The heart of a Third Culture Kid (TCK)
I am what's called a "TCK." TCKs are persons who, during their developmental years, grow up in a culture different from their parents' culture. [In my case, though my parents are Taiwanese and I lived in Taiwan for the first 8 years of my life, I grew up in Bolivia (age 8-19). Within these 11 years, 7 years were spent in an American boarding school where English was the medium of communication and the American culture was predominant.] As a result, they are no longer monocultural, but have, in a sense, developed their own culture by combining elements from both cultures--a blend of cultures. TCKs include the children of those whose career require them to move from culture to culture: diplomats' kids, military kids, missionary kids, international business people's kids (like me), etc.
A distinction is to be made between adults who move to another culture and TCKs. The former gain a broader perspective on the world, while the latter inevitably become a blend of cultures.
For more information go to www.tckworld.com.
As one who grew up having to adjust to and juggle three different cultures (Chinese culture at home, Bolivian culture outside the home, and American culture in the boarding school), I have struggled to find a place where I can call home and a culture I can call my own. You see....to be continued..........