Recently a good friend of ours here in Hong Kong posted a couple of articles on the topic of TCK’s. Some of you may be wondering what this is. We actually didn’t even know of this term until last year at some point and then questions and thoughts started to come about. So what does TCK stand for? Third Culture Kid. Basically, a TCK is “a term describing people who spend a significant part of childhood living outside their passport countries.” (Tanya Crossman, The Three Cultures of a Third Culture Kid).
Gloria and I have had questions and thoughts about this – more of a reaction due to one of our sons desires to go back home. You can see even here, that I consider home as Canada, although Hong Kong is home for us, at this moment, time, space.
How much does one have to immerse themselves into their new culture? When do you draw the line? Do you really have to “accept” everything your new country has to offer? Is it wrong for us to be “Canadians living in Hong Kong?” Not only do our boys have to adjust, we do too.
Have I completely immersed myself into HK culture? Quick answer: No.
Do I feel completely at home in HK? Not really.
Are there things that really bother me? Absolutely.
Are there aspects of Hong Kong simply amazing? Yes!
And so this thought quickly turned my attention to TCP. Third Culture Parenting. Trying to parent children in a new culture and place, while trying to adjust yourself is quite trying at times and honestly, tiring. We have questions, like, “Are we parenting our boys affectively here in HK?” Are our boys immersed or just going through the days and months with an end knowing that we are going back to Canada next summer?
I’m not so sure if I have answers at the moment, however, something worth thinking through and seeking some counsel and wisdom.
As our family continues to enjoy this journey, we are thankful (although not all the time) for the many different opportunities that have been afforded to us. We do continue to seek God with all matters, asking for wisdom and discernment.
Allow me to end this by asking, “Are we really a Third Culture Family?” or just passing through until God calls us somewhere else or back to Canada?
Until later … need some time to really wrap my mind about this and will share more.
You are loved.