November 30, 2008

Third culture kids unite

Thanks to my friend Gillian, my inbox this morning held a very interesting article I would like to share, "Obama Brings the Expat Experience to the White House". The author, Ruth E. Van Reken, is an TCK (Third Culture Kid) herself and writes about the TCK traits that Obama (and many of his new staff) will bring to the White House and how they may affect the way the new administration guides the nation, and influences the world.


Back in February, I read "Dreams of My Father" and was struck by his first 10 years of life. I don't think even he, at the time only 26 years old, understood what those years would bring to him in terms of cross-cultural skills and a truly global mindset. So, if you missed it the first time around, please enjoy one of my favorite posts. If you have read the book or know his childhood story, you can skim the first part and jump further down to see how his background informs the extraordinary skills that eventually brought him all the way to the White House.


Happy reading on a cold, rainy Sunday. I am waiting for the rain to break to have a run.

a domani,


Anonymous said...

Thanks for picking this article up and making the link to it. and as a friend sent me your info, it's great to see your blogspot too...a great job! Sorry I wasn't there to hear you at SIETAR 2008. Thanks for what you are doing so well to help the many who grow up and live among many cultures! Ruth Van Reken

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links and this article. I too have sensed "something different" about Obama, and until reading this article about third culture kids, was not able to understand just what it was. My Afro-American relatives and friends too have often asked themselves and one another, midst perplexity but also great amusement: Is he for real? Is he "one of us?"

Of course he is, it's just that his interpretation of being "one of us" has probably been enormously expanded owing to his being a third culture kid, thus making him so attractive in the global arena.

Interesting concept!

claire said...

Hi Larc - thanks for your encouraging comment on my blog; it feels a little funny to be opening up to the world, and it feels good at the same time. As for Obama - well, as a somewhat grown-up TCK, I rejoice. I see the difference in perspective it gives me all the time, and boy howdy, does the US need some of that these days. Maybe it should be a requirement for presidents to live abroad!