Can you say, in 5 seconds, where you are from?

 

“D’où es-tu? D’où viens-tu?”, répondre à cette question de façon concise tout en étant précis et exact peut être délicat pour les élèves du Lycée Français de New York. Cela s’explique par le fait que chacun d’entre eux est un “third-culture kid”. Expliquer son identité est une compétence importante à acquérir.

Amazing things happened at the Spring Fair (photos here) this year. The weather was epic. Attendance was high. Volunteers rallied and the community engaged. But in one small corner of the Third Culture Kids (TCK) booth a group students took things to a whole new level – they embraced their global citizenship.

Students and children at an arts and crafts booth drawing the different flags of the world, during the 2016 Spring Fair.

The third culture refers to the experience of never being in the mainstream of any one culture like children who are raised in a mono-cultural environment.. It refers to people who are bouncing between the two, three or ten different cultures, never completely at the center of one or the other.

What’s your elevator pitch about where you’re from?

Since every student at the school is a TCK we posed the question: “Where are you from?” Answering that question concisely while still honoring a variety of cultural influences can pose challenges, so finding ways to communicate one’s identity is a life skill worth practicing.

One way to practice is to create an elevator speech – an explanation short enough to be told on an elevator ride, but succinct enough to embody intricacies of a global upbringing. This comes in handy for TCKs into adulthood for when they meet new people, but it isn’t appropriate to go into too much detail.

All the students at the Lycée Français de New York are third-culture kids or “TCK”. Here, three friends are chatting on the grand staircase during the 2016 Spring Fair.

In a celebration of our cultural diversity, below are some of the responses from the students who stopped by the TCK Spring Fair booth:

“Je suis né en France mais j’ai habité à New York toute ma vie. Mon père vient de la France et de l’Allemagne et ma mère est Américaine.”

“I was born in Aix-en-Provence France, lived in Shanghai, China and now live in New York City. My grandparents are American, French, Spanish and Polish.”

“I was born in U.S., but my mom came here when she was a teen from Iran and my father’s dad is also Iranian. My grandma is Japanese and my granpa was German and my grandma also lived in Spain for a while, as did my mom. At home I am more Iranian.”

“I am from Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I moved to NYC three years ago! My mother is German, my father is Canadian and I’m American.”

“I was born in Toronto, Canada but when I was a year old we moved to New York. My dad is from Canada and my mom is from Africa and Spain. In the summer we go to Canada then Spain.”

“I was born here, but my mom was born in England and my dad was born in Jamaica.”

“I was born in Canada, but my mom is from Spain but now I live in NYC and during the summer, I go to Canada and Spain.”

“I was born in New York, but my parents are from Moldova and Armenia. I spend my summers traveling everywhere.”

“Je suis né aux U.S. Je viens de Jersey City.”

“My dad is Italian, my mom is Spanish, but I live in New York and go to a French school.”

“I was born in Hungary, spent a long time living in France and now I live in New York.”

“My dad is Columbian and I grew up in Italy for three years. I came to New York as a toddler. I’m still a toddler in my heart.”

“I am born in America. I consider myself French and American. My parents came from Europe.”

“I am French and my father was born and raised in Mexico but our ancestors are Russian. I was born and raised in the U.S.”

“Je suis née à New York. Ma mama en Israël. Mon papa à Paris. Mon papi en Egypte. Mon autre papi en Algérie. Mes mamies à Paris.”

“Je suis né en France. Mes parents sont Français. Je suis allé en Chine et après à New York”

“It is a very long story…but in short I am simply an active citizen of the whole world!”

What would your elevator speech be? Can you figure out which is by Monsieur Lynch?

 

Written by Katherine King with Eva Szekeres and Muriel Berard. Learn more about Katherine’s work at invisibleculture.com
Read also an interview with Ruth Van Reken, author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.

