08 August 2013

I Know We're a Third Culture Family When...

My 6 year old sister eats sushi. However, lest that sound like the type of thing most cultured, metropolitan 6 year olds do, she's also sometimes found lying on the floor in front of the tv, watching a cartoon while eating a bowl of curried noodles for breakfast with chopsticks. Sure, they're training chopsticks because she's still working on coordination, but it's still chopsticks and spicy noodles for breakfast.

My Mom has been known to scold her children in at least three languages.

My family watches more Korean dramas than TV shows in their own native language.

"Skype Sibling" is a common term which here means grown siblings who communicate with the rest of the family via webcam calls.

America has been described by younger children as the land of candy and college. They really like the candy, but the college part, not so much, or at least that's what they've decided from seeing older sisters cry from homesickness on Skype calls.

Sarah recently said, "Don't you think my bindi looks like a teletubby?" (I thought that was the most hilarious juxtaposition of two cultures: bindis and teletubbies. But seriously, the bindi had a suspiciously teletubby-like shape to it)

My siblings are between the ages of 6 and 19 and they're already on their 2nd or 3rd passports. I'm on my 3rd passport too, but it doesn't sound quite that impressive at 22.

The most recent family vacation was an trip to see Angkor Wat.

My Dad, who spent over 30 years in the U.S, comes home from a long morning walk and says, "I walked 9 kilometers this morning!"

Among other beauty rituals employed by teenage girls all over the world, such as nail painting, it's also very common to see my sisters drawing henna tattoos on each other.

Over the last few years, the "big kids" have been looking into opportunities like language study in China, international travel nursing, dorm parenting at international boarding schools, nannying in Israel and teaching English in Korea, and our parents hardly bat an eyelash when hearing about such schemes. 
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Jadr said...

Wow that actually sounds amazing- I'd love to do some of those jobs. I love reading about other cultures and I loved the teletubby thing :)

Patty said...

Those jobs sounds amazing! I loved what you said about the States being the land of college and candy...made me chuckle out loud :)

Moonofsilver said...

wow, each of those things are interesting and mostly alien to me.

Cassandra Too said...

Must be really interesting to experience a variety of culture at one place.

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with love, Cassandra xx

Tayler Morrell said...

I think it is so awesome that you and your family have this wonderful experience! I speak Welsh (I learned in college and studied abroad in Wales) and I've decided to sing lullabies to my future children and teach them Welsh.
Our Fairy Tale

Angi said...

Sometimes, I really don't like being a typical "American." It's so boring.

Anonymous said...

Your family is just the absolute coolest! I hope my kids get a little culture in them at an early age.

Sarah Pete said...

This, honestly, just sounds too awesome! What an incredible opportunity and experience! Your family sounds just too cool!

Unknown said...

Parents who support their kids no matter what their wish for life could be are really the best!

My mom is the same and I want to teach my kids, too, that they can do and become whatever they want and that they will be always supported and loved by me.

Anonymous said...

You have the coolest family and the coolest life.

Pamela M M Berkeley said...

Wow! That is crazy... I am not a third culture "kid", but my husband is (his family moved from Kolkatta to Sacramento when he was 10, then back to India when he was 16) and our children will be... how different it will be than when I was growing up!

Moving to India, at 26, was the first time I'd left the country... that being said in college my "secondary" friend group was the international kids and I had friends/friendly acquaintances from Bosnia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Jordan, El Salvador, Argentina, Ethiopia, Panama, Germany, the UK... maybe that's it. And my ex-fiance was British. So I was still more "international" than a lot "never left the country" people...

But still. Definitely not third culture yet, or maybe at all considering my age at leaving the US. But I know my kids will definitely be more like this than the way I grew up... so weird and exciting to think about!