The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You know you HAVE a Third Culture Kid if....

The original theme was ' You Know You Are a Third Culture Kid if..." I twisted the theme a bit for my personal usage. What do they call that? Literary license?? I hope so...

There have been threads and conversations going 'round some of the forums I'm on about knowing YOU are a Third Culture Kid if...or you are having Third Culture moments if...

Bottom line it's about living outside your passport county or how you are shaped by living outside your passport country. For me, mostly, it comes from questions about the mental clash or mind bending that happens when something SO OUTSIDE THE REALM OF MY NORMAL sends me panicking to the Sonlight International Forum to lament with, glean from, and laugh with those who are in a very similar boat as mine albeit in a different country. Some of them have even worse stories. Funnier ones. More painful ones. They assure me I'm still fairly close to normal - or that normal no long exists so I should just not worry about it. Or at least have a good laugh at myself and try not to have a public scene next time I encounter the 'clash'. I do blog about some of these 'scenes' (remember cherry pie filling?) but then some others are just too confusing to explain.

For those of you who have NO IDEA what I mean by saying 'Third Culture Kid', here is a text book definition:

Third Culture Kids (abbreviated TCKs or 3CKs) (sometimes also called Global Nomad) "refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture".[1]

So the list. I put this into a parenting role. As in, MY children and how they don't 'fit' anymore. I struggle with it enough and I'm an adult. Can you imagine?

You know you HAVE a Third Culture Kid if....

your children can't answer the question: "Where are you from?"
your children speak two (or more) languages but can't spell in any of them.
they ask you "What language are we speaking today?"
their prayers keep adding friends and family in more countries.
your children have a passport that, more than likely will be full before it expires.
your children's life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times (or six, or seven times...).
your children watch a movie set in a foreign country, and know what the nationals are really saying into the camera.
you have to remind them to throw the toilet paper INTO the toilet when you are visiting the states.
they ask you if it will hurt to eat a POP TART.
they dig in and eat whatever is put in front of them never mind that it might have been running around with them a while ago.
you can send your littles to the store for groceries by themselves because it's just down the street.
your kids can haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
their wardrobe can only handle two seasons: wet and dry.
they go to Taco Bell and have to put five packets of hot sauce on a taco or ask why some people think this is Mexican food.
they have a name in at least two different languages, and it's not the same one.
they think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
your children think it's normal to buy your produce from a guy with boxes in the back of his truck.
they believe speed limits are just suggestions.
your children ask you what a clothes dryer is and why YOU are so excited to have one to use for a while.
your children then ask you why their clothes feel funny after being washed and dried in said dryer.
your children think normal milk comes in a bag or off the shelf; a gallon jug is incredibly strange.
your children know that you have peanut butter and chocolate chips hoarded for the next birthday.
they constantly break in line and don't even think it's wrong.
they've seen people urinate in public and it don't think it's abnormal.
they ride public transportation to school.
their view of appropriate personal space freaks some strangers out when you're back "home."
they think grafitti is just a cultural expression of ideas.
they have no idea what a garbage disposal is.
they think THEY are the dishwasher.
hot water for showering is a possibility; not always a given.
WATER for showering is a possibility and not always a given.
they don't even notice the garbage on the street.
they wear long sleeves and sweatshirts when it's 50 degrees outside.
they have NO concept of what air conditioning is.
they speak two languages, but haven't ever "studied a foreign language."
they've never heard of something called a "helmet law."
they think seat belts are only something you use on really long road trips.
they think it's normal to have 5-6 extra people in the vehicle.
they think a phone is something you use on the computer.

You realize what a small world it is, after all.

I'm thankful for the perspective all the mind bending is giving me...really I am. :)


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