I have been re-reading the TCK book. Tonight, this bit of the TCK definition from Interaction International’s ‘The TCK Profile’ struck me afresh:

‘The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any.’

‘Nuff said.

For those who didn’t know, the TCK book is ‘Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds‘ by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken, published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing. Mine is the second revised edition, bought from Amazon.com.

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5 Responses to “Cultural ownership”

  1. That quote is one of my favorites… because it really does sum up the core of being a TCK.

  2. Yes, that’s it! There is a sense of sweet, rich poignancy about it. Yet another paradox of being a TCK!

  3. True, but not only for kids. Once you have lived for some time outside your home country, you no longer are a typical citizen of that country.

  4. Hi Jutta, thanks for dropping by!

    Yes, I know many adults who have been changed significantly by living in another country. It could be something simple as taking on the artistic tastes of the culture they were living in.

    My own parents and parents-in-law are such adults. My parents-in-law chose to go and become one of the people they went to live among, and they succeeded at many levels. They now call two countries ‘home’, and continually feel a tug to that ‘other’ country. I appreciate that adults who have lived cross-culturally struggle with a feeling of social disconnectedness too.

    Continuing on that theme, I think adults returning to their home cultures have a period where they are expected to struggle (the ‘period of re-adjustment’), and then are expected to ‘fit back in’ – simply because this is where they have grown up, and perhaps know how everything hangs together. I think that people who have lived all along in these adults’ home country, can’t visualize what living in another country is like. And so these adults who have lived cross-culturally may feel the pressure to simply take up the reigns of living in their home culture, and shut away their life in their host culture.

  5. I love that definition because it really sums it all up for us. I am enjoying your blog. Keep up the great stuff!

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