Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Why I Started Blogging

As I wrote in my recent post great things can happen online. I have been nominated for the Expatica "I am not a tourist” Expat Blog Competition 2012.

I was asked by Amsterdam Mamas in their Meet the Blogger series to answer a few questions and the first questions was: Why did you start blogging? Which is actually a really good question. I started this blog in June 2011. So I have celebrated my first blog anniversary and we did that with a lovely interview with Heidi Sand-Hart, the author of the book "Home Keeps Moving". There was a giveaway too, so that was one of my posts with the most comments.

Amsterdam Mamas was created in 2010 by a group of expat mothers and mothers-to-be who wanted to support each other and exchange information about their experiences of pregnancy and motherhood in Amsterdam. Do hop over and visit their website. If you want to know why I started blogging you can read it here in the mini interview.

Just to let you know Expatica posted about DrieCulturen too this week.

The Expat Blog competition is open until the 7th of October which is the day of the expat fair at the Beurs van Berlage in the heart of Amsterdam. Hop over and see all the other blogs that have been nominated and cast your vote here: 
By the way what do you think was my best or most interesting post? I would love to hear from you.

Interesting posts:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

What do the Dutch miss when living abroad?

If you want to get to know a country and it's people it may be interesting to discover what kind of things the Dutch miss when they live abroad. As a child I remember liquorish (drop) and chocolate sprinklers (hagelslag) were the products which we missed most. Occasionally visitors would brings us some drop or hagelslag. So if we had the chocolate sprinklers we were only allowed to eat them on our bread on Sundays. Those were special moments.

A survey has been done by the Dutch television station BVN to discover what the Dutch miss most when they live abroad. Did you know that the herring is on the top of the list!

The 10 things the Dutch expats miss most:
  1. Herring (9%)
  2. Kroketten (8,6%), croquette
  3. Cheese (8%)
  4. The household goods chain "de Hema" (8%)
  5. Family and friends (6,7%)
  6. Cycling (6,5%). In the Netherlands we have many bicycles. 13,5 million Dutch people have 1 or more bicycles. We have more than 29 thousand kilometres of cycle paths. For more figures on cycling check the website of the Fietsersbond.
  7. Dutch bread, cakes and biscuits (2,7%)
  8. Gezelligheid ( 2,2% there is no good English translation for this word: coziness)
  9. Sinterklaas (2%)
  10. The things to eat on your bread (2%)
The Flemish people miss their Belgian fries (17%) most and they miss shrimps, beer, chocolate, humour and being able to go to the market. Here's a short film all about the survey and what the Dutch and Flemish miss abroad. Has this helped you a little to understand the Dutch and Flemish people?

Monday, 17 September 2012

Great things can happen online

Guess what my blog has been nominated for the Expatica "I am not a tourist Expat blog competition". I was nominated by The European Mama. She's a fellow blogger, a Polish mother living here in the Netherlands with her German husband and two daughters. Great things happen while I'm blogging or even sometimes while I am not looking. Suddenly my blog gets nominated for a competition, I meet new people online, and I get comments on my posts. Thank you. I am really enjoying this blogging adventure! Now the good thing about the blog competition is that you, the readers get to decide which blog wins the price.

I was asked which post I would like to share for the competition and I choose this one: Meet Rebecca an expat raising trilingual kids in the Netherlands. I choose this post because I am always very interested in the stories people have to tell. We can learn from the experiences of other parents. I was raised bilingually while growing up in Africa. I am so happy my parents made the effort to teach us Dutch. You can read more on how I learned my mother tongue. I think teaching your children your own language is one of the best gifts you can give them.

Maybe they do not appreciate it now but I can nearly guarantee you that in the years to come your children will be thankful that you taught them to speak their mother tongue.

" Preserving Your Heritage Language is the key to preserving your next generation, giving your child a true sense of identity and a high level of self esteem."

The Expat Blog competition is open until the 7th of October which is the day of the expat fair at the Beurs van Berlage in the heart of Amsterdam. Hop over and see all the other blogs that have been nominated and cast your vote here: 

Related posts:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Guest blogger Lucia Bodeman Lets us know Where she is from!

I am excited to announce that Lucia Bodeman joined in the challenge I wrote about in my recent post "I am from....And Where are you from?" I met Lucia online and we have never actually met in real life, hopefully we will one day. Lucia is an ELT educator in Recife, Brazil. She is a fellow blogger at Lu Bodeman. We have more similarities. We both grew up as third culture kids, have some Dutch blood, and are constant learners. Lucia loves education, travelling, languages, and culture. If you want to join in the challenge too just post a comment and let me know. So over to Lucia.

I am from........

I am from Maracatu, Caipirinha and nice, warm tapiocas.
I am from the sandy beaches, with tropical reefs, high-rise buildings and the fresh smell of coffee.

I am from sugar cane plantations, giant lilipads, sweet cakes with guava cream, and listening to the sounds of the Bem-te-vi.
I am from mystical lands, where many religions unite and football is also a religion, from growing up in a family of different cultures, from Indonesia, Brazil with a deep admiration and love for the US of A.

I am from dancing, singing and scrapbooking, from recording memories and welcoming the New Year by jumping three times on the coast of Boa Viagem beach – for good luck.
I am from visiting different lands, learning and teaching different languages and trying to stay fit.
I am from the soft swaying of the ‘ciranda’, ‘churrascos and Capibaribe River.

