Friday, December 17, 2010

Some Famous Pomegranates

Last week, I officially opened the Pomegranate Society for fellow expats, ex-expats, and all of us who don't fit into the Apple or Orange category who would like to join. Some famous pomegranates for you to ponder:

President Barak Obama
Freddie Mercury
Sandra Bullock
Uma Thurman
Viggo Mortensen (In the pic.)
Kobe Bryant
Dr. Gregory House - OK, he's a fictional character, but his TCK may be part of what's ailing him.

All of these people have more than one thing in common. Not only have they lived abroad, they also spent some of their formative childhood years there. Where ever "there" may be. Michican State Anthropologist, Ruth Hill Useem, coined the phrase Third-Culture Kid when she observed the effects on her own children.

Wikipedia explains the difference between an expat and a TCK:

TCKs grow up in a genuinely cross-cultural world. While expatriates watch and study cultures that they live in, third culture kids actually live in different cultural worlds. TCKs have incorporated different cultures on the deepest level, as to have several cultures incorporated into their thought processes. This means that third culture kids not only have deep cultural access to at least two cultures, this also means that thought processes are truly multicultural.

Makes sense, doesn't it? I think TCKs are a whole subspecies of pomegranates, with a lot of positive and negative baggage from the experience, but I'll get to that next week. Did I mention I'm married to one?

Next time I'll explore how this topic influences my writing.
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10 comments:

Jules said...

Makes sense to me. Does Hillbilly count as another culture? ;)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alesa Warcan said...

Neat! I had never heard of this term!
Now I know how to describe myself to people! : j
Cheers!

LTM said...

I think both are extremely interesting. And I suppose it makes sense that I have many "foreign" friends... I like to watch/study others, too! ;p

Merry Christmas! <3

Alesa Warcan said...

Though on further thought, by their reasoning, I'd be an adult fourth culture kid. Why can't I be a fourth culture adult? : j

The Golden Eagle said...

TCK--I've never heard of that term before, but it does fit the people you mentioned. I always find Barack Obama's history fascinating . . .

Old Kitty said...

Yay for pomegranates the world over!!!! The world needs more of them!!! Take care
x

Hart Johnson said...

Ann Arbor, because of the University, has a TON of these kids. I bet a quarter of the students at my children's elementary either were born in another country or had a parent who came to the US as an adult, so their home culture was still very much that country of origin. My daughter's earliest friends were 'English as a second language' kids--one Spanish, from Colombia, the other Russian--I have always loved the mix here--it hasn't been quite so prevalent in the middle and high school, (the other elementary neighborhoods don't have that area of town with the newish, high end houses that so many of these academics choose) but I think it's great for all the kids to have a little world exposure through classmates. If I were to choose a most common country of origin, it would be India, but there are people from so many places, that even that is probably only 20% of the TCK.

To give reference though, I used to work with an Indian woman who said when her husband was getting his PhD in Alabama, they belonged to an 'Indian Association'. When they moved to Michigan, they found an association for EVERY STATE in the country of India.

amesababble said...

I am one, too! ages 2-5 in Germany!

Deniz Bevan said...

Funny you mention house - I suppose Hugh Laurie feels the same way, now having to live in LA for so many months at a time.
I sometimes feel pomegrantish too, since I was born in Istanbul but came to Canada at c. 5 months, and then spent nearly every summer back there between the ages of 1 and 20... Divided, for sure!

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

and this is what makes people GROW! To open up to new cultures and mix & match in our daily living. I love the concept!! TCK for the win!!

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