Third Culture Stories

TCKs of Asia

Where 'Third Culture Kids' share stories from Asia. Third Culture Stories is about the hidden voices of those who live in the liminal in-between spaces of the third culture. We can experience the third culture in many ways - by growing up internationally, through education, being mixed, migration, international adoption and so on. We are here to uncover what we share despite our differences. Third Culture Stories is based on the live forums hosted by the TCKs of Asia group. Learn more: https://www.tcksofasia.org

All Episodes

When the World Cup or Olympics are on, who do you cheer for? When the countries you care about don’t get along, what do you do? When it’s just about soccer or badminton teams, you might brush it off as ‘all in good fun’. But what happens when people who you think you belong with look down upon another cultural group that you belong to? In this forum, several Asian TCKs will share their stories of being caught between cultural identities that are sometimes at odds with one another. Join us to explore the hidden, complicated feelings that this may trigger and why. (Panel talk: 30 min. Open forum: 30 min.) Click here for SPEAKER BIOS READ MORE and join our live forums at www.tcksofasia.org

Sep 7

1 hr 9 min

We all have a need to belong and be unique at the same time, as contradictory as that might seem. But when we grow up between different countries, languages and cultures, it can be hard to feel a strong sense of belonging to any one place or culture. Is belonging something that just is and can’t be changed: we either belong or we don’t? Or can we learn how to belong? In this episode, five adult Asian Third Culture Kids reflect on their experiences of trying to fit in and find community. They also share what they learned over the years as they searched for a sense of belonging. It can be about recognizing why you don’t fit in (and it’s not because there’s something wrong with you). It may be about learning how to juggle the competing cultural values within yourself and figuring out what your own values are. It may be that the community you’re looking for simply doesn’t exist and you need to create it yourself. As Brené Brown points out, we don’t need to fit in to belong. Listen to Asian TCKs share our stories of how we strived and struggled to find belonging and how we learned to connect with others and create a sense of belonging. Click here for SPEAKER BIOS Read more and join our live forums at www.tcksofasia.org

Apr 1

1 hr 12 min

‘My parents wanted me to learn English and fit in. But they expect me to be fully Asian too. They don’t understand that I sometimes feel I’m not Western enough and I’m not Asian enough.’ In this open forum, we heard from a few Third Culture Kids about how becoming fluent in English or losing their home language complicated their relationship with their parents, their home culture and their sense of identity. We then opened the floor to discussion to our audience. It's a jam-packed episode full of stories and insights about the Asian twist to the TCK experience. You'll hear about: - Intimacy with parents and the language gap - Pressure to be fluent in the home language - Being 'white' in Asia, but 'Asian' in the West - Cultural legacies of colonialism and its impact on identity - Overcoming shame as a TCK from a war-torn country Hosted by Isabelle Min. Featuring Ardi Kuhn, Karen Tan, Aiko Minematsu and Danau Tanu. Read more and join the live forum at www.tcksofasia.org ... Isabelle Min is a former radio host and television broadcaster for KBS, as well as a diplomat kid and one of the first generation of Koreans who grew up overseas in the 1970s and 80s. She is founder and CEO of TCK Institute. Ardi Kuhn is a graduate student at the Asien-Afrika-Institut, University of Hamburg. His current research interest is in postcolonial queer Southeast Asian studies. Ardi grew up in the South Pacific and Asia in a diplomatic, mixed-race American family. Aiko Minematsu is a university lecturer in Tokyo, teaching English for academic purposes, and is Co-Chair of the FIGT Japan Affiliate. Aiko attended seven elementary schools in Japan and the USA. Karen Tan is an Intercultural trainer, leadership coach & Founder of Think Impact. Born in Vietnam, Karen moved with her Cantonese-speaking family around Asia every few years before moving to the US. Danau Tanu is an anthropologist and author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School, based on her PhD research on Third Culture Kids. Danau grew up in a multilingual family with a Chinese Indonesian father and Japanese mother. Read more and join the live forum at www.tcksofasia.org ... 

