Month: January 2010

Massachusetts Senate race: Do TCKs vote?

Massachusetts Democrats are in danger of losing late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat to the GOP on Tuesday, thereby surrendering their 60-seat Senate majority and jeopardizing health care reform plans. It’s not looking good for the Dems. Democratic candidate Martha Coakley is 7 points behind Republican Scott Brown, and with President Barack Obama dropping in on the campaign trail — it is critical that voters turn out Tuesday. Which leads me to wonder: do TCKs vote? Fellow Denizen writer Suzanne Leung has previously tackled the concept of expatriate patriotism. But, are TCKs apathetic about their home countries because they have never lived there? Or, are apathetic about their host countries because they are not citizens and cannot vote? Or, are they wildly motivated about political causes because of their international experiences? In 2008, I volunteered on the Obama campaign even though I couldn’t vote. It was an incredible learning experience for me, since I had never been involved in anything political before. Do you, as a TCK, vote? Do you participate in political movements around the …

Haiti earthquake: why should citizenship matter?

In the wake of the Haiti earthquake crisis, the American Red Cross posted information about the U.S. State Department’s efforts in finding loved ones in the disaster zone. That’s where I saw this sentence: “Unfortunately at this time, inquiries to search for non-U.S. Citizens missing in Haiti are not being accepted.” I understand that with limited resources, it makes perfect sense for people to “help their own.” However, this statement is frustrating because I firmly believe that “citizenship” is a flawed way of defining a person’s identity or national ties, and should not used as a segregator — whether in disaster relief aid or other situations. “Citizenship” is a legal status that is easily manipulated. It is not an identity, it does not define a human being, and it should not be misconstrued as such. “What’s your citizenship?” as a substitute for “Who are you?” As TCKs, we know that equating citizenship with a person’s identity is flawed. Every day, people greet TCKs with questions such as “Where are you from?” or “What’s your citizenship?” …

Today’s Zaman features Third Culture Kid family

It’s always exciting to see Third Culture Kids featured in mainstream press because of how rarely it happens. For years, the only coverage I ever saw was in the International Herald Tribune, which is a newspaper with a predominately expatriate audience. But even they only wrote about TCKs a few times a year, if that. Today’s Zaman is one of the main English language newspapers in Turkey — and they wrote a profile about a mother-daughter TCK pair, Brigitte and Mira. Since I wrote a piece about TCKs raising TCK children, I was really interested in what Brigitte had to say about raising her 4-year-old. From the article: “Both my husband and I are working to equip her with the skills to deal with a global world,” Brigitte emphasized, adding, “Mira’s already aware of different languages and cultures as we go to Germany to visit relatives and visit a lot of other places, too.” Read the full story at Today’s Zaman.