurde bij mij toen ik het boek "Growing up Among Worlds" van David Pollock en Ruth van Reken aan 't lezen was. Het was zo'n aha moment. Opeens begreep ik mijzelf beter. Opeens lag het niet aan mij, maar hadden de gevoelens die ik had, de eenzaamheid, het onzekerheid ook te maken met mijn verleden. Het had te maken met het opgroeien in andere culturen/landen. Ik kwam er achter dat ik niet de enige was die deze gevoelens had. Er waren meer third culture kids! Het was een gevoel van opluchting.
    Ik werd mij ook meer bewust van de nadelen van het opgroeien in het buitenland.

    3. Aanpassen aan je nieuwe identiteit

    Ik werd mij meer bewust van de voordelen van het opgroeien in andere landen. Zie ook mijn eerder bericht over de 10 voordelen van het opgroeien in het buitenland. Ik ben gaan nadenken over hoe ik mijn culturele gevoeligheid meer zou kunnen gebruiken in mijn toekomst.

    4. Het integreren van het "third culture kid" zijn in jezelf en verder gaan.

    In deze fase ben je minder bezig met "het anders zijn", met je identiteit als third culture kid en nu begrijp je dat deze term ook niet alles verklaard. Het is de fase van accepteren en verder gaan. Zelf keuzes maken, vrede sluiten met je verleden en je heden. Niet zo naar de verschillen kijken maar naar de overeenkomsten tussen mensen.

    Hey it's Johnny C heeft in het Engels over deze 4 fases van ontdekking geschreven.

    Kijk hier naar een kort filmpje "Les Passagers" het gaat over third culture kids (TCKs).
    Hier legt Libby Stephens in een korte video uit wat third culture kids precies zijn. Zij heeft al meer dan 25 jaar ervaring met het werken met TCKs.

    Ik ben erg benieuwd of jullie deze fases herkennen? Hoe was het voor jou? Zou je hier op willen reageren? Heb je advies voor anderen?

    Thursday, 20 October 2011

    Have you heard of the magazine: Among Worlds? Especially for Adult Third Culture kids (ATCK).

    I recently took an international subscription to the magazine "Among Worlds". It's a magazine to encourage and empower adult third culture kids. In June 2011 the magazine celebrated its' 10th anniversary. The magazine is a quarterly magazine is published by Interaction International.

    The September 2011 issue is all about "Social Networking". I will mention a few articles so you have an impression. There's an article written by Morgan McDermott about "Far-away Family & Friends Stay Close on Skype". She's a TCK who has lived in Holland, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Of all the social media options she uses skype the most. She even talks to her grandfather on skype! She uses skype to play "checkers" with her grandmother.

    There are articles about facebook and TCKs, an interview with TCK Jamie Farr on TCKs and the social network revolution. In the interview there is something about the possible exhaustion that can be a result of a TCK trying to communicate with so many people from the past. While I am writing this I realize that this could be an nice topic for a future post, who knows?

    There is a book review about the book "Memories of the Sun". The book is written by Jane Kurtz, it contains a wonderful selection of stories concerning her beloved Africa. Sounds interesting to me (seeing as I have some "African" roots). I must admit I have not read this book...yet. Jane was a TCK too.

    I like this quote that I found in the Among Worlds Magazine:

    "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, What?! You Too? I thought I was the only one."  C.S.Lewis

    Here's another quote from the magazine:

    "I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world"
    Mary Anne Radmacher Hershey

    Musings of a third culture kid has written a review on this magazine, even thought it 3 years old it's still interesting to read. Review of Among Worlds Magazine.

    I have only read 2 issues but I enjoyed reading the articles and I do think that the magazine is really worth reading for TCKs and ATCKs. There are helpful articles and articles that make you think.

    Do you want to read more? Here are some books I have enjoyed and maybe you would too.

    Have you heard of this magazine? If you have has it helped you? In what way?

    Sunday, 16 October 2011

    10 Travel Tips from an Adult Third Culture Kid

    This post is all about traveling well in an airplane. As a kid I traveled many times. It is impossible to count the number of times I have flown in an airplane. Tomorrow I will be returning home and traveling for more than 24 hours. I will start the journey by car but most of the time will be spent in an airplane or waiting at an airport. I have a stop over with about 6 hours at an airport. It could be that third culture kids (TCKs) are experts in traveling. What do you think? So here are my 10 travel tips when traveling by air:



