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Refusing to Be Erased

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Refusing to Be Erased:

Acknowledging the TCK Experience

[An exploratory opinion piece by Myra Dumapias.  Opinions shared in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TCKid as an organization, or its staff and volunteers.]

 

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neys/3277625707/ Used with Creative Commons license

“Erase and Rewind” by Neys Fadzil

I love great conversation.  I love stimulating intellectual discourse, and I love passionate debates that stay within the boundaries of mutual respect.  However, there are some topics that are not up for debate.

If I had a conversation with colleagues about how I made my career decisions, most likely, they would not argue with me about it.  If I spoke about my influential teachers and role models, they probably would not debate me in response.  If I described the utmost significant relationships and events that impacted my life, people probably would not challenge me about it, and it would be unthinkable to minimize my expressions of reverence about family members who have passed away.

Most people would not scoff at matters close to another person’s heart or stories out of someone’s struggles, battle scars (literal or metaphorical) and victories. Yet, for some odd reason, there still seems to be a point that some people doubt, minimize or challenge:  the Third Culture Kid (TCK) identity and/or experience.


 It is as if the cause of what many TCK’s experience as adults cannot be due to growing up as a global nomad or in a mobile family.  The cause always has to be something else…


 

Throughout the years, I have heard the below responses that minimize the impact of a globally or culturally mobile childhood and adolescence, the first three of which I heard before I knew the term TCK:

“Yes, but I’m talking about real childhood struggles, like about money, gangs or drugs, not just emotions.”

“Maybe you’re affected this much about (best friend) leaving because you don’t have brothers or sisters.”

“But what does moving frequently have to do with romantic relationships?”

“You sure it’s not because you’re single?”

“Oh, I always wanted to travel and you’re complaining because you travelled so much?”

“You’re just being nostalgic.”

“Isn’t it just abandonment issues?”

“But I know some military brats and they didn’t complain.”

It is as if the cause of what many TCK’s experience as adults cannot be due to growing up as a global nomad or in a mobile family.  The cause always has to be something else: being overly nostalgic, sensitive, single, sheltered, abandoned, the list goes on.  Some people cannot seem to accept that the frequent relocations or good-byes, the ever changing cross-cultural environments, the occasional separation from one or both parents, the constant pattern of leaving and making new friends, the sheer impact of multiple losses and other experiences can lead to the struggle to belong, the risk for depression (and in some cases, risk for suicide and PTSD), the existence of certain attachment issues, the itchy feet, or the sense of isolation.

 


 …If adult children of parents with career paths entirely different from each other, but share the commonality of global or cross cultural mobility, have found validation among one another in ways other identities or experiences do not, then it is not an imagined correlation


 

Of course, the effects are not only negative.  There are also the gifts that are common, such as the tendency to be able to engage in dialogue or relate with just about anyone, global consciousness, innovative thinking, sharp observational skills, the ability to adapt to different environments, insight to cultural nuances, an ability to navigate language with advanced analytical and communication skills and other talents.  However, the negative impact is something that is either underestimated or just dismissed.

It is true that global mobility or mobility through different cultures is not the only cause of these traits or experiences. Non-TCK’s can also share certain traits with TCK’s.  However, if adult children of parents with career paths entirely different from each other but share the commonality of global or cross cultural mobility have found validation among one another in ways other identities or experiences do not, then it is not an imagined correlation. It should not be dismissed.

It is also true that in the grand scheme of everything within the scope societal problems, the struggles of TCK’s do not have the same impact as the struggles of youth born into forced slavery or trafficking, for example, or major illnesses or extreme poverty.  Still, for those who are affected, it can impact many things in life.  This is why the persons who know the impact of certain experiences should be experts of these experiences, rather than someone who never experienced them.

 

 Some Words for My Readers:

For my readers who may have thought or uttered statements similar to the above, I am not angry with you and do not hold anything against you.  I only ask that you try to “listen” to the rest of what I have to share, letting me be the “teacher” for once.  Questions from a place of curiosity are welcome, but please not from antagonism.  I do not presume to know more than you about your life and the significance of your experiences.  In return, I respectfully ask you to see how you cannot be the expert of my life experiences nor that of thousands of people who have benefitted from discovering they were not alone in our shared experiences.  I ask this from you especially if you interact with TCK’s or provide any services specifically geared towards TCK’s (military brats, foreign-service brats, missionary kids, corporate dependents, and others who grew up globally mobile).

For my readers for whom this may be new or more in-depth knowledge, I hope this will be somewhat informative for you.  I appreciate your time in even reading this far and am grateful for any support for the TCK tribe.  If, through your further discovery of other TCK topics, you find yourself relating to this identity, welcome to the tribe!

For my readers who may fit the TCK definition, but do not necessarily relate to how global nomads have connected with one another around their TCK experiences, I am grateful to those who support us nonetheless. To those who were alongside us on our journey at some point but “got over it,” I celebrate the diverse ways different people have moved on from the initial stages of discovering the TCK identity. Continuing to work in this field as it evolves is simply my way of “getting over it”

Last but not least, for my readers who can relate to my experiences above, may the remainder of this article remind you that your voice is valuable and that you are not alone.  To the early community leaders, artists, writers, researchers, speakers, educators and supporters out there, I would not even be here discussing this were it not for the hard work you have paved the trail with, which you blazed for us.  I am deeply grateful for your sacrifices.

