Hello, My Name Is Yankee Mcching-chong.
well... no it isnt. but it might as well be sometimes.
i am a third culture kid.
by nationality, i am a citizen of the united states of america. by looks, i am distinctly asian (korean, to be exact). and by assimilated culture, i am irish (lived there for 11 years). ive bounced around these three cultures (and the surrounding ones) for most of my life, and i was thinking about how odd it all must seem to someone looking at it from the outside.
i actually didnt know that there was a name for us until this summer, when i met/lived with/worked with another third culture...well... shes an adult now. i am too, technically... (im 23). i actually wikipedia'd "us" and here are some "characteristics" of us that hit... frighteningly close to home.
- TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)
- 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)
- 45% of TCKs attended 3 universities before earning a degree.
- 44% earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.
- 90% feel "out of sync" with their peers.
- 90% report feeling as if they understand other cultures/peoples better than the average American.
- 80% believe they can get along with anybody.
- Divorce rates among TCKs are lower than the general population, but they marry older (25+).
- Military brats, however, tend to marry earlier.
- Linguistically adept (not as true for military ATCKs.)
- Teenage TCKs are more mature than non-TCKs, but ironically take longer to "grow up" in their 20s.
- More welcoming of others into their community.
- Lack a sense of "where home is" but often nationalistic.
- Some studies show a desire to "settle down" others a "restlessness to move".
- Depression and suicide are more prominent among TCK's.
hehe... kinda warms your heart, doesnt it? its interesting how well people seem to know "us".
anyways... i think im going through a bit of a post-university-graduation slump of some sorts. im missing being a "citizen of the world" at the moment... i miss traveling, i miss my friends that are *all* so disperate, i miss never being asked "whats with your accent?!" by some drunk sorority girl, i miss dublin bay prawns, i miss the ceol agus craic, i miss shifting from one culture to the other depending on where i am geographically... korean in asia, irish in europe, and american in the western hemisphere.
...i wonder if its possible for us to be truly homesick?
at the very least, i know i'll probably always be a bit restless...