Thursday, 26 December 2013

Third Culture Kid Christmas Wishes!

Happy Christmas to you all! I want to break the 7 week silence to give you season greetings and share some of my Christmas season experiences. I had a "TCK moment" at a Christmas concert in Leiden, the Netherlands recently. There were a couple of choirs that sang Christmas carols in different languages (Dutch, English, French and Spanish). I really enjoy singing Christmas carols. The audience was encouraged to sing athe chorus of "The Star Carol". The conductor made us practise because he said that the Star Carol was not well-known. When I heard it memories came back to me of singing carols at Townsend Highschool in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and at my primary school in Blantyre Malawi. Where did I learn that carol? Was it in Malawi or Zimbabwe? I just don't know. It was my "TCK moment", realizing that my past was different from that of the Dutch lady sitting next to me.

Can you feel "at home" while singing a familiar carol? I did have some kind of feeling like that. There is something about music that can trigger memories. Here is the chorus of the Star Carol, maybe you know it too:
Spotted this tree in Antwerpen, Belgium

"See His star shining bright
In the sky this Christmas night!
Follow me joyfully;
Hurry to Bethlehem and see the son of Mary!"

I had another "TCK moment" during an international Christmas church service on Christmas eve. At the end of the service we all sang Silent Night and we were encouraged to sing it in our mother tongue all at the same time. What an interesting mix of languages! While we were singing I discovered that I know the words of Silent Night better in English than in Dutch, eventhough I am Dutch and it is officially my mother tongue. While growing up in Africa most carols were sang at church and at school and the language there was English. So I know the English version better than the Dutch.....

A couple of days ago I was walking in Antwerpen, Belgium and I spotted a third culture kid Chrismas tree, it was a tree full of "travel boxes". Even TCKs that are adults and have settled down, like me, often still love travelling or feel some kind of bond with travelling.
What will the new year bring us? New travels? Or will we stay in one place and grow some roots? These are some of the questions adult TCKs ponder about. What about you? Will it be a year of moving or staying in one place?

I want to share a comment Rebecca posted. I interviewed Rebecca 1,5 years ago, you can read the interesting interview here. She is raising trilingual expat kids here in the Netherlands. I asked her where home is for her daughters. Recently her daughter said "Home is where the people you love live." I hope you were "home" this season, with the people you love! Did you have any "TCK moments" this season? Please share them with us.

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1 comment:

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