Written by TCKid Admin

December 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

TCKid 2013 Year in Review

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The TCK and Cross Culture Community 2013 Year in Review

by TCKid 

[The first year in review for the TCK  and Cross Cultural Community]

Since the coining of the term “third culture kids” (TCK’s), credited to Dr. Ruth Hill Useem “in the 1950s while a member of the Sociology Department at (Michigan State University),” there have been many more developments in the study of, insights on,  discussions on,  and resources for  TCK’s.  Throughout the decades, TCK’s have created a distinct voice as a community.  What was once a marginalized field of study or population identity has slowly been emerging out of the shadows with continued pioneering work.  Early pioneers include researcher Dr. Ann Baker Cottrell who worked with Dr. Ruth Useem and Families in Global Transitions co-founder Ruth Van Reken, who in addition to other publications, co-authored “Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds” with the late co-author David C. Pollock.  It was through Ruth and David’s work that the definition of  “third culture kid” began to have more consistency that the rest of the world began to widely use.   The work of people like filmmaker Donna Musil and her film BRATS, which was featured on CNN, NPR and 178 countries worldwide on the Armed Forces Network Television have brought the TCK identity closer to mainstream attention.

With TCK’s described as the “prototype citizens of the future” in 1984 by Ted Ward, then a sociologist at Michigan State University, it is worth noting not only how prominent TCK’s such as US President Barack Obama, as referred to by Ruth Van Reken in a 2008 Daily Beast article, have impacted the world, but also how the field of TCK studies and the community of organizations and service providers that cater to the TCK or expat community have evolved.  As such, significant milestones have occurred with the passing of each year.

 

TCKid reviews some significant milestones for the cross cultural, TCK, or expat community from 2013.  Here are some of them:

 

TCK JT McInnis, while watching a film at a cinema, makes a connection between his teen years and the film he was watching, Argo, which won multiple awards.  JT McInnis realizes there was a part of the story the world did not know and writes about his involvement with the hostage situation in Tehran 1979 in his blog.  A central Texas television network journalist takes the opportunity to interview him in February.

(Please click here for the full KVUE interview)

 

Families in Global Transition (FIGT) introduces “IGNITE Sessions” in its annual conference program and in March of 2013, FIGT  offers seven engaging IGNITE Sessions.  With the concept, “enlighten us but make it quick,” the six-minute-forty-second maximum sessions are designed to generate awareness and stimulate discussion.  Check out the topics of the 2013 FIGT Conference IGNITE Sessions and be sure to register for the 2014 conference, The Global Family: Redefined!

 

Aga Alegria decides to expand on the stories shared in her short film, “Les Passagers” which led to the vision behind “Where is Home?,” a documentary examining the experiences of TCKs and their search for “home.”  Aga and her production team — Producer Paul Saltzman, an Emmy Award-winning film and television producer and director, and Production Assistant, Alethea Wang, also a TCK – start a successful campaign that ended in March 2013 to gain support for “Where is Home?”   Their campaign was featured in a TCKid interview with TCKid Executive Assistant Erin Sinogba .  The “Where is Home?” campaign and Aga’s work was also referred to by the International New York Times in “Where is Home for a Third Culture Kid?”

With timeless value, here is her short film again:

 

 

Paula Vexlir , a psychologist who has been counseling since 2002, launches Expat Psi, an online psychology resource for Spanish speaking expats.  Paula also embarks on the elaborate task of translating psychology and counseling resources and materials into Spanish, opening up more avenues for the TCK community, expat families and those who serve TCK’s.  Find out more about Paula’s work, which she wrote about in France-based Expatriates Magazine, and be sure to go on their Facebook page for announcements, such as a Spanish blog for expats that Paula will start in 2014!

 

 

Elizabeth (Lisa) Liang opens the Stage Left Women at Work Festival in NYC on September 24 & 25 after a successful 5-week run in May at the Asylum Lab in Hollywood, CA with Alien Citizen: an earth odyssey, a funny and poignant one-woman show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England.  Lisa, a writer and award-winning bilingual actress who has worked in theatre, television, and film for more than 25 years, including a recurring role on ” The West Wing,” co-hosts the podcast “Hapa Happy Hour” and is published in Writing Out of Limbo.

 

 

Al Jazeera streams an episode on June 5 on  “Cultural Chameleons,” pushing TCKs further into mainstream consciousness.  A TCKid Washington DC Group Leader, John Liang, a contributing author of anthology Writing Out of Limbo, shares a comment to the streaming episode  (you may still access the page, but the video is no longer viewable in certain countries).

