Reflections of a belonging state #thirdculturekid
I think that to every person that sees themselves as a TCK it means something a little bit different. I see being a TCK as reflected in that I don’t feel a strong general attachment to any one country.
My home is where I live at that moment, despite what nationality I am. While growing up my family has had a regular pattern in moving; 4 years in Finland, 3 years in Turkey, 4 years in Finland, 3 years in China, and 4 years in Finland.
After the last 4 years I moved to the Netherlands for a Bachelor study, coincidentally or not lasting 3 years. My mom even joked about me having developed some involuntary condition where I now just need to move after 3-4 years.
I’ve seen both positive and negative vibes attached by others to us who have been privileged enough to have been raised abroad.
However I’ve seen how many amazing things about it there are; the feeling of meeting someone else who’s had a similar childhood, being able to adapt to new places and not be afraid to make new places your home, finding it easier to understand and take into consideration other cultures than your own, and knowing that I still have friends in so many places in the world.
Now that I’m finishing my Bachelor after 4 years, I can’t keep count of how many times I’m asked the question “so are you going to go back home after you graduate?” They mean Finland, and Finland is where I tell people I’m from when I hear the dreaded “where are you from” question – usually because I don’t want to start off by having to explain my childhood to anyone and everyone who asks where I’m from.
Finland will always be a home to me because that’s where my parents live now and the country we’ve always gone back to, and I do consider myself Finnish.
Feeling like I’m not sure what to say when someone asks me where I’m from can feel a bit uneasy, and I wish it was more common for people to understand if I told them I was Finnish but a TCK.
All in all, I couldn’t be happier that my parents chose to raise me partly outside of their home country, because now I have 4 different places I would call home, and hopefully more to come.
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