Cover of Viggo MortensenLast 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
Viggo Mortensen (In the pic.)
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.