What am I?

Newbie here :slight_smile:

I’m just curious as to whether anybody else here feels the same way as I do…

The one thing which has always confused me about who I am is my nationality and I’m never quite sure who to identify myself as.

I was born in Taiwan to Taiwanese parents so ethnically, I am a Taiwanese… however I moved overseas at a very young age and hold citizenship in both Australia and New Zealand (I think my Kiwi citizenship has been given up through as my passport expired a few years back and I never renewed it).

I’m in Australia now and have been for the past 10 odd years… I even speak with an Aussie accent (I really hate it sometimes though :blush: )… but I don’t think I’ll ever see myself as an Australian… and even with other people, they still identify me as a foreigner.

When I am in Taiwan, I experience similar problems there too… I speak mandarin and I look asian but for whatever reason, strangers I encounter (whether it be taxi drivers or shop assistants)… they can always tell that I am not exactly a native (some even ask if I am an ABC)… and they always like to make the point that there’s a difference between “them” and “us”. And a lot of the time, I feel as if I am being looked down upon :s

I know I shouldnt care what others think but I’m just confused… and especially at the age I’m at now… having to deal with the whole ‘finding yourself, figuring out who you are’ stuff… i dunno :neutral:

Strange thing. I remember reading a Joseph O’Connor book where he talks about how Irish who live abroad permanently feel when they go home for Christmas, and then go back to wherever it is they came from. I don’t really belong in England, Hong Kong, Taiwan or China, but I kind of feel I don’t really fit in at “home” either (wherever that is).

No one can answer the question but you. But does it really need answering? Ireland (and Tawian to a certain extend) has been torn to bits with people constantly wondering who the fuck they are. I have given up. I use the trite answer “I’m a man of the world, man” but in a way it’s kind of true. I’m just a white, English speaking European. Who likes the drink a bit too much. I honestly don’t know if finding a label for yourself will help much.

The easy answer is: you’re Australian. However, you sound like a “third culture kid”… hmmm, looks like they actually have a website :slight_smile:

tckworld.com/tckdefine.html

wow, I wasn’t aware there was such a thing as a TCK (I only know about ABC’s, etc). It was interesting to read what that website had to say and it does make sense I guess

thanks for sharing

You are Australian and Kiwi. Your citizenship, if you did become a citizen and not just a resident, does not expire when your passport does. You are a citizen that wouldn’t get back in without a new passport, wait… you can use the Aussie one and live in NZ anyway.

I hold a Taiwanese passport too though, will there be any troubles with having 3 passports?

Only if you try to use them all at the same time :wink:

What other people identify you as a foreigner? You don’t see yourself as an Australian, so you probably tell people your Taiwanese.

When you’re back in Taiwan you just tell people you’re Taiwanese but have lived overseas for some time. Nothing new here with meeting ROC nationals like that.

My son was born in Taiwan, lived here until he was 7, when to school in Brisbane, moved back here when he was 11. He had no problems with telling people he was Australian. But he did tell me that some of his Taiwanese born friends and Korean born students would hang out in their own little groups and not play with the other Aussies. He would hangout with either aussies or other friends if they were doing something interesting.

He came back and did 5th 6th grade up here in Alishan with the Aboriginal kids and reckons this has been the best school time he’s had so far. He’s at the Lincoln American School in Taichung but spends holidays back in Alishan with his buddies. But if you people here ask him where he’s from it’s Australia, mate.

Just go toss another shrimp on the barbie and stop thinking about it, mate.

She,

I guess I had the same problems as a young adult on Taiwan. Since being born in Taiwan and growing up mostly overseas, you miss out on the cultural and social cues that cements your identity as being local.

Well my only advise is enjoy the uniqueness of being you and it gets better as you get older because you’ll understand the nuiances of what each identity expects of you. Hence, you will be able to manage other people’s perception of you to your advantage.

Great link daasgrrl…describes me down to a TCK.

She, there are more TCKs out there than you know. Hopefully, someday the world will be full of us that there will be no need to explain everything that really isn’t too complicated to begin with. Some of my friends’ backgrounds will take about 20 minutes to explain – and most people still don’t get it.
Incidentally, in dealing with people, I tailor my answer to the question. Sometimes they ask “Are you Japanese or Korean?” (Chinese), “Are you an ABC/CBC?” (No), “Where are you from?” (Canada). I never offer more unless they ask more.
You will encounter condescending remarks but you will also encounter praise. Take both in stride and accept yourself as what you are – a very lucky person.

