Indiakids: Are we “Third Culture Kids”?

I was spending time recalling the many boarding schools in Mussoorie (Waverly, Wynberg-Allen, Woodstock, Mussoorie-Modern just to name a few) and came across this term on Wikipedia: “Third Culture Kid”

Third Culture Kids or Trans-Culture Kids, (abbreviated TCKs or 3CKs,) whom are sometimes also called Global Nomads, “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]
Since the term was coined by sociologist Ruth Hill Useem in the 1960s, TCKs have become a heavily studied global subculture. TCKs tend to have more in common with one another, regardless of nationality, than they do with non-TCKs from their own country.

The article is not fully supported by citations, but has a lot of bibliography and footnotes at the bottom of the page.

Do Indiakids fit into the Third Culture Kid population?

Here’s an excerpt, that makes some sense, but also reads more as opinion than data:

TCKs are often multilingual and highly accepting of other cultures. Moving from country to country often becomes an easy thing for these individuals.

Many TCKs take years to readjust to their passport countries. They often suffer a reverse culture shock upon their return, and are constantly homesick for their adopted country. Many Third Culture Kids face an identity crisis: they don’t know where they come from. It would be typical for a TCK to say that he or she is a citizen of a country but with nothing beyond their passport to define that identification for them. They usually find it difficult to answer the question, “Where are you from?” Compared to their peers who have lived their entire lives in a single culture, TCKs have a globalized culture. Others can have difficulty relating to them. It is hard for TCKs to present themselves as a single cultured person, which makes it hard for others who have not had similar experiences to accept them for who they are. They know bits and pieces of at least two cultures, yet most of them have not fully experienced any one culture making them feel incomplete or left out by other children who have not lived overseas. They often build social networks among themselves and prefer to socialize with other TCKs.

What do you all think? Is this something you think would be helpful in describing your present situation in life, and when describing upbringing? I think the main difference is that we did not have our parents, as many TCK’s did have. But, it’s important to note that there were the American Embassy kids at Woodstock boarding school in Mussoorie too.

2 Replies to “Indiakids: Are we “Third Culture Kids”?”

  1. I agree– this is a constant source of tension in my marriage to someone who strongly identifies with his country of origin, and who sees me as "American", even though I constantly remind him I arrived to the US at age 17, only visited 3 times before that, and am not even a U.S. Citizen! People are shocked when they find out that I learned English in India, with such a perfect "American" accent!

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