Originally the term Third Culture Kid (TCK) was a description for children who grew up for a longer period of time outside their home country. They were for example children from military or missionary families or from families of businesspeople or aid workers. Scientist found that each of those expatriate communities has its own subculture, which doesn’t fully represent the home’s culture or the culture of the host country. It is, so to speak, a third culture. In the early days children of those communities were little representatives of the companies the family worked for. They were special kids with special lifestyles. Today it is very different. There are a lot more children growing up outside their home country. They even live in two or more different cultures during childhood. They are not considered as representatives any more. But they all have one thing in common, they all or at least most of them are returning home one day.
My three daughters are born in three different countries. My oldest is born in Japan, the second one in Germany and the little one in Australia, but she thinks she is Chinese because she was just a little baby when we came to China. Apart from the question where the children are coming from, what is their identity we are also dealing with the fact that the lifestyle is so different from their friends in Germany or Australia. I think most of the time they enjoy this way of living but sometimes they are sad and wish for a life like “normal” kids. Later I’d like to write a lot more about living with three TCK’s and I hope one day my oldest will join and write about her experiences :-).