 

Pico Iyer, author of “Global Soul” and other books about global travel, tackles the question challenging for all global nomads, “Where is Home?” at Ted Global on June 13.  In his Ted Talk, Pico estimates that the number of people living in countries not their own is now around 220 million. Pico Iyer also points out that this “great floating tribe” or those who “live outside the old nation-state categories is increasing so quickly, by 64 million just in the last 12 years, that soon there will more of us than Americans.  Already, we represent the fifth-largest nation on Earth.” (Please click option on video to read full transcript from Ted)

Pico Iyer was also notably FIGT’s 2013 conference welcome keynote speaker in March.

 

 

Linda A. Janssen publishes The Emotionally Resilient Expat – Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures (Summertime Publishing, July 1, 2013), which helps readers understand how the key to successful transitions and beyond “lies in emotional resilience to adapt, adjust or simply accept.  Linda combines candid personal stories from experienced expats and cross-culturals, with a wealth of practical tools, techniques and best practices from emotional, social and cultural intelligence, positive psychology, mindfulness, stress management, self-care and related areas.”  Expat Arrivals wrote a book review.

 

Ema Ryan Yamazaki, documentary filmmaker follows ups her earlier film “Neither Here Nor There” with “Monk by Blood,” a film about a young TCK  that juggles his many worlds as the next in line to take over his family’s 800-year-old temple.  Al Jazeera streams her new film “Monk by Blood” in July.

 

Alaine Handa, founder and artist director of A.H. Dance Company, brings her dancing and choreography talent to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with Habitat Project.   Alaine, TCKid Singapore’s Group Leader who was also active in the New York group, was interviewed by The Thread in November.

 

 

James R. Mitchener, speaker and author of The Illusive Home, contributes to the understanding of TCK’s by offering this illustration and definition of a TCK on his site, Third Culture Kid Life, on Sept 5.  Read the definition and other interesting topics, such as his perspective on TCK’s and relationships, the importance of having TCK’s in leadership, etc. at Third Culture Kid Life.

JRMitchener_TCK_Definition

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://thirdculturekidlife.com/2013/09/05/defining-a-third-culture-kid/

 

 

Erin Vignali eloquently addresses the topic of race and her experiences as a TCK, the perspective of which many TCKs can relate to. She writes on Cecilia Haynes Sept 20 blog page, Unsettled TCK, “It’s a bizarre twist of the TCK life that the racism experienced overseas will never make you feel quite as lonely as not fitting in in your supposed home country. For me, growing up as a white TCK, no matter how long I dealt with the discrimination, I always held out hope for people to see me like I see myself – no race, no accent, no nationality.”

 

Rahul Gandotra officially releases his Academy Award shortlisted film The Road Home on Sept 20.  Rahul invites everyone to watch his film and receive goodies by staying in touch with him, as he continues his work and starts preparing for other film projects.



 

 

Lois J. Bushong publishes what may be the first book specifically written for therapists and counselors who work with TCK’s, Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile (Mango Tree Intercultural Services, September 23, 2013). A licensed marriage and family therapist, Lois delves into this previously, unexplored world of how to effectively counsel clients raised outside of their parents’ home culture.   Expat Book Shop wrote a review of her book.

 

Dr. Paulette Bethel, international speaker, breakthrough coach and international adjustment expert launches the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit with Havilah Malone, TV celebrity and media spokesperson, in October.  Together, they host live interviews with  visionaries such as bestselling author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth Van Reken, Academy Award Shortlisted Director, Rahul Gandotra, renowned Etiquette Maven and International Protocol Consultant, Cynthia Lett, Tina Quick, Jo Parfitt, Julia Simens, Joseph Tomeo, Donna Musil, Byron Rodgers, Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius, Gary Loper, Dr. Katrina Burris,  and others.  On the second day of the live interview series, TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, also social work professor, discusses her vision and plans for the future direction of TCKid.  Please contact Dr. Paulette Bethelif you are interested in the full line of speakers and how to get a hold of any available replays.

GlobalSummit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids launches TCKid Talks: An Interview Series Featuring Movers and Shakers from the Third Culture and Cross Culture Community on October 26 with an interview with FIGT co-founder and author Ruth Van Reken and Michael Pollock, director of Daraja and son of the late author David C. Pollock.  The interview is landmark event, the first time both were ever interviewed together.  They discuss how the field was like prior to the publication of The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up Among Worlds published in 1999 and later retitled Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (as of the latest edition), as well as helpful information for both TCK’s and non-TCK’s from the book.  A few other highlights: Ruth dives into the importance of telling your story and her grief journey in her book Letters Never Sent and Michael, who will be interviewed about his work with Daraja later, discusses where we are now after the work of his father and the vision he had. You can find the full interview on TCKid.com.

 

 

Sea Change Mentoring, founded by its CEO Ellen Mahoney, provides valuable presentations for students and parents in the Hague, Brussels and London in October.  Sea Change provides short-term guidance and professional mentors to third culture, global nomad and expat students in high school and university through evidence-based mentoring.

 

Quenby Wilcox, founder of Global Expats, recognizes Third Culture Adults, a term Dr.Paulette Bethel coined at a FIGT conference, as Unsung Heroes in a Huffington Post article in November. Quenby writes, “The trailing spouse of today needs to be given a voice, as well as an active role, in producing and delivering solutions to what everyone in the global mobility industry agree is their number one challenge; the adaptation and integration of the expat family.” She refers to the work of Robin Pascoe, or the Expat Expert, to refer to as a voice of spouses who follow their partners with foreign assignments, or expat homemakers.

