Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land by Eric Michaels

I liked this post by Michaels because it is about a cross-cultural experience, with an ethnic twist. It is something that expats feel when they are raised abroad as missionary kids, or feelings experienced by “third culture” children raised overseas because of their parents work. Even army brats, who move within the United States, find they are not rooted enough to respond to the culture they live in.

My father was an engineer who worked in the natural gas industry. While I lived overseas I hung on to my Canadian birthplace as my identity. But when I went back to Canada I did not fit in. I did not understand their jokes, the television, politics, customs, I was disdainful of their seemingly vacuous,  modern life-style. My childhood was spent in Iran, where life was more flavorful, and gritty. My mother, and my elementary schooling, was British. It turns out that the British-Iranian combination is the strongest cornerstone of my identity.

Eventually, I integrated all the different “selfs” that I carry around with me; the Brit, the Iranian, the Canadian, the American. Writing speeds up that discernment process. It’s my”holy foursome:” four that are one, but not wholly so. Each identity is full of holes, and delightedly, not so holy either!

However, I’m white, and my most of my cultures are near-cultures, very “Anglo.” Here is my favorite video for the third culture humans who grapple with ethnic complexity too, presented by Ethnic Man, Teja Arboleda.


About jkConibear

Judy is from neither here, nor there, but those places in between. She is a cross-cultural writer whose works are unified by themes of identity and belonging. She escapes her suburban life by typing up stories, much to the dismay of her starving family.

Posted on May 20, 2015, in Intercultural, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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