Month: October 2009

meangirls

What TCKs can learn from ‘Mean Girls’

Mean Girls won’t win any Oscars, but peel away the glossy angst, and it is sociologically brilliant. The movie follows Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan) as she starts her first day at an American high school. We quickly learn that Cady, a child of research zoologists, spent 12 years growing up in Africa. “P.S., Cady is a TCK” should have gone into the credits. “I had a great life [in Africa]” Cady narrates. “And then… my mom was offered tenure at Northwestern University. And it was goodbye Africa, hello high school.” Sound familiar? The sudden move from one culture to another provides a slew of Third Culture Kid moments, visible from just the first 10 minutes of the movie. On her first day of school in Illinois, Cady’s American parents are thoroughly unaware of how difficult the cultural transition could be for her. Walking up to the African-American students, Cady says “Jambo” in Swahili. She also deals with comments like, “So, if you’re from Africa – why are you white?” (“Oh my god Karen,” …

Global nomads arts project needs your help

Artist and dancer Alaine Handa is working on a  multi-disciplinary arts project about global nomads, third culture kids and cross-cultural kids. It will incorporate visual art, short film, live music, spoken word/monologue, poetry, photography, animation, dance pieces that tell stories about individual TCKs. The project will be presented in New York City by University Settlement and A.H. Dance Company in spring 2010, and they are hoping to tour the project globally. But, she needs your help — she needs to find ever-elusive TCKs to interview. Here are instructions from Alaine. You can always contact her at ahdancecompany@gmail.com, or check out the project’s blog: 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 …

When humor crosses borders

One evening shortly after my sister returned from college, the family was sitting around the dinner table. “I think I’m getting all A’s this quarter”, said my sister. “Oh, wow, you have an A-girl”, said my mom to my father. “Well so long as she’s not Z-girl…” I added, which provoked overall laughter around the table. What was so funny about that last line? Well, it was delivered with a profoundly authentic French accent. I’m a TCK, like many others, but I’m also from a bilingual family. My father always spoke English – well, he would correct me and say “I speak American” – and my mother never strayed a sentence from Molière’s language. Our family’s communication is bilingual. Trilingual now, since my sister and I have learned Japanese in college. And there are many out there, who, like my sister and I, have jokes that just can’t be shared with many people. We have tons of funny things to say – but we’ll be laughing only with a few people about it. Humor styles …