Julie Englander, a Chicago-based journalist, is currently filming a documentary on Missionary Kids returning to the U.S. and adjusting to their supposed “home culture.”
Using a person’s birthplace to define citizenship, or a person’s place in society, is frustratingly archaic. It reinforces a flawed notion that people can be placed within pre-defined boxes, and that one’s patriotism can be determined by one’s birthplace.
Hearing news of disasters or conflict can often remind TCKs of other events that have happened closer to home. They remember how it affected them before, and understand how it is affecting others now.
When I saw my friend Si’s e-mail telling me that another earthquake had hit, only one thought came to mind. My close friend Liv would have been at work, right in the heart of Christchurch’s Central Business District. WHERE. WAS. SHE.
I still remain unsure of how to approach the situation. Even though I identify myself partly as Egyptian, my pale complexion and my passport say that it is not my place to discuss the future of Egypt.
Is Rahm Emanuel a resident of Chicago? Well, he was born in Chicago, grew up in Chicago, was educated in Chicago and represented Chicago in Congress for three terms. Yet he’s not ‘Chicago’ enough to run for Mayor? The Illinois courts seem to think so. Because Emanuel did not physically reside in Chicago for the last 12 months, they disqualified him from this year’s mayoral race. This absurd story runs parallel to many Third Culture Kid tales we hear on Denizen. My story is not unique: raised with American friends, educated in American schools, attended American university, yet cannot live or work in America without struggle because I was born on foreign soil. Trying to put hard and fast rules to the terms “residency” or “citizenship” hurts everyone. Chicagoans lose the chance to vote for the frontrunner — Emanuel had 44 percent support according to polls, and $12 million in the bank. The American workforce loses talented, international, college-educated Third Culture Kids who are not given a fair chance at success. These TCKs who look, …
Denizen365 is a daily self-portrait photo blog brought to you by Denizen, a magazine for Third Culture Kids. At Denizen365, we ask Third Culture Kids to visually express, through self-portraits, “Where are you from?” As you will see, no two global nomads are the same, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. We hope to visually explore the profiles of 365 TCKs, while connecting this community of travelers across the world. Check out the site, or submit your photo here. Don’t forget to join our community on Facebook and Twitter.