Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Definition & characteristics of Third Culture Kids - courtesy of TCKid.com

“A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture." - Ruth Van Reken, David C. Pollock

What are the Characteristics of TCKs?

There are different characteristics that impact the typical Third Culture Kid:

* TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)

* 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)

* 45% of TCKs attended 3 universities before earning a degree.

* 44% earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.

* Educators, medicine, professional positions, and self employment are the most common professions for TCKs.

* TCKs are unlikely to work for big business, government, or follow their parents' career choices. "One won't find many TCKs in large corporations. Nor are there many in government ... they have not followed in parental footsteps".

* 90% feel "out of sync" with their peers.

* 90% report feeling as if they understand other cultures/peoples better than the average American.

* 80% believe they can get along with anybody.

* Divorce rates among TCKs are lower than the general population, but they marry older (25+).
o Military brats, however, tend to marry earlier.

* Linguistically adept (not as true for military ATCKs.)
o A study whose subjects were all "career military brats"—those who had a parent in the military from birth through high school—shows that brats are linguistically adept.

* Teenage TCKs are more mature than non-TCKs, but ironically take longer to "grow up" in their 20s.

* More welcoming of others into their community.

* Lack a sense of "where home is" but often nationalistic.

* Some studies show a desire to "settle down" others a "restlessness to move".

* Depression and suicide are more prominent among TCK's.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Attention all TCKs! (and CCKs)

I have been interviewing NYC-based TCKs lately and want to extend my invite to the rest of you. The video is for the documentary film I am currently putting together.
Everyone will be credited in the film and programs of course! If you live in the NYC area, I would love to set up a time to interview you in person. In person interviews are much more efficient b/c I also ask other questions in addition to the following questions. I am very interested in YOUR story. If you want to share YOUR story with other TCKs/CCKs this is an outlet for you to do so.

-Please make sure there is enough light.

-Talk clearly and enunciate every word loudly into an external microphone or the built-in microphone to your camera/computer.

-Fuzzy videos will not be included in the final film.

-Upload all videos to Vimeo.com - sign up for an account, its free. I can download the .mov or quicktime movie version directly from the site.

-Please title the video your name followed by AHDanceCo. example: Alaine Handa AHDanceCo

-Send me the link at ahdancecompany@gmail.com

Here are your list of questions:

1. What is your name?

2. Where were you born?

3. What is your heritage?

4. Where have you lived & how long at each place?

5. What is your definition of "home" and how is it different from those around you?

6. Where do you consider "home" and why?

7. Do you have interests in the following: foreign languages, international
relations, travelling, international politics, different cultures of the
world, etc... Yes/No
If so, do you think your background has helped you develop these interests?

8. What are your thoughts on globalization? Current political situation?

9. How are your thoughts on world affairs different from those around you?

10. Do you plan on incorporating a large amount of travel with your career?

11. Any last comments to future Third Culture Kids/Cross Culture Kids, any words of wisdom?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free write & choreographed improv...

I was at a dance educators seminar held by the City Center here in NY a couple weekends ago and the theme was Nijinksky's Afternoon of a Faun since it is the centennial anniversary of the piece. We had workshops with Mark Dendy and another lady who teaches the repertory of the original Nijinsky ballet. In the afternoon, the City Center hosts came up with exercises to unleash our own personal adaptions and inspirations from the ballet. We had to listen to the music, read the poem, and free writes. I wanted to share my free writes because I ended up writing about birds in flight and travel.

"These flocking swans, these naiads, rather, fly or dive." - Mallarme (Read the whole poem here)

The vast lake of flocking birds fly high into the sky of the blue abyss. Like a giant white cloud they soar through the skies in search of a better place because the winds are changing and the weather is getting cooler. The colder months brings sorrow for those not travelling. Flying to a climate more favorable.

Free write about a time that was a moment of awareness or monumental for you:

Unsettled and constantly pining for memories, I lie awake at night longing for my memories of a home that no longer exists. Friendships I have gained and lost. Returning to an already familiar pattern of constant change. I gather. I seek. I travel. Meeting. Saying good-bye. The cycle of impermanence continues.

Alaine in the Studio from Alaine Handa on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"I am a TCK" (2005)

This is a mash-up of the project I did as a senior at UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures. This project premiered at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA in May 2005.

The interviews/documentary film, and the dance pieces are being recreated and explored more in depth currently.

My hope is that this current project will bring the cross cultural, multi cultural, third culture kids, cross culture kids, global nomads, bi-cultural, internationally-minded, expatriates, recent immigrants, families, travellers, sojourners, wanderers all together. Its a big dream but I think we can do it.

- Alaine

Monday, September 14, 2009

Author Lauren Weisberger acknowledges TCKs

Award winning author Lauren Weisberger (#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada) acknowledges Third Culture Kids in her book Chasing Harry Winston by introducing one of the main characters to a TCK.

I was reading this "chick-lit" book on my bed a couple nights ago and came across that scene. I hope that the main character ends up meeting more global nomads.
I want to share with you an excerpt.

p.73-78 (highlighted passages which I thought was relevant)
...Paul spoke English with an American accent. He was undeniably born and raised in the States, or perhaps - at the most exotic - Canada. She was bitterly disappointed.

"I'm glad I could help. The first time I stayed here, I was a paranoid wreck. My parents used to drag us all over the world - I practically grew up in hotels - but it only took a day here to make me feel like a bumbling idiot," he said.

"Why did your family travel so much?"
"This is where I should say 'army brat' or 'diplomat's son,' but really, there's not one reason. Mostly my parents are schizophrenic about where they live, and they're both writers. So we were always on the move. I was actually born in Argentina."

"Does that make you Argentinean?"
Paul laughed. "Among other things."
"Meaning that I'm an Argentine because I was born in Buenos Aires while my parents were both working on books. We lived there off and on for a couple of years before heading to Bali. My father is English, so I'm automatically conferred UK citizenship, and my mother is French, but their citizenship laws- like their customer service- tend to be tricky, so I've never claimed that one. It may sound interesting, but I assure you, it's a colossal mess."
"It's just that you sound so...American."
"Yeah, I know. I went to American Schools my entire life, literally from kindergarten on, in whatever country we were in. And I went to university in Chicago. It kills my dad that I sound like a born-and-bred American."

Things were quite flirtatious, actually, until Emmy asked - casually, she thought- how Paul felt about kids.
His head snapped up. "Kids? What about them?"

Something about this conversation seemed to remind Paul that he was late for his previously unmentioned plans.
"Yeah, I guess. Listen, Emmy, I'm actually really late meeting up with some friends," he said, staring at his watch.

"Oh. Really? Where's home?" She realized she didn't even know where he lived.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Over Land and Water by Katherine Lung

Over Land and Water (2009)

Choreographer: Katherine Lung

Filmmaker: Alexander Brown

TCK Voices: Wazha Dube, Alan Garcia, Suzanne Leung, Katherine Lung, Albert Wang, Stephanie Yiu

Dancers: Elizabeth Bernal, Kurt Blomburg, Mallory Dykema, Jin-Ming Lai, Luke Olson-Elm, Duncan Schultz, Renee Starr, Chrysetta Stevens

Music: Clogs, Followed by Ghosts, Unwed Sailor

Special Thanks: Alaine Handa, Ian Knodel, Paula Mann, Aaron Rice, Collin Sherradin, Joanie Smith, Stephanie Yiu, University of Minnesota Theatre & Dance Program, www.denizen-mag.com