 

TCKid receives its IRS letter of determination in November, grant it a 501(C)(3) public charity status. All donations to TCKid since Dec 2011 can now be claimed as tax deductible. Please email execdirector@tckid.com if you need a more formal receipt for your donation to TCKid. TCKid can now apply to be fiscal agent/ lead organization in collaborative projects with other organizations sharing a similar mission/vision and submit grants and applications for corporate sponsorships.  Find TCKid’s nonprofit report and upcoming programs on Guidestar!   You can still make a last minute tax-deductible donation to TCKid at our old donations page before we  update it.  All staff are voluntary, with the exception of our contracted web developer.

 

The Journal of Cross-Cultural Family Studies, announces its first call for papers in December.  The goals and objectives of the journal are to promote and publish research centered on cross-cultural families for the expansion of understanding and practical application.  The Journal of Cross-Cultural Family Studies, with Dr. Emily Hervey as the chief editor, is the first known academic, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to cross cultural family studies that is multi-disciplinary in nature, involving psychology & mental health, sociology & anthropology, and education & communication.  Find out more about the journal at Worldwide Writings and be sure to spread the word about their call for papers.

 

Written by Myra Dumapias, MSW

If you would like to send a story for TCKid’s Annual Year in Review, please send a message to TCKYearinReview@tckid.com

No portion of this article may be republished without permission by TCKid or author.  All copyrights reserved to their respective owners.

TCKid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and does not advertise for for-profit business purposes. Mention of any entrepreneurs and small businesses in the context of this 2013 Year in Review is for educational purposes and serves to depict TCK’s in leadership positions and relationships TCKid has with supporters that contribute to TCKid’s mission.  

Written by TCKid Admin

December 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

The Person Behind TCKid’s Organizational Development: Dr. Paulette Bethel Interviews TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

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Posted November 25, 2013

The Person Behind TCKid’s Organizational Development: Dr. Paulette Bethel Interviews TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

GlobalSummit

TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, MSW was one of the experts interviewed by Dr. Paulette M. Bethel on October 23, 2013 for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit.

Dr. Paulette M. Bethel has brought together 28 world class authors, entrepreneurs, mentors, visionaries, and global life experts from around the globe share their insights and offer solutions for the Lost in Transition  Global Telesummit, running from Oct 22-26, Nov 11-14, and Dec 2-6.  This Telesummit includes visionaries such as bestselling author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, Ruth Van Reken, Academy Award Shortlisted Director, Rahul Gandotra, renowned Etiquette Maven and International Protocol Consultant, Cynthia Lett, Tina Quick, Jo Parfitt, Julia Simens, Joseph Tomeo, Donna Musil, Byron Rodgers, Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius, Gary Loper, Dr. Katrina Burris,  and many more.  Click here for the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit

The TCKid Executive Director accepted the torch of leadership from Founder Brice Royer in 2011 and has since been developing TCKid’s organizational structure and sustainability to strengthen its impact on the world’s understanding and appreciation of Third Culture Kids.  Daughter of a second generation Foreign Service Diplomat and Third Culture Adult mother born with itchy feet, her developmental years are colored with memories of walking on water in an imperial garden in Beijing, eating freshly made Roti for breakfast on Sundays in Kuala Lumpur, observing the human spirit of Romanian gypsies and revolutionaries in Bucharest, and the smell of bakeries in Hamburg.   She also lived in Korea, Philippines and Bahrain, where her son, also a TCK, spent part of his developmental years.  As a Social Work professor, she integrates global awareness into cultural competency standards.

In the interview with Dr. Bethel, Ms. Dumapias shares her personal stories and advice as a TCK, insights from the Social Work field and her vision for TCKid.  Please visit TCKid at TCKid.com

Click here to listen to Dr. Bethel’s interview TCKid Executive Director Myra Dumapias, MSW – https://soundcloud.com/tckid_tv_radio/the-person-behind-tckids

 

Written by TCKid Admin

November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

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3 (3)FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date released:  October16, 2013

Contact:  Myra Dumapias, Executive Director, TCKid  MyraDumapias@tckid.com

Or Erin Sinogba, Executive Assistant, TCKid ErinSinogba@tckid.com

[For radio, please note: “TCKid” is pronounced “Tee See Kid”]

 

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

 

(International) – TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement, will kick off its new interview series with Ruth Van Reken, co-author with the late Dave C. Pollock of international bestseller Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds.

The interview will be broadcast live on http://TCKid.com on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 1500 GMT (10am CDT).  Audience of the live broadcast will have the chance to submit questions on our community forum until Oct. 22, or during the Question and Answer session of the interview.  Not all questions will be selected but may be combined under a general theme. A recording of the broadcast will remain on TCKid’s page.

