Hey, thanks for tuning into the second part of the two part series on Third Culture Kids (TCKs). A Third Culture Kid is someone who has lived (or living) in a country different to their parents or their own nationality. TCKs mix their birth culture with their adopted culture, to create a Third Culture.
In Part 1, we looked at what it means to be a TCK from a Pan-African Perspective, so on this episode I’ve flipped the script to include perspectives from a range of TCKs from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South America, Africa, Canada and Asia.
On this episode #6 Third Culture Kids (A Global Perspective), we talk about the extent to which being connected to various cultures, and also no particular culture creates a new perspective. We speak candidly about how the current political, social and racial climate has challenged, shaped and in some ways strengthened our ability to see the world with a unique lens.
Emphasis on the world ‘really’; this is an awkward question that I’ve now learnt to handle by tailoring my answer depending on who is asking. Am I Ugandan? Yes, but when I’m in Ugandan I’m considered (and feel) British, so is there a way of identifying that I’m a mix of things?
To what extent does our identity need to be rooted in where we are from ethnically and is there a way (or benefit) to moving away from this?
NEW Episode UP ⬆️⬆️⬆️ Part 2: Third Culture Kids! Listen on my Blog, Soundcloud, iTunes, PodAfrica 🎧 (world traveller extraordinaire @karenfost 😅) thank you to: @julianobubo @juliefost @taiaraffel @sheriny and of course @theafricacentre 🙌🏾 this was hella fun. – You're listening to the start of a candid conversation about what it means to be brought up in a mix of places, and the extent to which it shapes our world view. – We also also talk about the stupid questions we get asked and how the current political climate regarding race, immigration and nationalism is impacting what we think, how we feel and where we might go next. – Subscribe to the AFROBLUSH Blog and Podcast for the latest in the best in candid conversations on culture and lifestyle. Plus follow me, Louisa on all the socials! @afroblush and obvs, let me know your thoughts below. – #afroblush #culture #travel #race #thirdculture #podcast #podcasts #stereotypes #questions #foodforthought #world #listen #london #denmark #middleeast #religion #uganda #Nigeria #Egypt #brazil
Tired of being called a White person when you go ‘home?’
For many of us TCKs who speak passionately about our motherland, we are frequently met with a resistance and questioning of our authenticity when we go back home. The word in my language is Mzungu, in Nigerian it’s Oyinbo and in Chinese it’s Jook Sing – these words mean or are used to refer to white people or non-white people that might as well be white. Have you ever faced this, and if so, what’s the word in your mother tongue?
“Jook Sing, that’s the term that people use to describe people who don’t know the culture or speak the language. It’s very offensive actually, but you get used to it over time, and in that culture’s perspective, they are not trying to be mean, they are just stating a fact” – Jessica
“When you’ve gone out of your way to not identify yourself as British, it can be a little annoying as, your own people unravel this identity you’ve tried so hard to construct” -Louisa
“I can identify with coming back home and thinking ‘yeah, I’m back at home with my people’ and they’re like ‘eerr, no you’re not, you don’t speak the language. It’s a bit destabilising and I think have to craft an identity of what it means to be a Nigerian, who does not live in Nigeria or speak any of the local languages. Is there a space to articulate that? What makes a Nigerian a Nigerian anyways?’” – Julian
Stupid questions people ask…
Silly questions, we’ve all asked them and when you’re a TCK you can’t avoid them. Here are some of the not so intelligent questions we’ve been asked.
“Say something in Danish…anything” Karen
“This is my name, how do you say it in Chinese?” Jessica
“Do you live in pyramids in Egypt? And do you ride camels?” Sherine
“What about Idi Amin tho?” Louisa
“Do you even know what’s going on in Nigeria?” Julian
“Do you have a big butt – or do you see women with big butts?” Taia
“Good Immigrants” and racism in a post 9/11 world
In Europe, and I shall speak on behalf of the UK, there is a latent racism that’s been boiling and risen to the surface. So many people have confused legitimate concerns about the bureaucracy of staying in the EU, with vibrant, blatant and unapologetic racism. It doesn’t help that the media has ever so neatly wrapped all of this up and packed under the facade of inconvenient immigration. It’s problematic to say the least.
One result of this is now racism has layers like it’s never had before, being an immigrant isn’t just about being black or brown, but assimilation. Creating a discourse that goes something like this:
“F**k off all you immigrants taking our jobs, health services and raping our white women”
“Oh I didn’t mean you Mo, you’re one of the good ones. You have a British accent and remind me of Aziz Ansarai from Master of None”
“They say to me ‘oh you’ll be fine, you’re one of the good ones’, and then I have to ask ‘so you think there are some Europeans that are better than others?’” Karen
“The signifiers of racism has always been black and brown people. Those signifiers are still there, but now one of the underlying causes is Europe, which is full of White people. So now people are saying ‘we don’t want to be in Europe anymore, and you brown people leave too’ – it doesn’t make any sense” Julian
Thanks for listening!
Whether you’re a TCK too or someone who loves to learn and understand different cultures, I hope you found this episode as funny, interesting, and as thought-provoking as I did.
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Thanks again for listening. Much love and more life!