“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”
A podcast that I really enjoy that's a little less creepy but still really good is called the cryptid keeper. It's more funny than creepy and the two girls who host it are both LGBT and super charming. If you're into cryptids I'd highly recommend it! My favourite episodes of it are the one on faeries the one on merfolk and the one on black eyed children. Also one of the hosts does a podcast called the nosleep podcast. I haven't gotten around to that one yet but I know it's creepier.
So I’m reading about Turkish culture from an Anglophone expat baby’s perspective, and as an Anglophone expat baby myself, so many things are validating. So many things about my personality and my upbringing and and my sometime baffling attitudes. My love of logic and my deep superstition. My devotion to family. My feminism and my love and need to embrace traditional femininity. My feminism and the confusing comfort that washes over me when gender roles are filled. My unbounded romanticism. My liberalism but the comfort in performative custom and etiquette.
Third Culture Kid - being raised in a country that you’re parents are not from and you are not accepted as part of that culture, or simply finding it difficult to answer the question ‘Where are you from? ’
What I tell people when I meet them:
I grew up in one country, my parents are from a second country and they moved to a third country with my siblings when I started college. I now live in a fourth country and happen to speak all four languages.
What most people seem to hear:
I have an exciting and unique background, I lead a super-interesting life and I have a way with languages that is to be envied.
What I don't tell them:
I don't know where home is, I never see my parents or my siblings enough and when people tell me they envy me I usually feel like screaming.
I had doubts about wearing my dirndl in America because even though I grew up in Germany where a lot of people still wear dirndls to festivals and stuff, I know how sexualized my cultural dress has become in America (and how just plain ignorant people can be). This is messed up guys. Just think about it–if I wore a Sari (traditional Indian dress), no one would give a care. I’ve seen men wearing kilts without a care and women wearing kimonos for special occasions. They’re accepted and respected here. But I show up in my dirndl and these are just a few of the reactions I’ve gotten:
“Wow, showing some cleavage?"
"Are you dressed as some kind of bar wench?"
"You’re being embarrassing.”
“I like your medieval costume."
"Hey look it’s Snow White!"
That’s because the American vision of a dirndl is this:
We even had a similar version stuck to the door of my German classroom in American high school, perpetuating the ignorance. This stuff is why when I say, "I’m going to wear my traditional German dress for halloween,” this is what they picture.
So let’s raise some awareness folks. THIS is a traditional german dress. A dirndl.
And it might look old fashioned and a bit sexy, but that’s not an excuse to call me ‘wench.'
Someday I want to be able to wear my dirndl in America without embarrassing my friends.
Countless times people have said to me, “Oh so you’re British?” or, “You were born in England right?” or just, “You’re accent is so British.” This used to give me an ego boost - who wouldn’t want to be told they have an English accent? Everyone always says how brilliant it sounds. But after a while I stopped being proud and started to get a little irritated. Every time I’d have to respond with, “Nope, not British, never have been, never will.” When this happens, I think to myself, do you know what would be really nice? If someone, just once, said, “Hey you sound like you’re from New Zealand.”
My name is Petra and I could fly before I could walk. At the meer age of one month, I’d taken a plane and travelled all the way from New Zealand to China. Since then I’ve lived in five countries and attended four different schools. But regardless of where I’ve been I’ve never really felt like I’ve had a home.
The word home is such a comforting word, don’t you think? It gives that feeling of warmth and safety… of blanket forts and homemade cookies and feeling like you belong. I’m not saying that I’ve gone my whole life without eating a cookie. I’m saying I’ve never felt like I’ve belonged. And I mean properly belonged. I’ve seen my friends stand tall and strong when speaking about their country with pride. Others rattling on in their mother tongue as if this language of theirs has some secrets that my language just can’t understand. I see my friends eyes light up when they’re with someone from their own country talking about their childhood there.
This is something that I can’t do. For one thing I haven’t attended an international school before that has a giant population of kiwis. But also - even if I did have kiwis to connect with, what would I say? I’ve only lived there around ⅕ of my life. I haven’t even read Lord of the Rings yet! No, if I was friends with a kiwi I would feel like I belonged even less, with my glaring obvious lack of New Zealand slang and my annoyingly inconsistent British accent.
So where does that leave me? Without a home? I used to think it left me with an empty pit in my soul and I would be emotionally stunted for the rest of eternity. But lately I’ve been thinking it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as that. Just because there isn’t a place I identify as home doesn’t mean I don’t have a home. In actual fact - I have hundreds of homes. Hundreds of homes running around me everyday hugging and laughing and smiling with me. My friends and family are my home. They are what gives me that feeling of warmth and safety. They’re the ones who I build blanket forts with and bake homemade cookies. Sure my knowledge of New Zealand culture is lacking and maybe I don’t really know where I’m from, but you know what people say, “Home is where the heart is.”