[Please click here to submit questions before Oct 22 and please look out for an option to submit questions to the right of the screen during the live broadcast]

Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds has remained one of the main resources of knowledge and help for TCK’s and the cross cultural population.  “Third Culture Kid was the first book I read and immediately I felt validated. So much of what I’ve experienced since I graduated from my last international school to try and try but failed to fit in as another Filipino-American all of a sudden found the missing piece of the puzzle,” says Myra Dumapias, MSW,  TCKid Executive Director who accepted the torch of leadership when Founder Brice Royer searched for a leader who could continue the legacy he created.

“Through conversations I’ve had with countless TCKid members and staff and our discussion boards, I know this book has helped so many other people on that interpersonal level. And professionally, the book also provides substantial information that can be used as a resource for social workers, school counselors and mental health practitioners, as well as other professions,” added Myra, has a background in social work, research and teaching.

Both Ruth*and Myra, who grew up as a daughter of a second generation foreign service diplomat, grew up in five countries, moved a dozen times and attended three high schools before graduating from high school, are part of a global telesummit featuring 28 interview series (Ruth will be interviewed on Oct 22, and Myra will be interviewed on Oct 23) with International Speaker, former USAF Officer, Breakthrough Coach and Transition Expert, Dr. Paulette M. Bethel (Please click here to register for this free global telesummit ASAP).

TCKid will be featuring four types of guests in its series of interviews: 1) Education: authors, researchers, lecturers, etc. 2) Art: filmmakers, visual artists, musicians, performance artists,  3) Leadership: TCK’s/CCK’s in leadership positions, and 4) History: TCK’s /CCK’s who were somehow involved in a historical event.

At this time, TCKid is open to working with corporate sponsors and partners who have a heart for this community interested in expanding its international network.  TCKid is also in need of more volunteers interested in gaining experience in public relations, grant writing, marketing, social networking, community development, special events planning,  fundraising, media and just having fun meeting diverse people around the world.  Please click here more information on how corporations and businesses, how organizations, and how individuals interesting in volunteering can be involved, or email manager@tckid.com with any specific questions you have.

 

*More about the author –

RuthVan Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second generation third culture kid (TCK)* and raised her three daughters in Liberia. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and author ofLetters Never Sent, her personal journaling written as she sought to understand the long-term impact of her cross-cultural childhood. For nearly thirty years Ruth has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles. Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons.She is co-founder and past chairperson of the annual Families in Global Transition conference. In addition to her two books, she has writtena chapter in Strangers at Home, Unrooted Childhoods, and Writing Out of Limbo  plus various other writings.

Written by TCKid Admin

October 18, 2013 at 11:34 pm

TCKid Launches Interview Series

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3 (3)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(For Local San Antonio News)

Date:  October16, 2013

Contact:  Myra Dumapias Executive Director, TCKid  MyraDumapias@tckid.com

[For radio, please note: “TCKid” is pronounced “Tee See Kid”]

 

 

 

 

 

TCKid Kicks Off Interview Series with Ruth Van Reken

with Valuable Information for Expats, Military Brats, and Global Nomads

(San Antonio) – TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids, a non-profit organization headquartered in San Antonio that serves those with an international upbringing or career, will launch its new interview series with Ruth Van Reken, co-author with the late Dave C. Pollock of international bestseller, Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 10am Central.  TCKid serves Third Culture Kid (TCK) adults and youth and the Cross Cultural population across geographical boundaries. TCKid’s mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement. TCKid will broadcast the interview with this world-renowned author live on its community forum via http://TCKid.com with a Question and Answer session to allow for the audience to interact with the author.

“There tends to be many Third Culture Kids (TCK’s) out there who don’t even know they are a TCK. Most find out in their 30’s or 40’s and wish they would have known much earlier. I myself only found out about 3 years ago from a work colleague who identified me as such when I mentioned my cultural upbringing,” says Myra Dumapias, TCKid Executive Director.  Dumapias is a local resident of San Antonio who accepted the torch of leadership on a pro-bono basis in 2011 when TCKid’s Founder Brice Royer was looking for someone who could continue the legacy he created for the community of TCK’s.

“When I discovered I was a Third Culture Kid, went on TCKid.com and read this book by Ruth Van Reken and Dave C. Pollock, so much of what I’ve experienced since I left the expat community to fit in as another Asian-American ….but never fully fit in in ways I could never place my finger on…all of a sudden found the missing piece of the puzzle,” added Dumapias. Dumapias, who grew up as a daughter of a second generation foreign service diplomat, grew up in five countries, moved a dozen times and attended three high schools before graduating from high school.

Van Reken and Pollock, in Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, define a TCK as “a person who spent a significant part of his or developmental years outside the parents’ culture” who “frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any” (p 15 Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Nicholas Brealey Publishing: 2001.)

TCKid identifies four main family backgrounds their members come from: military, missionary, foreign service and multinational corporations.

Those who watched this year’s TedGlobal talks may already be familiar with one experience of TCK’s: that of the elusive process of defining home, as described by Pico Iyer in his talk “Where Is  Home” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m6dV7Xo3Vchttp://blog.ted.com/2013/06/13/where-is-home-pico-iyer-at-tedglobal-2013/). In his talk, Iyer mentions that people living in countries not their own now numbers close to 220 million and refers to the different possible answers to the question, “Where do you come from?”

