Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Where do you call home?




This is a very thought provoking video from Adrian Bautista about where we call home and growing up differently.  If you haven't come across the term before, Third Culture Kids are those who come from one culture, live in another culture and develop a third culture.  For example, I'm English, I grew up in Pakistan but the school that I went to was multicultural and had its own unique culture separate to the Pakistani culture.  In addition, I married a Frenchman and gave birth to children in England, New Zealand and Australia.  We have lived in NZ, Fiji and now Australia.  We are a Third Culture Family and our kids are growing up that way too.  Parts of our heart have been left in each country we have lived in and we all experience saudade for them.

In July, I'll be speaking to 35 or so teenagers and young adults on Identity so this is great material for me. How do you identify yourself?  Is it linked to where you grow up or what you do?  Where do you call home?  What makes home?  Is it the location of your family and friends? Where you've always lived? Your nationality? What makes up your identity?  What do you do to treasure your identity? To defend it? To encourage it?  What happens when the identity you've known is taken away?  Have you experienced identity loss as an adult?  Perhaps through a move or a major life event like getting married or having kids?  

5 comments:

  1. so interesting Soph
    thanks for posting this

    love and light

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  2. Don't really have much to add to this other than that I find your journey fascinating. For me my identity is probably most firmly planted in the spiritual family I belong to and what that says about my value and the value of everyone on earth but I find cultural differences and values really, really interesting

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  3. I've probably mentioned this before, but at 37, Peter still pauses when people ask him where he's from. He was born in one state, moved to two more for his dad's education, moved to South America on his 8th birthday, raised in Bolivia and Peru, attended international schools and mission schools, had friends from Germany, Canada, Switzerland, and all over the U.S., lost track of almost everyone when his folks returned to the States when he was 16. He went to college in three different states, we moved to Boston for me to go to school, got married, moved again, moved again, and then started traveling overseas (7 countries - 10 locations, not counting the U.S.) which created more friendships that we had to leave. Where is he from? He has no idea. He usually answers, "I was born in Michigan, but grew up in South America."

    However, what I've learned is that you don't have to have moved your whole life to feel out of place. I was born and raised in the area where we currently live, BUT, my family moved here from Oklahoma a few years before I arrived on the scene. What does that mean to me and to true "locals"? I'm not from here. Oh yes, I was born about 15 minutes away from where we live now, but my family roots are 1,000 miles away. I usually answer, "I was born here, but my family is from Oklahoma." Why is it important? Why do I feel the need to distance myself from East Tennessee? It's a beautiful part of the country! I think it's because I don't like (and have never liked) the culture here. Pride, perhaps? And certainly something that I've spent time thinking about.

    Yes, there is no easy answer to your question. However, one thing that Peter and I have both learned is that places don't matter because our true identity comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ. This world is not our home... :-)

    Oh, and one other point - Facebook has been amazing for RE-CONNECTING with Peter's classmates from Peru and our friends around the world. It has made the world seem a lot smaller, and I think it helps keep those connections for future generations of TCK's.

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  4. This is such a fascinating, often confusing topic to reply to! I often can't answer where I come from with one place name either. Just the fact that we moved several times as a family around NZ from the bottom to the top, then spending the last 8 years away mainly in Holland, England and Switzerland and have friends from all over the world...home is where my family in NZ are, but also where our own little family is here in Switzerland. It can be hard to really feel at home in any of these places because each holds just a part of my life. So I try now to make wherever we are 'homely' and...as your friend said above, when I'm wishing I had just lived in one place or area all my life, to be thankful for wonderful experiences of living in so many places but knowing that life here on earth is fleeting and not eternal.

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  5. Home for me is really important - and I think that is why we ended up living in a Motorhome as I need things around me that makes sense to who we are.
    We moved a lot when I was growing up, and I went to about 10 primary schools. So I guess I didnt feel like I was close to anyone, as we had to move so regularly.
    Yet now I have the travel bug - go figure!
    I think that family is so important - I say to my boys "friends come and go but family, they are there for life". So we try to do as much together as possible to create lifetime memories.

    Only recently I have started to discover who I really am, and what I belive in. Its been an incredible journey for the last 12 months with many changes. Our family has grown stronger and (at least I hope!) are happier. I think that it is important to know that you are part of a family, and that every one makes that family complete. So that if you do move from place to place, then you can still have each other :)

    All the best with your talk.

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