Monday, April 02, 2012

Third Culture Kids: Neither Here Nor There

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Thanks to an announcement from the folks at Loving Day, I heard about this film about Third-Culture Kids. I'd never heard this term before, but it refers to people who grow up in a country/culture that is not their home country. The short documentary is appropriately titled, Neither Here Nor There. Here's a description of the film:

"Neither Here Nor There" is a 35 minute documentary that explores cultural identity for people who have grown up in places other than their home culture, known as Third Culture Kids. Through the stories of six subjects, the film investigates the often overlooked effects on adults who had international upbringings, their struggles to fit in and an eternal search to belong. 

Check out the trailer.

It kind of makes you think, right? Are you a Third Culture Kid? What do you think the rest of us don't know about your experience?

I'm listening.



Erin Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing this. I've never heard of this until now. I have recently accepted a job at an American international school abroad and it has been my long-time dream to raise my children abroad (when I have them). This documentary sheds a light on some of the issues that they face. I'd like to learn more about this as I begin my new life chapter and anticipate the prospect of raising Third Culture Kids.

Arlene Gibbs D├ęcor said...

I heard the term for the first time when I was reading The Namesake and so many expat blogs.

I'm American but definitely felt I didn't "fit" there or in the Caribbean where my family is from.

I guess it's one main reason I feel more at home in a country that I have no actual ties to.

Amy said...

I first heard about TCKs in college, where many of my international peers identified as such. It was definitely fascinating to hear their stories and perspectives. One even did her senior thesis on TCKS. There is a book on TCKs (I believe the author of the book coined the term) and a facebook page as well.

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks for the video. I was born in Germany and my dad was stationed there a second time when I was young, so I spent so long overseas I knew my map of Europe much better than my map of the US. I loved living in Germany and visiting Italy and France and driving through the Alps, but I sometimes feel like I missed out on having a "hometown", you know?

Ola said...

Oh WOW thank you for this! I feel this way a bit. I was born in Guyana but moved the US when I was 11. But did not move to a place with other guyanese/caribbeans(FL or NY), moved to the middle of the country between 2 corn fields to be It wasn't until I was in college this identity thing got to me. I met other caribbean students and I still didn't feel like i fit completely. When I visit NY, FL or Canada I'm hit with the same displaced feelings that the subjects in this film express. This is one reason I love reading Expat blogs plus I have a strong case of wanderlust. I'll be checking out this film!

Also I am not sure if you've come across this but there is a film called "THe Neo-African American" that touches on this sorta but is mainly focused on the african/afro descent dispora. That's pretty interesting as well. Here is the trailer

anna maria said...

I'm glad to see that the TCK term keeps spreading. I'm a TCK (or an ATCK - adult TCK) and just came from a conference that dealt a lot with this group and this topic. You can check out FIGT (Families in Global Transition) for more. The director of this movie - the young woman in the trailer image - was there to screen the movie. TCKs are definitely an interesting group. I'd say the two main issues are loss and identity (you see that in a lot of the comments about "not fitting in"). TCKs also have lots of great talents like flexibility and adaptability, an ease at making social connections and friends, and a global perspective. They tend not to see "race" as color, and don't always understand national borders and patriotism. There's a lot more to read and learn about this group, so I encourage you to look around and find out more!

LT said...

Erin M,
Glad I could shed some light :) Good luck with your new teaching position.

That is so interesting. But I totally get it. Enjoy your third culture home!

Yeah, I'm surprised I never heard the term before. Thanks for the heads up.

Thanks for sharing. I get what you mean by not having a hometown. I feel like my kids might grow up like that too. Although it will mostly be because we move around the US so much.

Thanks for sharing your story. So interesting. And I'm going to check out that link, right now!

Anna Maria,
Thank you so much for sharing. And I most definitely will keep learning about TKCs and ATCKs.

Cyretha said...

I read this post the other day and tired to leave a comment, but there were some techical problems.

I just wanted to say, yes, this term has been around for awhile, mostly in North America. You won't hear any British, Indian or Chinese families calling their kids TCKs, when they live outside of their native countries.

For more information see the website Additionally, there are many books on the subject.

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