For TCK’s, explaining where you are from is only one part of the complex experience.

“Growing up with that much transition comes with it a great deal of loss that impacts your education and ways of relating to people, yet the fields of education, social work and mental health for a large part currently underestimate this impact because there is not enough understanding about it, and friends who did not grow up similarly don’t fully understand either,” says Dumapias, who has a Masters in Social Work and a background in non-profit management and human services, research and teaching.

“On the other hand, we are gifted in living in between worlds and are usually insightful about things people do overlook that we have so much to offer in marketing, community relations, philanthropy, management, education, mental health and other areas, beyond what is available in textbooks or classrooms.”

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds has this review by Wm Paul Young, author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller The Shack:

“As an adult TCK, I have long wrestled with how I fit into this world.  This book is the ‘bible’ for anyone who wants to understand the blessings and curses of growing up multi-culturally.”

Another review is by Scott Gration, Maj Gen, USAF (Ret), President Obama’s Special Envoy to Sudan:

“Growing up as a TCK has been a gift and has significantly shaped my life and work.  As I interact with world leaders one day and with those living in refugee camps the next, I continually draw upon my experience of living among different cultures.  I am delighted to see the lessons learned from the traditional TCK experience live on in this new edition of Third Culture Kids.”

TCKid wants to welcome everyone to join in the broadcast to capture those who may be working with a TCK, or are TCKs themselves, but do not yet know it.  TCKid helps the community connect with one another and find a sense of belonging. TCKid will be providing a series of interviews that feature TCK’s who have something educational to share, are in leadership positions, are artists, and have been involved in historical events. After the live broadcast on the 26th, a recording will remain on TCKid.com.

At this time, TCKid is open to working with corporate sponsors and partners who have a heart for this community interested in expanding its international network.  TCKid is also in need of more volunteers interested in gaining experience in public relations, grant writing, marketing, social networking, community development, special events planning,  fundraising, media and just having fun meeting diverse people around the world.  Please contact visit http://tckid.com or email manager@tckid.com for more information on the interview series or organization.

More about the author –

RuthVan Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second generation third culture kid (TCK)* and raised her three daughters in Liberia. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and author ofLetters Never Sent, her personal journaling written as she sought to understand the long-term impact of her cross-cultural childhood. For nearly thirty years Ruth has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles. Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons.She is co-founder and past chairperson of the annual Families in Global Transition conference. In addition to her two books, she has writtena chapter in Strangers at Home, Unrooted Childhoods, and Writing Out of Limbo  plus various other writings.

 

 

 

Written by TCKid Admin

October 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

A Journey to “Home”: An interview with the team behind “Where is Home?”

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Where is home? Many TCKs are faced with this existential question on a regular basis, but not all are able to answer it with certainty. The idea of home is often challenged, reactions ranging from saying it is nowhere, everywhere, or even that it changes constantly. It is one of the themes of self-examination that run through many TCKs’ experiences, an ongoing journey with multiple resolutions.

In July 2011, TCKid hosted a mini festival of TCK-related short films in Toronto, featuring some of what would become popular films highlighting TCK experiences. One of these films was “Les Passagers”, an emotional exploration of the identities and experiences of TCKs. Aga Alegria, the film’s director and producer, shared her experiences live from Barcelona, Spain, and it has since become among the most-watched films about TCKs online.

Since then, Aga decided to expand on the stories shared in “Les Passagers”, leading to the vision behind “Where is Home?”, a documentary examining the experiences of TCKs and their search for “home.” Aga and her production team — Producer Paul Saltzman, an Emmy Award-winning film and television producer and director, and Production Assistant, Alethea Wang, also a TCK — have high ambitions for “Where is Home?” and have since launched a fundraising campaign to support its goals of high quality editing and participation in major international film festivals. The campaign is ongoing on Indiegogo and ends on 7 March 2013.

TCKid took some time to talk to Aga and Alethea about “Where is Home?” and their campaign.

“Where is Home?” – Official Campaign Trailer from whereishomethefilm on Vimeo.

A still from "Where is Home?"

A still from “Where is Home?” Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

What was the inspiration behind “Where is Home?”?

Aga: I’ve spent most of my life living out of a suitcase.  I think I’ve moved a total of about 21 times so far! But I’ve always struggled with my inability to stay in one place. This struggle became really difficult when I hit 30. I longed desperately to be content with my decision to settle down in Toronto to start a family. But I could still feel the restlessness inside me and having to constantly fight the restlessness was very tough on me emotionally.

What was worse was that I felt alone in my struggle! No one around me, not even myself, could understand why I was so restless. So one night I just started ‘Googling’ how I felt, and that’s how I came across the Third Culture Kid community. I finally felt understood! I had found my ‘tribe’ and I was inspired to tell our story. More than anything, I wanted to know how others like me coped with being uprooted, with feeling torn between many different cultures, and whether or not we were able to find ‘HOME’ while remaining in constant motion.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of what “Where is Home?” is about and what issues will be explored?

