Third culture kid (TCK):
A term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years.
A TCK is from here, there and everywhere. I’ve always dreaded the question “Where are you from?” (which is bound to come up because as soon as I begin a conversation, I can see the perplexed look on peoples faces as they try to place my mish-mash of an accent.)
The accent is a product of an Indian living in the U.A.E, who went to an international school that had British, American and Arab teachers.
The cop out answer I would give is “I’m from India.”. This worked in most cases in Toronto, London, and Abu dhabi. But now having moved back to Mumbai, this answer doesn’t seem to work anymore, because although I may look like everyone here I sound nothing like them. And I am okay with that but it don’t think they are. I get this mainly from family and now colleagues, I am very aware of the fact that I sound nothing like them, and they sound nothing like me – which is fine. I wish it was just about the accent , but it usually isn’t. With it, come assumptions of being an NRI (non-resident Indian). I never understood people that generalize and will refuse to because of how ignorant they sound. But of course there are the ones without any preconceived notions, that want to hear your story – and those of course are my favorite kind of people 🙂
The thing about third culture kids is that they can adapt: to any city, to any culture and make it their own; because they don’t claim to be from anywhere but everywhere. So if there is one thing I am confident about, it is that I can adapt. Moving to a new city isn’t a scary thought but an exciting prospect that drives my wanderlust. However, at the same time I crave stability, and for now being here in Mumbai gives me just that.
What’s life without its contradictions, right ? 🙂