Saturday 27 April 2013

Reporting from EuroTCK in Germany

I am very privileged to be able to attend the Euro TCK conference in Germany at the moment. I will try and share some of the information I am hearing here. I have never been in a place where there are so many people interested in third culture kids and so many workshops about all kinds of topics related to third culture kids. To my delight the main speaker is Ruth van Reken, she is the co-author together with D.Pollock of the book "Third Culture Kids, Growing Up Among Worlds".

This morning Ruth talked about Living with change. One of the things her father always said was "unpack your bags and plant your trees". So make Sure you fully start living in the new place or country you have moved to.

We heard about how we learn about culture.

1. We learn the rules as children.
2. We test the rules as adolescents.
3. We internalize and operate the rules as adults.

As we grow up we learn about culture. Our family, our community and the place we live in serve as mirrors to us. A child form's their own identity by using these mirrors. What happens when children grow up internationally in many different places and countries is that these mirrors keep changing which makes it more complicated to form the own identity.

Once you do know how a culture works it gives us a sense of belonging, identity and confidence. We know how it works!

Ruth mentioned that there are 3 different ways children react when they enter a new culture.

1. The chameleon: tries to find "same as" identity.
Ruth van Reken at Eurotck 2013
2. The screamer: tries to find a "different from" identity.
3. The wallflower: tries to find the "non-identity", to be invisible.

We had a discussion during our session and some adult third culture kids said sometimes they were a chameleon but at other times they really wanted to be different and they acted more as the "screamer".

Tomorrow Ruth van Reken is speaking about growing through change.

Related Posts:
Guestblog an Ode to Third Culture Kids by Casey
I am from ....and where are you from?
An interview with graphic design student Jessica on her third culture kid book project

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is so awesome! Wish I could be there. Thanks for reporting on #eurotck. I wil certainly be following.