What Does Home Mean And Feel Like For A Third Culture Kid?

Home. It sounds like a simple word to define. But it’s a word that has layers and layers of meanings.

For many migrants, third culture kids, parachute families, expats, travellers, interracial couples, refugees, asylum seekers, Asian Australians, Asian Americans, African communities, Indian diaporas and really anyone who has moved around or hangs around different cultural groups, home can be hard to define. Home can be more than one place.

Home is a place and all that space around us.

Home is a place and all that space around us.

There’s always a personal connection to home and each of us understands home differently. What is ‘home’ to someone may not be ‘home’ to someone else.

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Asian, Quiet And Introverted? It’s Just The Way I Am

When we speak of introverts, we often think of those who are quiet. There’s the common stereotype that if we’re Asian, we’re quiet and passive, and perhaps introverted too.

I’ve been every bit the introvert my whole life. As a Chinese Australian who feels too Asian to be Australian and too Australian to be Asian, countless occasions I feel I don’t fit in – but ironically I love being on my own.

Introverts love quiet and their own space | Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered personalities of different colours.

Introverts love quiet and their own space | Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered personalities of different colours.

Being an introvert never bothered me, and it’s interesting seeing how others react to me and the way I am.

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How Do Some Asians Say ‘I Love You’ To Each Other?

‘I love you’. Just three words. But three words some typical Asians like those of Chinese heritage find hard to say out loud when it comes to dating and romantic relationships.

There’s this common stereotype: Asians are reserved about expressing romantic sentiments towards each other. In a progressive world where traditional and modern perspectives collide, sometimes this is still true, and sometimes not.

Love is colourful as much as it is complex | Weekly Photo Challenge: Dense.

Love is colourful as much as it is complex | Weekly Photo Challenge: Dense.

There are different degrees of love, physical and emotional. Different ways of expressing romantic love during different moments – depending on our personality, the ways we are actually comfortable expressing it and what we believe in. Personally, I’m reserved about my love life and won’t be sharing my serious relationships here; it isn’t the whole world’s business.

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The Art Of Chinese Gift Giving Etiquette: Best And Worst Gifts

Choosing and giving someone a gift can be hard. It could be a thank you gift, something for someone at their wedding, a parting present for someone on their last day at work or a birthday gift. To some of Chinese background, some gifts might be better than others.

Next week is my birthday. About a month ago, my Chinese-Malaysian parents asked me what I want for my birthday this year. That annoyed me – I don’t celebrate my birthday and don’t like attention. But I suppose they want to, and they know I’m a fussy person.

Sometimes when it’s our birthday, we get cake after dinner. Our birthday gift | Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime.

Sometimes when it’s our birthday, we get cake after dinner. Our birthday gift | Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime.

There is much superstition surrounding gift giving in Chinese culture. There are gifts which some believe bring the receiver good luck, and others not as much luck.

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Why Some Asians Love Cute Toys. And Why Some Of Us Love Stuffed Animals

All around the world, a good number of us are obsessed with stuffed animals and toys. If you’re Asian or have been to Asia, chances are cute, kawaii-looking toys are something you might be familiar with. Maybe even love.

I love stuffed animals, especially stuffed monkeys. In my apartment I have a shelf full of them collected over the years. I’m particularly fond of this one that I call Mr Wobbles: knitted with light brown wool, long skinny arms and legs, fat belly, sans tail. One of the more odd-looking toys around.

A stuffed toy can mean the world to us. All the more reason for us to take good care of it | Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful.

A stuffed toy can mean the world to us. All the more reason for us to take good care of it | Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful.

We might be obsessed with teddy bears. Or obsessed with stuffed lions or penguins. Hello Kitty, Sanrio and Rilakkuma plushes are ever so popular in Asia. But no matter the toys we’re fond of, usually the stories of our past, and our desire to find our place in this world, play a part in why these inanimate objects often matter to us a great deal.

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When And Why Do We Trust Strangers? And Why Some Asians Don’t Often Trust

To trust or not to trust? That’s the question we often ask ourselves when we meet someone for the first time or encounter strangers. Trust: it’s about believing others, taking their word and seeing the best in them.

I’m not one who trusts easily. The number of friends whom I hang out with regularly can be counted on one hand. Generally, I avoid talking to people I don’t know outside of work, be it at social occasions or on the streets. It takes a while for me to warm to someone.

Trust. Getting close with and sharing moments together usually doesn't come easy | Weekly Photo Challenge: Connect.

Trust. Getting close with and sharing moments together usually doesn’t come easy | Weekly Photo Challenge: Connect.

Trust. It’s embedded within the unconscious rituals of everyday life: walking to work, we trust passer-bys won’t stab us. We trust shopkeepers will give us the correct change at the cashier. We trust no chef spat into food we ordered. Trust. It’s about going forwards: we trust and travel to get on with our lives. And whether we trust others usually depends on where we’ve been and where we’re from.

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