05 January, 2010

Are your boys more comfortable in Australia or Japan?

Another question we're often asked. Not unique to us, either. A missionary friend has recently blogged her boys' response to this.

We are "home" in Brisbane for a few days. A few minutes ago our 7 y.o. asked, in a fit of boredom (while his Dad watched Day 3 of a Test Cricket Match),
"When will we go home?" 
I don't think was exactly what he wanted to say, but the sentiment is still there. When questioned about it, he wouldn't elaborate, although he did ask which day exactly in July that we'd be flying back! His 10 y.o. brother echoed the sentiment. I played the devil's advocate by asking,
"Aren't you Australian?" He quickly replied, "We've spent too much time in Japan for it not to seem more like home." and 
"I like Japan just a little more than Australia." 
 This comes as a bit of a surprise to us. In Japan our eldest had often commented that he'd like to go back to Australia. Nevertheless, we did know that there are things about Japan that they miss. On the other hand, there are things about Australia that they will miss when we return too! What a mix-up.

 A term for this is "Third Culture Kid" (TCK) - meaning a child who's spent a significant period of their formative years in a culture that is not their passport culture. The term refers to the fact that these children don't totally identify with their passport culture nor the culture where they've grown up, but rather feel most comfortable when with other children who've grown up in cultures other than their own.


Dan Rudd said...

Or on the airplane in between.

Wendy said...

Yes - that's true too, Dan.