Nov 2020

1 hr

Have you ever felt uncomfortable that people around you perceived you as superior for speaking a certain language or inferior for speaking it with the ‘wrong’ accent? Or have you ever wondered why all the characters in the novels your English teachers made you read had blond, brown or red hair but not black? Or perhaps you changed your name to, say, 'Jay' or 'Erika' to make it easier for your teachers and classmates to remember? As children, we start life without any understanding of why things are the way they are or why things like language, culture and race matter. But it doesn’t take long before we begin to internalize the messages we receive from the cultural hierarchies we see around us, which can have a lasting impact and take a long time to unlearn. In this forum, we learned and talked about the experiences of 'Third Culture Kids' who went to schools where the dominant language and culture were different from home and how it affected them. Hosted by Aiko Minematsu. Featuring Isabelle Min and Danau Tanu. Read more and join the live forum at www.tcksofasia.org … Isabelle Min, a former radio host and television broadcaster for KBS, is a diplomat kid and one of the first generation of Koreans who grew up overseas in the 1970s and 80s. When she repatriated in high school, Isabelle was fully aware of the privilege that came with her international experience and fluency in five languages, especially English. Yet, with it came an even stronger awareness of the way cultural hierarchies interfered with her relationship with others as some saw her as being inferior for not being westernized enough and others saw her as superior for being able to speak English. Isabelle has spent the last two decades as founder and CEO of the TCK Institute to help break down these hierarchies. Danau Tanu is an anthropologist and author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School, which is based on her PhD research. To write it, she went back to high school for a full year at 30-something to collect data by observing Third Culture Kids on an international school campus in Indonesia. Danau was born in Canada to an Indonesian father and Japanese mother, and attended both local public schools and international schools in Indonesia, Japan and Singapore. Like Isabelle, it bothered Danau that cultural hierarchies seemed to have a negative impact on children, which led her to research the way 'race', culture and class shape popularity, friendships and romance among TCKs. Aiko Minematsu is a university lecturer in Tokyo, teaching English for academic purposes. Aiko is now residing in Tokyo, Japan, but as a child she enrolled in seven elementary schools in Japan and the USA. She holds an MA in TESOL from Teachers College Columbia University and a secondary school teaching license for teaching English in Japan. She has taught English to returnee students in Japan for over ten years. Her life goal is to empower TCKs in Japan through education. Aiko is also a Co-Chair for the FIGT Japan Affiliate. Read more and join the live forum at www.tcksofasia.org …

Nov 2020

44 min 1 sec

"Why can't my parents understand that I'm culturally different from them?" "I want to talk to my parents about this but I don't know how." "Why did moving affect me so much but not my siblings?" Most Third Culture Kids are aware of the privilege that comes with an international upbringing, whether through moving geographically or the schools they attend. But sometimes it’s difficult when it affects relationships within the family. In this public online forum, we heard from adult Third Culture Kids with Asian experiences on how they grappled with some of these questions and then opened the floor for discussions. Hosted by Isabelle Min. Featuring Aiko Minematsu and Jane W. Wang. See PowerPoint slides at www.tcksofasia.org Aiko Minematsu, a university lecturer in Tokyo, teaching English for academic purposes. Aiko is now residing in Tokyo, Japan, but as a child she enrolled in seven elementary schools in Japan and the USA. She holds an MA in TESOL from Teachers College Columbia University and a secondary school teaching license for teaching English in Japan. She has taught English to returnee students in Japan for over ten years. Her life goal is to empower TCKs in Japan through education. Aiko is also a Co-Chair for the FIGT Japan Affiliate. Jane W. Wang is Founder & Coach at Multicultural Hero's Journey. Jane helps  TCKs and CCKs integrate their complex identities, root in their core, and deepen self-awareness, empathy, and resilience, so that they are on solid inner ground as they step into the multicultural leadership and changemaking that this divided world needs. As a TCK hailing from Taiwan & the U.S., Jane has lived & worked in Tokyo, Paris, Taipei, Boston, NYC, and now San Francisco.  She holds a BA in sociology, an MA in international affairs, and certifications in coaching and the MBTI. Read more and join the live forum at www.tcksofasia.org 

Nov 2020

55 min 15 sec