Today I’m going to be doing something a bit different, well not really but I want to talk about something with you guys. I don’t know how to introduce the topic to you so I’m just going to jump right in.
A third culture kid, defined by tckworld.com is a person who has spent a significant part of their developmental years outside their parents’ culture. A third culture kid usually refers to a child or any person who has lived in more than 1 country.
Being a third culture kid comes with a lot of benefits, one can gain a lot of experiences as well as meet a lot of people and be exposed to different cultures however just like it has its benefits, it also has its disadvantages, one of such I’ll be discussing today.
When a third culture kid comes back home, they often tend to struggle adjusting to their home county which is something a lot of people who aren’t TCK’s don’t understand. It is difficult settling in because although you feel at home and are happy you are where you technically belong, the feeling of not belonging is even heavier.
I will use myself being back in Nigeria as an example, although I thoroughly enjoy being back in Nigeria and I love trying and doing things like riding an Okada (motorcycle) and going to the market, I can’t help but feel like I don’t belong when I can’t speak pidgin along with everybody else because my accent is wrong or when we visit family and they comment on how we (myself and my siblings) can’t speak the language.
A third culture kid will often times feel in the middle of the several countries they have lived in (hence stuck between the different cultures) and so the feeling of not completely belonging to a place follows them, sometimes they do not even realise it. It never really occured to me until the other day when I was in tailoring class with three other tailors. They kept on laughing and speaking in their language and I just stood there, feeling like a downer amongst them, they tried to speak to me however whenever I responded, they couldn’t understand my accent.
Now, I am not complaining neither do I hate being a TCK, I love it so much and I would not trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people and had so many great experiences and I thank God for the life I live and all he has done for me. I just wanted to share this, in case anybody felt this way, so they know that they aren’t the only ones.
Are you a TCK or have you lived in one country all your life? Which would you prefer? Let me know in the comments below!
Lots of love,