TEDX: Being Culturally Homeless

Hi there!

While there are still a ton of independent vloggers I’d like to introduce you to, I thought it’d be nice to mix things up a little bit. I’ve been looking at TED Talks focusing on cross-cultural issues lately, and there are a few I plan to share with you. Today’s Talk comes from TEDxYouth@BIS (Bonn International School), and our speaker is Crystal Singh.

Singh focuses on experiences as a teenage TCK. She breaks down the TCK lifestyle and general attributes, and then delves into problems that usually arise because of said lifestyle. Singh explains, “It’s a very different life, and not many people understand this kind of situation,” and while some TCKS are extremely comfortable “resetting” wherever they go, others might develop inhibitions.

Fortunately, Singh found something encouraging in her lifestyle. “Raise your hand if some of your greatest experiences were outside of your home country,” she tells the crowd. For Singh, her memories and pictures from around the world give her a great sense of pride. Her experiences abroad are worth more than worries about fitting back home with friends who might not understand. She further reminds us that though a TCK lifestyle isn’t the usual kind, it’s also not a bad thing.

As an end note, the country tags for this post are based on the information provided in the video’s description on YouTube, which states that Singh has resided in the USA, Germany, and Singapore.


TEDx: Building Identity as a Third Culture Kid

Hi there!  Here’s my latest TEDx find. Speaker Erik Vyhmeister talks to an audience at Andrews University about his difficult attempts to define his identity as a TCK.

He helps define the TCK term and characteristics by taking us through his life. It’s a nice comparison in that we travel with him and easily come to understand why he ends up with his struggles. I ended up with many thoughts after watching this speech.

Some things I enjoyed about this presentation:

1. He doesn’t accuse anyone for misunderstanding him. He doesn’t point fingers; rather, he asks the audience to do the best they can to understand what is already difficult to understand.

2. He tells the audience, his home country that he does not really belong there, that he is not really American. This confession is heartfelt and doesn’t come off as arrogant. His plea is to be accepted as different.

3. The entire conversation leans more towards the non-TCK in that it speaks to those who would not understand him right away. He directly addresses non-TCKs several times, rather than TCKs in the audience, and I think that focus helps the audience incline towards more understanding.

It was good to hear him tell his passport country that he is not American. It would be scary to do so, to honestly speak your heart when what you really want to for people to accept you, but this kind of acceptance and understanding comes when people first accept that you are different.

So watch and see what comes to mind in your own view. When watching these videos, I hope that you can take some time to reevaluate your positions and beliefs, see if anything has changed, or if anything has been reaffirmed. Since our identities are so hard to create, it’s important to review ourselves often.

Speaking of identities, I found another great video specifically for building an identity. I’ll share that with you soon. For now, please enjoy Erik Vyhmeister’s TEDx talk.

TEDx: Third Culture Kids: Future Citizens

Hi there!

I’ve got another TEDx talk for you all. I’m happy to say that I’ve found a lot more TCK discussion going on in the TEDx community. This is a talk from Thailand’s TEDxYouth@RIS. The speaker is Naman Kedia, a young gentleman who gives an interesting account of his TCK experience from the perspective of religion. So, Kedia starts off with a story about his trek through religious differences, and realizes that the question, “What religion are you?” has become just as difficult to answer as, “Where are you from?”

Thanks to the acquired skill of open-mindedness, which Kedia attributes to all TCKs, he was able to stop seeing religion as a dividing factor. Rather, he saw it as a chance to cherish and celebrate all the friends he’s made because of being introduced to each religion. He also says that the world’s problems and multi-generational hatred stem from differences, and a TCK’s ability to simply get along and be adaptable is exactly the kind of mindset that future citizens need.

I’m not sure why RIS’s TEDx videos are doubled (you’ll see what I mean when you watch), but please check out Kedia’s video here:

TEDx: Being a Rootless Third Culture Kid

Hi there.

Today’s video is another Ted Talk. Specifically, this talk comes from from TedXUofL’s February conference titled “Interconnected.” The speaker is Benjamin Self, a TCK whose topic is about the degree of rootlessness that his upbringing caused. His childhood habit of moving increased further during adulthood and led him to realize an unfavorable outcome, one he suggests might not plague just TCKs and CCKs, but a greater population as well. “…in part because of my wonderful childhood, I’ve nevertheless been suffering from a kind of debilitating condition which is … what I call a weak local connectivity, or network connectivity.”

This talk includes some intriguing quotes that certainly got me reevaluating my current ideas about being connected to whomever happens to be in my current (face-to-face) social circle. Perhaps one of my favorite quotes from this talk (also quoted by Self) is, “I’ve started to realize that all this moving and traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go. This is my station.’”

While I will admit that it was somewhat difficult to watch (when I hear someone try to briefly explain Third Culture Kids to a general audience, there is always a great struggle to convey a great deal of information in a short period of time), his final point and ending message are noteworthy. I encourage you to take a look.


Hi there! Branching off from our last theme, TED Talks, I bring you a video about compassion. Today’s video comes from TCKid. It was created in an effort to support a greater project. Allow me to explain.

We begin with Karen Armstrong’s 2008 TED prize wish and 2009 TED Talk for compassion. Armstrong requested a unified and active effort from the world to include compassion in their lives. This series of discussions gave birth to the Charter for Compassion movement, in which the TED organization, as well as thousands of individuals  worldwide, created a life pledge that would give greater strength and voice to the golden rule. The importance of treating others as you would like to be treated is not a light subject, but it certainly gives way to many rewards.

Today’s video features people from around the world (including TCKid founder, Brice Royer) speaking about what compassion means to them. Here, compassion is explained and contemplated in multiple languages. It’s a great way of showing how universally important this topic is, just as the Charter for Compassion expresses the sheer worth of its mission.

What does compassion mean to you?

TED Talks and TEDx

Hi there! Today’s videos come from TED, the organization that strives to inspire and educate the world, hence it’s slogan, “Ideas worth spreading.”

I am sharing two videos with you. The first is from the larger set of conferences, TED Talks. In this TED Talks video, Pico Iyer sets out to answer a question many global nomads have had to ponder over and over again. The second video is from a TEDxYouth conference. In this video, a girl named Betty Park shares her very own TCK story and lifestyle.

While this blog focuses mainly on Third Culture Kid topics, I strongly encourage you to visit the TED Talks website. There’s a plethora of interesting and amazing videos on their site, all covering a variety of topics. Chances are you will find something you like, and be inspired. If you are a TCK, hopefully these two videos below will offer you some inspiration.