I am from Recife, Los Angeles, Arcadia, Rio de Janeiro and the Netherlands. Culture defines who I am.
I am from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, from 4th of July celebrations and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. 

From rootbeer and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. From barbeques and sushi with friends. I am social.
I am from the warm waters of Recife, but not completely. I am also American, and Dutch. I am part of a multitude. Of colors, of experiences, of pride. I am a third culture kid.
A global citizen, looking for a place to call Home. Perhaps Home is within me. Wherever my people are. My family.
I am neither from here alone, nor there. I carry my three homes with me, because that is what makes me complete.
I am from my experiences, my family, my friends. And my spirit is free.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

I am from..........and where are you from?

Recently I read a lovely post on a Dutch blog Opgroeien in het Buitenland. The post inspired me to write about where I'm from. Here is the result.

I am from....

I am from Acacia trees, Tanganda tea and tasty Royco soup.
I am from lovely gardens with hoopoe birds, cold stone houses and the fresh smell after the first rains.
I am from avocado trees, red flame lilies, roasted peanuts and watching the sunrise on a Matopos kopje.
I am from singing grace, climbing mount Mulanje and finding mountain cristals, from growing up bilingual and letters from grandparents far away.
I am from making music and cycling, from climbing trees and camping holidays with open fires.
I am from public speaking contests, toastmasters club and swimming galas.
I am from praise songs and love meals. Potluck diners and youth group fun.
I am from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands. Moving is the name of the game.
I am from homemade lemon curd, muesli, chutney and oliebollen (oil dumplings). From hagelslag (chocolate sprinklers) and drop (liquorish). From milk and cheese.
I am from the warm heart of Africa, but not officially. I am from the land of the multiculti. The tribe of third culture kids.
A global nomad. A global citizen.
I am from neither here nor there.
I am from all the people and places that I love.


I wonder where you are from. I used the "Where I'm from template". You can use the template too. I hope you try it, because it is actually great fun. I'm really interested in hearing where you are from. Let me know if you would like to share your story here. I could publish it as a guest post.Just to let you know that Lucia Bodeman has accepted the challenge. Here's her "poem" telling us where she's from. Thanks Lucia! Who's next?

Related posts:

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Libby Purves: An Adult Third Culture Kid?

A while ago I discovered that Colin Firth, the actor in the film King's Speech was a third culture kid. He grew up in Nigeria, the United States and England. I like reading stories of the lived of people who grew up abroad just like I did. Today I read an article in the Dutch newspaper the NRC about Libby Purves. I am always really interested when I discover that someone was a third culture kid too. As a diploma's daughter Libby grew up in Israel, Bangkok, South Africa, France and England.

I am impressed by all the different things Libby Purves does or has accomplished. Here I name a few:
  1. She won a scholarship to St. Anne's College in Oxford.
  2. She presents the program Midweek on BBC radio 4. In 1978 she became the youngest ever presenter of radio 4s Today programme.
  3. She writes a column for The Times newspaper.
  4. She has written a series of books on childcare. Her books on childcare and family life have been translated into eleven languages worldwide. Like the Spanish book "Cómo no ser una madre perfecta".
  5. She has written eleven novels including Mother Country, and a travel book, One Summer's Grace, about a 1,700-mile sailing journey round Britain with children aged three and five. Here's a list of more books she has written.
I discovered that Libby has written a Personal Memoir called "Holy Smoke: Religion and Roots". 

This is the book description on Amazon:  
'Middle Age' writes Libby Purves 'is a fine high vantage point for looking back. The official passing of another thousand years away from Bethlehem is a stimulus to thinking about Christianity'. In this fascinating and very personal book she does both: recalling her childhood in convents around the world with stories of nuns amid the gilded temples of Bangkok, rations of beer for nine-year-olds after High Mass in France and convent life in South Africa at the height of apartheid. As adults many Catholic girls of this generation gave up on religion, embracing agnosticism and the Pill with equal enthusiasm. The author describes Oxford in the late '60s, political idealism and religious disillusion; and traces the encounters that have shaped her thinking, and how, ironically, the scandals in the Church brought her closer to her childhood faith.
This sounds like an interesting book. Has anyone read this personal memoir? 

I was surprised to discover that Libby Purves has battled with depression all her life. After her son committed suicide she wrote a novel on bereavement Shadow Child."There is no solution to grief".

Here are some general characteristics on third culture kids: education and career as found on Wikipedia. These statistics are for U.S. TCKs:
  • TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)[27]
  • 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)[21]
  • 45% of TCKs attended three universities before attaining a degree.[21]
  • 44% earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.[21]
  • Education, medicine, business management, self-employment, and highly-skilled positions are the most common professions for TCKs.[21]
  • TCKs are unlikely to work for big business, government, or follow their parents' career choices. "One won't find many TCKs in large corporations. Nor are there many in government ... they have not followed in parental footsteps".[21]

The reason that I have added the statistics is because I am so impressed by all the different things Libby Puves has accomplished. It sounds like she is an ambitious and highly skilled person. I have read that many adult third culture kids are highly ambitious. Libby has had to battle depression all her life, it makes me wonder whether that has anything to do with her growing up as a third culture kid? I don't know, but it does make me wonder.

Are you a highly ambitious adult third culture kid? Have you had to battle depression? Do you think it helps adult third culture kids to write about their youth?

Related posts: