Raising Global Children, TCK Life

Self-Reflections of my Son Eddie about his Life as a Latino TCK

Being a TCK (Third Culture Kid) can be quite the confusing experience, for others and myself. Especially in school, the name Eduardo Alejandro Garcia in Germany stands out amongst a sea of Timsand Florians. Most people immediately assume Im from Spain and I have to clarify that Im actually Venezuelan. Of course I also have to mention I was born in Texas, making me also an American. Ive gotten use to giving people my life story over the past four years and at first I was a little embarrassed by it. Nowadays Im very proud of it. It makes me feel unique and important. I wear it like a badge.

Over the years, Ive discovered the pros and cons of being a TCK. Because of my latino roots and nine years in the U.S.A, I excel in my English and Spanish classes in school, always achieving a one, the best possible grade in Germany (six being the worst and one being the best), while also managing a decent grade of three in my German classes. My family and I often receive praise for our German, which we have slowly mastered over the years. Appearance wise, I also stand out with my latino features and gestures. Knowing German, English and Spanish also makes traveling easier. I can fully communicate with others in Austria, Switzerland, Spain and the majority of South America and since almost everyone in Europe speaks English, I dont have any problems traveling through this beautiful continent.

Ive gotten use to giving people my life story over the past four years and at first I was a little embarrassed by it. Nowadays Im very proud of it. It makes me feel unique and important. I wear it like a badge.

As a TCK, I feel I have also become open-minded when it comes to other races and cultures. When I hear a persons accent when they speak a certain language, I dont laugh and make fun of them. I always feel an amount of respect towards that person, since I know the hardships of learning a foreign language. Im also completely against racism and discrimination. Just because a person has a different color of skin, different facial features or a different culture does not make them less. If more people experience other cultures, racism would be less of a problem.

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This is me in Texas nominated for District Creative Writing 

But how have I experienced other cultures? For me, experiencing other cultures means tasting new, delicious food, meeting friendly people, visiting breathtaking sights and seeing the world from a different perspective. I always enjoy visiting a new country with my family. It really opens your eyes and reminds you: There are 195 countries in the world and each one is different. My culture is just one amongst hundreds!I identify with this quote from Ghandi, the man who helped liberate India from the British: A nations culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

As I mentioned earlier however, there are also some cons. Sometimes I make grammatical mistakes in German and am laughed at by fellow students. This makes me insecure about my German sometimes, which can also make me nervous when I want to meet someone new or answer questions in class. Thankfully, my friends usually help me instead of ridiculing me.

Moving to Germany also changed my view on the world and governments, since Germans have become more open because of their tragic past and history, which in turn has changed my social life a little bit. Ive lost contact with some of my American friends, except for a few truly special ones that I love staying in touch with through the years. Sadly, most of the people I lost contact with support walls between countries, separating children from their parents and reckless behavior, which I am very against.

In the past, I have actually argued with former classmates on social media about Multicultural topics and issues… They don’t seem to understand my position and ideas.  Maybe it is also partially due to us, my siblings and I, growing up as teens with different cultures, that as a result, has shaped us to be differentsomehow more tolerant to cultural diversity. Gladly, Im still in touch with school friends from Texas who are open-mined and adventurous and I hope to see them soon.

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My siblings and I celebrating 4th of July in our house in Germany 

Another con is that despite having German friends who I see almost everyday and who accept me, I still feel like an outsider sometimes. I feel like Im in a spot the differencegame. None of my friends can truly understand what Ive been through, which can be upsetting. Besides my siblings, I have never met another TCK teen. Its a good thing Im not an only child, or else I wouldnt have anyone to relate to. Being latino also means dealing with racism. Fortunately, Ive never had to deal with any racists but I still find out what people say about my race on the internet and on the news. I will never be able to understand hatred towards people, simply because they have a different culture.

In the past, I have actually argued with former classmates on social media about Multicultural topics and issues… They don’t seem to understand my position and ideas

And of course, there is the feeling of not belonging anywhere. I cant call myself German, American or Venezuelan. I have no true nationality or home county. I guess home will always be the place where my family is. I actually like not belonging anywhere. If anything I find nationalism annoying at a times. Phrases like: America First” “Venezolanos somos los mejoresand Deutschland über allesare stupid and part of the reason racism exists. I am a citizen of the world, not just one country. I am my own person, not some person dedicated to a specific country. I am dedicated to everyone, everything and everywhere.

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As a Latino TCK I get to reunite with my family once a year 

So in conclusion, being a TCK has been a wild, sad and fun adventure and all in all, Im glad I am one. Im glad we moved to Germany and got to see so much of the world. Im glad I have American and German and even Chinese friends! Im glad I have a latino family and Dutch in-laws. I think everyone should enjoy and see the whole world like I have. Let us enjoy what the cultures of the world have to offer.

By Eddie García (one of mamá’s Little Nómadas)

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With my little brother in Venezuela, five years ago. Sadly, I can’t go back to visit because of newly reformed laws by the Venezuelan government 

 

8 comentarios en “Self-Reflections of my Son Eddie about his Life as a Latino TCK”

  1. Gracias por su historia. I especially relate to the not belonging here or there. I immigrated at age 8, and 30 years later i still feel like you- i can’t really relate to nationalism. I have an emotional reaction to anything in my native Polish, but i feel like a fish out of water when visiting. And i love the freedom of being an American, but there are definitely aspects that just don’t click for me. I am a huge sympathiser of refugees and immigrants, and documentation doesn’t change this fact. The best thing for me about growing up as a child immigrant has been that i gravitate towards people of diverse backgrounds. I married a Latino, and our kids are part Filipino. Being American is what unites us, but as you can imagine, it means something different to us than to native-born white Americans.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

  2. Eduardo: Gracias por compartir tus sentimientos y experiencias como un TCK, tendrás una exitosa carrera como escritor.
    Espero que los obstáculos o contras que ahora ves, logres convertirlos en pros, y en cosas a tu favor siempre.
    Un abrazo desde Colombia a ti y a tu mama Flor.

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