    1. Drink lots of water.
    2. Stretch regularly.
    3. Make sure you have your book, i phone, mp3 player or whatever you want to do nearby especially on a long flight.
    4. Have the medication you need to take with your meal at hand (and not above in the stowaway like I did on the journey to Asia). I needed to take my malarone (anti malaria medication) with my breakfast. Do read my earlier post about My Respect for Malaria.
    5. Keep your camera at hand just in case you want to take shots out of the window, just like this photo above.
    6. Take "patience"with you. It is handy when you wait in long queues.
    7. Take a pair of socks with you, if you are lucky you will get a pair for free. 
    8. I always have some toiletries in my hand luggage.
    9. Make sure you switch off your cell phone, and that you know the code to switch it on with.
    10. Take along your passport!
    For more tips on air travel with young children: checkout Helen Maffini her website.
    I just discovered that Heidi Sand-Hart started a new blog called Globebug and it is dedicated to her love of travel. Heidi is an adult third culture kid too and is the author of the book "Home Keeps Moving".

    For those traveling: have a good journey. Try to make the most of it.It's really amazing that we can fly and see so many different parts of the world. I'm sure there are more tips, do you know some more? Please share them. What do you always take in your hand luggage?

    Friday, 7 October 2011

    Cultural Identity Confusion and Third Culture Kids

    Recently I entered the world called Twitter, it is may be something like the "expat bubble", if you're in it you know exactly what I am talking about but if you have never been part of that world it all seems so foreign. Well that's what I had with the world called Twitter. I seemed to have convinced myself that I could not understand the twitter language. After hearing someone speak about the great advantage of combining a blog with being active on twitter, I was convinced. I was going to dive into this new world and conquer. In the beginning I had some culture shock problems. I had no idea what the hashtags mean. I only just discovered that #ff means #followfriday. So on Friday people twitter that giving suggestions who to follow. Wow, I'm never too old to learn and neither are you! By the way if you want to follow me on twitter find me @DrieCulturen.

    So while I was in the twitter world I came across this interesting quote.

    It is a quote by Libby Stephens :  

    "In the 25+ years of working with third culture kids, I don't find cultural identity confusion to be a big issue until the TCKs return to their passport country"

    The quote resonates in my heart because it is exactly my experience. There was no problem in my life until I went to the Netherlands to study when I was 19 years old. So what was the confusion?

    Suddenly I discovered that I looked Dutch but did not feels Dutch. No that's not quite right. I did feel Dutch. I mean while I lived in Africa I felt Dutch. It was only when I lived with the Dutch in the Netherlands that I discovered that I looked the same but I felt different. Inside me I longed for Africa and I thought maybe I look Dutch but am African on the inside?

    Earth by PSchubert Morgue file
    At my secondary school in Zimbabwe I was called the "foreigner". On my identity card in Zimbabwe it said "alien". It really is a great feeling, being 16 years old and being called an "alien". Sorry folks this is not a made up story, this is real life. Are you starting to see where the confusion stepped into my life. Recently I discovered that there is a word that described me. I was a "hidden immigrant". TCKid.com says hidden immigrants look alike but think different. So things only got better: from foreigner, to alien, now a hidden immigrant. Later I discovered that I was a ATCK too...

    You can read an important book by Kay Branaman Eakin called "According to my passport I'm coming Home" (free download here). It contains lots of information on third culture kids returning to their passport countries. What are the challenges?

    Read my Dutch post about retuning home: terugkeer, re-entry, help!

    Did you or your kids experience cultural confusion, and in what way?

    Monday, 3 October 2011

    Reverse Culture Shock and Third Culture Kids

    I found this video on a blog post on the website Abroad Effect. The website is about "Going Abroad. Coming Home changed". So it's all about culture shock.

    Click on the link and watch this short video called "A Meditation on Reverse Culture Shock" by Smitha Prasadh: It's really worth watching. I was impressed. She choose this topic because she had just experienced it after living in Japan for 2 years and she was doing her thesis on this topic.

    I'm still wondering whether third culture kids who have always lived outside of their passport country can experience a reverse culture shock too on going (back) to their passport country. Would you call it a culture shock or do you call it a reverse culture shock? Tina Quick calls it "transition shock". Well I certainly had a "transition shock" coming from Zimbabwe going to the Netherlands to study at 19 years of age.

    On the website International Family Transitions you can read more about culture shock and what it is.

    What will the culture shock be like in the country we are going to?
    Read my Dutch posts on this subject:

    Christy Childers, a third culture kid (TCK) has just recently moved to England and on her blog she has started a series of posts on 31 days of culture shock. So even we third culture kids can still experience culture shock!

    What's your experience with culture shock or with reverse culture shock? Do you have advice for people experiencing culture shock? Please share it.