“Where are you from?” Answering that question concisely while still honoring a variety of cultural influences can pose challenges for students at the Lycée Français. That’s because every one of them is a third-culture kid. Finding ways to communicate one’s identity is a life skill worth practicing.

Amazing things happened at the Spring Fair (photos here) this year. The weather was epic. Attendance was high. Volunteers rallied and the community engaged. But in one small corner of the Third Culture Kids (TCK) booth a group students took things to a whole new level – they embraced their global citizenship.

Students and children at an arts and crafts booth drawing the different flags of the world, during the 2016 Spring Fair.

The third culture refers to the experience of never being in the mainstream of any one culture like children who are raised in a mono-cultural environment.. It refers to people who are bouncing between the two, three or ten different cultures, never completely at the center of one or the other.

What’s your elevator pitch about where you’re from?

Since every student at the school is a TCK we posed the question: “Where are you from?” Answering that question concisely while still honoring a variety of cultural influences can pose challenges, so finding ways to communicate one’s identity is a life skill worth practicing.

One way to practice is to create an elevator speech – an explanation short enough to be told on an elevator ride, but succinct enough to embody intricacies of a global upbringing. This comes in handy for TCKs into adulthood for when they meet new people, but it isn’t appropriate to go into too much detail.

All the students at the Lycée Français de New York are third-culture kids or “TCK”. Here, three friends are chatting on the grand staircase during the 2016 Spring Fair.

In a celebration of our cultural diversity, below are some of the responses from the students who stopped by the TCK Spring Fair booth:

“Je suis né en France mais j’ai habité à New York toute ma vie. Mon père vient de la France et de l’Allemagne et ma mère est Américaine.”

“I was born in Aix-en-Provence France, lived in Shanghai, China and now live in New York City. My grandparents are American, French, Spanish and Polish.”

“I was born in U.S., but my mom came here when she was a teen from Iran and my father’s dad is also Iranian. My grandma is Japanese and my granpa was German and my grandma also lived in Spain for a while, as did my mom. At home I am more Iranian.”

“I am from Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I moved to NYC three years ago! My mother is German, my father is Canadian and I’m American.”

“I was born in Toronto, Canada but when I was a year old we moved to New York. My dad is from Canada and my mom is from Africa and Spain. In the summer we go to Canada then Spain.”

“I was born here, but my mom was born in England and my dad was born in Jamaica.”

“I was born in Canada, but my mom is from Spain but now I live in NYC and during the summer, I go to Canada and Spain.”

“I was born in New York, but my parents are from Moldova and Armenia. I spend my summers traveling everywhere.”

“Je suis né aux U.S. Je viens de Jersey City.”

“My dad is Italian, my mom is Spanish, but I live in New York and go to a French school.”

“I was born in Hungary, spent a long time living in France and now I live in New York.”

“My dad is Columbian and I grew up in Italy for three years. I came to New York as a toddler. I’m still a toddler in my heart.”

“I am born in America. I consider myself French and American. My parents came from Europe.”

“I am French and my father was born and raised in Mexico but our ancestors are Russian. I was born and raised in the U.S.”

“Je suis née à New York. Ma mama en Israël. Mon papa à Paris. Mon papi en Egypte. Mon autre papi en Algérie. Mes mamies à Paris.”

“Je suis né en France. Mes parents sont Français. Je suis allé en Chine et après à New York”

“It is a very long story…but in short I am simply an active citizen of the whole world!”

What would your elevator speech be? Can you figure out which is by Monsieur Lynch?

 

Written by Katherine King with Eva Szekeres and Muriel Berard. Learn more about Katherine’s work at invisibleculture.com
Read also an interview with Ruth Van Reken, author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.

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Katherine King

Founder of Invisible Culture

Katherine King
Katherine King is the founder of the consulting firm Invisible Culture that provides customized cross-cultural training, coaching and strategy development to multinational organizations that want to maximize the potential of their work force. She is also a parent at the Lycée Français de New York.

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