Alethea: The film tells the stories of several adult Third Culture Kids while also following Aga’s personal journey. To all of them, “Where is Home?” has been an extremely hard question to answer and each of them have embarked on an existential quest to find ‘HOME’. The key issue that the film addresses is how to fashion a sense of ‘HOME’ or self when all the traditional coordinates are gone, and we aren’t sure where our affiliations lie. How one comes to terms with the restlessness and ambivalence when those feelings are part and parcel of one’s identity.

Another topic that we highlight is the positive qualities that arise due to moving between the wondrous diversity of cultures in our world. We’d like to share that with the world.

Talking about our experiences as TCKs can be both liberating and painful. How did it feel for you and the participants to work on the film?

Aga: I learned A LOT from listening to the wisdom shared by the participants in my film! Everyone was excited to have a safe outlet to share his or her story.  But to get to the emotional root of our experiences, I had to push them to truly open up their hearts and talk about feelings they had mostly kept to themselves before.

A still from "Where is Home?"  Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

A still from “Where is Home?” Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

Because the journey ‘HOME’ was such a struggle for all of us, having the opportunity to really speak out and share our experiences was extremely liberating! And for me, it allowed me to let go of the pain I felt inside and truly embrace the joys of having grown up as a Third Culture Kid. I think a lot of the participants would say the same.

It seems like a lot of people are making TCK-related films of different kinds, which is amazing! How will “Where is Home?” be different?

Alethea: Yes! There are several shorts that have come out in the past two years — ”Neither Here Nor There” by Emma Yamazaki, “So Where’s Home?” by Adrian Bautista, (both documentaries) and “The Road Home” by our friend Rahul Gandotra (fictional, but based on personal experiences). All of these have been wonderful films that have highlighted Third Culture Kid identity.

On top of being the first feature length documentary, I think that the difference between our documentary and the others is that “Where is Home?” focuses in on exploring the concept of ‘HOME’ and how the search for home is necessarily different for those in constant movement.

I also feel that because Aga and most of the participants in the film have had a chance to live through the search for ‘HOME’, it has a different perspective then the other two documentaries. As a slightly younger TCK, I think this is really important to me because I want to have some foresight into what kind of obstacles, as well as rewards, might be in store for me as I continue to search for my own definition of ‘HOME’.

Oh! And the film was shot in 5 different countries, so the viewer really does get a sense of movement and travel as they watch the film.

Back in 2011, TCKid hosted a global film screening event, streamed live from Toronto. One of those films was Aga’s “Les Passagers”. How does “Where is Home?” fit in or expand upon “Les Passagers”?

Aga: “Les Passagers” was made to map out the issues that Third Culture Kids face as a result of their mobile, cross-cultural upbringing – so like the other two shorts, it explores Third Culture Kid identity and gives the viewer a sense of what it’s like to be a TCK.

Whereas “Where is Home?” – like Alethea mentioned – is really meant to create a dialogue and cause for reflection on what ‘HOME’ means in a globalized world. What does ‘HOME’ feel like? And why the journey ‘HOME’ is important.

We tried to make the message of “Where is Home?” a universal one.

A still from "Where is Home?"  Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

A still from “Where is Home?” Courtesy of Aga Alegria.

You have now opened up the campaign for “Where is Home?” Please tell us a little bit about it and how we can support you.

Aga: Making “Where is Home?” has taken me four years and I’ve invested my entire heart and soul into it because I saw how ‘Les Passagers’ has really helped Third Culture Kids put their experiences into perspective, allowing us to connect with one another and feel understood. Our goal with “Where is Home?” is to expand on that connection to include people who are not necessarily Third Culture Kids but who also feel ‘lost’ in our increasingly complex global society. This film has been almost exclusively funded out of my own pocket so far, so I really do need the financial support to finish the post-production editing.

Alethea: Right, we’ve launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo, where you can make a donation to help with post-production of our film. It’s more like an investment really, because your donation comes with a perk, such as getting a copy of the DVD once it’s released!

We also love hearing from all the TCKs out there so please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress.  Also, because our goal is to eventually submit the film to film festivals, any sort of publicity is great. So, if you know of any organizations who might be interested in “Where is Home?”, please let us know!

Written by TCKid Admin

March 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

TCKid Broadcasts Live Panel Discussion of First TCK Film Screenings

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 29, 2011
Contact: Myra Dumapias, Executive Director, TCKid at Manager@tckid.com, ExecDirector@tckid.com,
or Erin Sinogba, Executive Assistant, TCKid at Erinsinogba@tckid.com

TCKid Broadcasts Live Panel Discussion of First TCK Film Screenings

(International) – TCKid, a non-profit organization that serves as an active global community of third culture kid (TCK) adults and youth across geographical boundaries, will broadcast live on its community forum website the panel discussions for the First TCK Film Screenings. Coordinated by Alaine Handa’s Dance Company, the First TCK Film Screenings and Panel Discussion will be held at No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday, July 9, 2011 4:00-7:00pm Eastern Time. TCKid welcomes those who are not able to attend to view selected film segments of the three TCK films that will be shown as well as view and participate in the panel discussion with each film maker following each segment.

