Month: February 2009

“I am a TCK” by Alaine Handa

Showcase is a Denizen series exhibiting artist work relating to Third Culture Kids. This work is not produced by Denizen and does not reflect the opinions of the magazine. From Alaine Handa: This was my senior project on Third Culture Kids for my major at UCLA: World Arts and Culture with a concentration in dance studies. The mixed media project was completed in 2005 and featured interviews, dance, poetry and music. The video featured below is an abridged version of the entire piece. To see more of Alaine’s work, visit her website. Choreography by Alaine Handa Interviewees: Nikki Felt, Zachary Tewalthomas, Ryan Tish Dancers: Emily Anderson, Ashley Carvalho, Nancy Chang, Alaine Handa, Faye Lim, Anna Walsh, Erin Yee Lighting design: Susan Havens Project mentor: Victoria Marks, faculty in UCLA’s World Arts & Cultures department

A non-American American

I don’t think anyone ever saw it coming. The creation of a non-American American. In other words, me. Third Culture Kids often mock Americans for thinking that they are the center of the world. But few will admit that the statement is absolutely true. American dominance is prevalent in every corner of the globe. From Microsoft to Britney Spears to Barack Obama, the rest of the world is indoctrinated into American culture. But while the lasting value of American cultural exports is difficult to measure, their international institutions offer a very quantifiable example of their influence. As a consequence of this globalization, you don’t need to set foot in America to be an American. My family is from Hong Kong. I grew up in Singapore. I spent less than three months in America before moving to Chicago for college four years ago. Yet, “I thought you were American!” was one of first things Americans would say to me. That usually came after an introduction (“Hi, I’m Steph”) and a qualifying statement (“I am from Singapore”). …