Third culture kids (TCK) or third culture individuals (TCI) are people who were raised in a culture other than their parents’ or the culture of their country of nationality, and also live in a different environment during a significant part of their child development years. The term applies to both adults and children, as the term “kid” refers to the individual’s formative or developmental years.
TCK are often exposed to a second (or third, fourth, etc.) language while living in their host culture, being physically exposed to the environment where the native or the primary language is used in practical aspects of life. TCKs move between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity. The first culture of such individuals refers to the culture of the place from which the parents originated, the second culture refers to the culture in which the family currently resides, and the third culture refers to the distinct cultural ties among all third culture individuals that share no connection to the first two cultures.
Kids far awy from their parents’ place of birth and childhood, are confronted with cultural variations which are a mix of their parents, and the others in their environment. They grow up in a cultural hybrid, a blend of cultures that can be interesting, but also confusing and frustrating to them.
As the world becomes more and more connected, the differentiation between the physical world and the Internet are undifferentiable. This leaves the boundries for friends wide open and kids are bonding more than ever when when they are far apart.
We were born and raised in a secluded corner of India. Our family have lived in the west and south of India. Our kids mingle with other kids from the north, west, south, and east. India is a country of diverse culture with few threads of similarities.