There are several TCK films that have been created in the last decade. The film screenings will share three films, including:

Alaine Handa’s “I am a TCK”, 30 min.
Rahul Gandotra’s “The Road Home”, 21 min.
Aga Magdolen’s “Les Passagers”, 8 min. trailer

TCKid invites its members to participate in the event and discussions by logging onto the http://my.tckid.com community forum website on Saturday July 9, 4:00pm Eastern Time. The live broadcast can also be accessed by clicking: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tckid
Non-members are encouraged to register to become a TCKid member for free at http://my.tckid.com to participate in discussions about the films after the July 9th panel discussion and continue to interact with other TCK’s in various forum groups. The panel discussion after each segment will accept comments and questions from the live broadcast audience through a chat feature that will coincide the live broadcast.

Following the film screenings and panel discussion, TCKid welcomes continued dialogue about the films and topics covered during the panel discussion at its community forum on http://my.tckid.com, as well its facebook group, “TCKid: Third Culture Kids”

A.H. Dance Company is a multicultural modern dance company based in New York City and performs work that reflects the diversity of the cast and various collaborators. Founded in December 2007, A.H. Dance Company has performed in various theaters, studios, community centers, conferences, and festivals in the United States. A.H. Dance Company’s mission is to present and support independent contemporary artists and companies in New York and worldwide. Through collaborations with local dancers and artists of other mediums, A.H. Dance Company strives to share modern dance with communities that lack exposure to it. Through the work of Ms. Handa and the company members, A.H. Dance Company aims to present work that is engaging to a vast range of audiences. For more information visit www.ahdancecompany.com

TCKid’s mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement. In existence now for over four years, TCKid has grown to include local chapters around the world in addition to its central virtual community. We have been featured on the BBC, ABC News, The Telegraph, the U.S Department of Defense and Education Week.

TCKid encompasses its home page at http://tckid.com, its community forum http://my.tckid.com (for members registered on the home page), TCKid Counseling referral database, followers on Twitter (@tckid), and over 50 local chapters around the world. TCKid also has a joint venture with http://TCKAcademy.com to offer more resources that increase the understanding about the TCK experience. For more information, please contact Myra Dumapias at manager@tckid.com or see http://tckid.com.

Written by TCKid Admin

July 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

(News) Statement by TCKid on the Earthquake in Japan (March 2011)

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Statement by TCKid on the Earthquake in Japan (March 2011)

On behalf of TCKid, I would like to express our support to those who are affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011 and other repercussions that are still unfolding. As a global nomad community, this disaster in Japan hits home to many of us, whether Japan was at one point or currently is home to us or our loved ones. Any displacement of a community somewhere in the world is as an upheaval to members of our TCKid family.

TCKid urges all its members to help credible local and global organizations bring necessary assistance to those who have been directly impacted by the March 11 Japan earthquake. TCKid will, as much as its current capacities and resources allow, assist with humanitarian relief efforts for Japan in some way.

Loss and grief know no nationality, it is with this Third Culture understanding that TCKid extends its warmest hopes, wishes and prayers for recovery to people in Japan and those who consider it part of your global home, where ever you may be.

Myra Dumapias
Executive Director
TCKid
March 12, 2011

[More information will be posted later.]

Written by TCKid Admin

March 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm

(News) TCKid Founder Announces Departure, New Leadership And TCK Film

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After 4 wonderful years of starting and heading up TCKid.com, Brice Royer turns it over to an advisory board to head up and introduces a new Executive Director for its future direction as a non-profit organization.

Click “Play” To Watch the video below to learn more.

Before leaving, here are the gifts Brice mentioned in the video:

We have exclusive news about an upcoming TCK Film for TV (yes, the rumors are true!), useful videos & resources from Ruth Van Reken, and other surprises to help you and your family.

Just click on the link below to get them:
Click Here to Get Your Free Gifts (And Exclusives News on the First TCK Film!)

P.S: Want to get in touch with Brice or the advisory board? Leave us a comment on the blog post below and we’ll respond to you. You can leave Brice your farewell comment below. Thanks!

Download the Press Release

Written by TCKid Admin

December 4, 2010 at 1:14 am

(VIDEO) Can You Say "Compassion" In 100 Languages?

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Can we say “Compassion” in 100 languages?

Watch below:

Everyday, Third Culture Kids are doing their part in globalizing compassion. Recently, we worked together to raise $1,285 for relief efforts in Haiti.

Doing our part doesn’t stop there. We can continue to do more to help others.

TED Prize: Charter of Compassion

As part of our partnership with TED.com’s Charter for Compassion, we put together a video of fellow TCKids talking about compassion in different languages.

What about you? Can you talk about compassion in your own words?

Our goal is to talk about compassion in 100 languages and share our message to as many people as possible. With the help of our diverse TCKid community, we can surely reach our goal and get closer to globalizing compassion.

Do you have your own way of saying “Compassion”? Leave us a comment below.

Written by TCKid Admin

February 6, 2010 at 1:44 am