I came across this term a few months back, perhaps 6 months ago and I’ve spent some time processing it in the back of my head ever since. TCK or CCK. Third culture kid or cross culture kid.
Third culture kids (TCK) are people raised in a culture other than their parents’ or the culture of the country named on their passport (where they are legally considered native) for a significant part of their early development years. They are often exposed to a greater variety of cultural influences. The term can refer to both adults and children, as the term “kid” points more to an individual’s formative or developmental years.
Due to the multi cultural upbringing of these people they grow up feeling in between cultures and always longing for some global surrounding where they can feel at home. That’s the theme for me at least; you never or rarely feel at home because of this endless rootlessness and cultural instability. You might feel some issues with bonding with people that are in the “home” culture due to this mixture of cultures that you’ve grown up with.
The classic scenario are the people who have had parents that due to their job or similar situations needed to move to different countries very often throughout their childhood. This leads to the mixed cultural feeling but also a sense of openness towards people of all kinds of backgrounds, because that’s what you have grown up with and gotten used to. Another classic outcome of this type of upbringing is that you always feel more at home when you’re on your way to somewhere else. Perhaps travelling would be a huge interest or hobby.
There was one description of why this phenomenon occurs for some children and why they cannot let it go when they’re adults. It’s a void in the heart that is hard to fill. The child might not get a proper chance to say goodbye to one culture and/or country and move on to live in another, you won’t know which one to adapt to and you continue living in confusion.
When reading about this and hearing different TED talks about this topic something finally clicked for me. I felt understood for the first time in ages. Understood for my rootlessness and why I don’t necessarily feel at home anywhere unless I’m travelling or headed somewhere with a more international environment. Some may call it to escape your everyday life, but for me I just can’t imagine being in one place for long. It’s as if I have an inner voice telling me to get up and move, get new perspectives and vibes from new places and dimensions. This doesn’t necessarily mean a physical place. I can feel better by just spending a long while daydreaming about being somewhere else and building stories in my head. I am a Pisces after all.
What’s your experience with being a TCK or CCK? Do you have any similar experiences?
Peace and love,