Being asked “Where are you from?” can get a little complicated
If you really want to annoy a Third Culture Kid, just ask them “So, where are you from?”
A third culture kid (TCK) is someone who has spent a significant part of their growing up years in a foreign country.
I’m not your typical TCK but I consider myself a TCK and I have three answers for those who ask “where are you from?” The short story is – “Canada”. The story I tell at parties thrown by friends – “Canada, but I studied in Switzerland and lived in Thailand.” And the long story response – “I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and I didn’t leave Canada until 2005 and I’ve been living in Switzerland and Thailand for the past few years, and I recently moved back to Canada. I am technically Canadian, but I feel my home is in Thailand (most of the people I have connected closely live over there). I am a halfer, my mother is Thai and my dad is Chinese. Also, since they both grew up and studied in England and the immigrated here so I can’t speak Thai or Chinese, just english.” That sums up my answers when I’ve been asked “where are you from”. My answer depends on the person I’m speaking with.
I feel I am a TCK because I haven’t assimilated fully into any of the three very different cultures I have been exposed to over the past 8 years, but I feel I have adopted aspects of Swiss, Thai and Canadian culture into my life. That is why I feel I’m in a grey area, a third culture.
Part of a senior thesis for film & media studies while at Georgetown University, Adrian Bautista wrote:
So Where’s Home? explores the unique perspectives and identities of Third Culture Kids…The purpose of this short documentary project is to understand why third culture kids struggle to answer the question of “so where’s home?” and the implications this difficulty has on personal identity.
Check out more great videos from Adrian’s website.
- Canon 7D
- Canon EF Lens 50 mm F/1.4
- Canon EF Lens 28-135mm IS
- Zoom H4N
- Sony UWP-V1 Wireless Lav Mic Kit
So what would be your answer if someone asked you:
“Where are you from?”