As a third culture kid I am all and nothing.
As a third culture kid I am all and nothing. Now at 27 I can look back and think what a hell of a journey it has been to finally understand my true identity, which is that of a third culture kid.
As a Surinamese (Suriname is a country in South America) I was born abroad on this Caribbean island called Curaçao where I spent my childhood and teenage years, eventually finishing my high school and starting my studies in Amsterdam.
I grew up among the Surinamese and Dutch expat families on Curaçao and holidays were spent in either Suriname or The Netherlands, with trips to other regional countries in between.
Dutch, the Surinamese creole language and English were the languages I spoke well before I was 10 and having no true cultural identity seemed to be the most normal thing in the world. But then you grow up and realize that society loves putting people in boxes for it to be able to function well. For the longest time I felt I had to choose between Suriname, Curaçao and Amsterdam, not being able to have all of them within me.
The only problem was that I wasn't enough Surinamese as I only knew this country through travels, Curaçaoan didn't make the cut either since I didn't properly grow up with the Curaçaoan culture and didn't speak the creole language until I was in high school and Amsterdam I had only moved to as a teenager.
Naturally, as I eventually found out, it's impossible to choose as all three of them are part of my identity. I feel most connected to Suriname, but feel most local in Amsterdam. And when it comes to music and my love for beautiful beaches I am very much Caribbean.
I'm currently writing this from my apartment in Egypt, after having lived in Brussels for the past 1,5 year. I never knew what it was like to only have one home, one culture to belong to and I'll probably move from country to country for the rest of my life. Maybe with my own children one day. After all, my mother is a third culture kid herself.
It's a family thing. By Stephany
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