Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Cross Kids ~ Cross-Cultural Kids!

Spencer licking the bowl and spoons after making snicker doodles...

So they say…
“A Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK) is a person who has lived in—or meaningfully interacted with—two or more cultural environments for a significant period of time during developmental years.” 
Ruth E. Van Reken, co-author Third Culture Kids
Every day we see little bits and pieces of how our children are growing, developing and changing into cross-cultural kids.   What’s been interesting has been the adjustment for the kids in regards to, not only, Thai culture but surprisingly American culture as well.  
As many of you are aware all the other ZOE missionaries are American along with a large proportion of the children’s friends and teachers at the international kindergarten, school and church.  We are continually switching between Australian English, American English and Thai. Funnily enough, it doesn’t seem to phase the kids one bit!
It may seem that we have gone a little bit loopy but in a typical day, during breakfast my children can be seen eating bowls of rice followed by a piece of Vegemite toast, singing the alphabet song amongst themselves ending in “w, x, y and zeeee”, giving me a wai (Thai bow) to say thank you and then asking to go “pee pee” in an American accent!
I just love this key ring Tobi just made for me at school!

Our children will grow up having three different languages spoken at them constantly… and let’s be honest American English is nothing like Australian English- diaper, pacifier, side walk, flashlight, trash can… WHAT? I know, but…. ! Our kids totally understand it! And then there’s the Thai.  Spencer thanks me in Thai more than English and is getting to know two or three different names for many common objects.
As I do more reading I am learning about both the benefits and challenges of raising cross-culture kids.  
But what I really want to know is, what does all this make me? 
Am I a cross-cultured mum, mai... or is it mom?  
I don’t know but I did just bake my first batch of snicker doodles the other day!! 
Andie :)

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