I think a lot of ‘TCKs’ get really screwed up on the murky seperation of ethnicity and identity, it takes about a hour to explain that I was born in HK but spent all my early years between Boston, Mass., Taiwan and Switzerland… and 2 hours if you want me to explain my Russian great-grandmother on my mum’s side and my Indian one on my Dad’s. I wouldn’t bother with the labels and get on with exploiting your cultural and symbolic capital for all its worth, heh.

The people I meet from Mainland China are most interested in questioning my identity and its often the 1st thing they ask upon meeting me, as to whether I ‘feel’ Chinese despite the ethnic blood that apparently binds me to a place I’ve never been to for more than 3 weeks. But I usually cope by saying that the Queen reckons I’m a British citizen of the realm of the United Kingdom and that if they’re really that bothered they can thrash it out with HRH.

Also daasgrl, that’s a great link. I’ve never heard the term either and identify with bits of it…However, ‘global nomad’ doesn’t have the same ring as my own invention: ‘International vagrant’ :smiley:

Q: Why do TCKs not ‘look’ Chinese? So many people have approached me speaking Japanese and Korean assuming I’m a native of places I’ve never set foot in. Also, the majority of ABCs/TCKs I’ve met are HOT!
I’ve found that its not to do with dress sense… body language maybe?

Doesn’t matter where you’re from! We are all on this great big sinking ship together. You don’t have a dilemma as far as I can tell. I think you are actually happy to stand out as being different or special. You seem to be anyways. I would be too if I had multiple passeports from such countries. So just don’t worry about it because what really matters is where you are going and where you want to be. Cheer up and have a bite at the pie while there’s some left.

[quote=“She”]The one thing which has always confused me about who I am is my nationality and I’m never quite sure who to identify myself as.

I’m in Australia now and have been for the past 10 odd years… I even speak with an Aussie accent (I really hate it sometimes though :blush: )… but I don’t think I’ll ever see myself as an Australian… and even with other people, they still identify me as a foreigner.[/quote]

There’s nothing wrong with an Aussie accent! Why do you hate it? What would you prefer?

But judging from your avatar, I suspect you’re actually Japanese. If your name is Sadako then please do not send me any videotapes.

[quote=“Peter Tosh”]I am that I am

I’m not in this world
To live up to your expectations
Neither are you here to live up to mine, yeah

I don’t owe no one
No obligation
No I don’t mean none
So everything is fine, fine

CHORUS
I said I am that I am
I am I am Iam
(4x)

Don’t underestimate
My ability
Don’t definate my character
Don’t belittle
My authority
It is time you recognized my quality

CHORUS

Learn to love
To love your brother
Don’t covet your neighbor

Flee from the city
It’s getting shitty
It is full of out-a-quity(Inequity)

CHORUS

I am the rock of the ages
You cannot move I at all
I am the son of lightining
You cannot move I at all
Son of Jacob
Cannot move me at all
I am the son of Moses
You can’t move I at all
I am the son of David
You cannot move I at all

I am a firm ripe diamond
You cannot move I at all
You could a shed more tears
You cannot move I at all

You could a full of evil
You cannot move I at all
You could a try more nuttin’
You cannot move I at all

And you can try make a something
That can’t move I at all
And could a come with ism
You can’t move I at all

And could come with skism
That can’t move I at all [/quote]

[quote=“She”]Newbie here :slight_smile:

I’m just curious as to whether anybody else here feels the same way as I do…

The one thing which has always confused me about who I am is my nationality and I’m never quite sure who to identify myself as.
[/quote]
You’re currently an Australian citizen, so I guess you’re Australian. If your ancestors are mostly Han Chinese, you could call yourself Chinese-Australian.

I was born in the UK to American citizen parents, and moved to the US when I was a baby. I consider myself American. 49% of my ancestors were Danish, so ethnically I could consider myself Danish-American. However, my Danish ancestors came to the US between 1872 and 1905, so it is a few generations removed.

[quote=“Chris”]
You’re currently an Australian citizen, so I guess you’re Australian. [/quote]

She’s also Kiwi and Taiwanese because she holds citizenship to those countries as well. As the world gets smaller, there will be more and more people that cannot be defined by their passports.
For example, I have a friend born in Malaysia to a Cdn father and a HK (BNO-British National Overseas) mother. He was raised in the US and his mom became US citizen. He considers himself a US citizen HOWEVER he only has a US green card. He travels with a Cdn passport despite never having lived or visited Canada before. Another friend is Japanese, her husband is Cdn and her son is American. Her son will be raised in Japan and Canada, not the US. Which identity will the child most likely identify with once he gets older?
Citizenship is just a method to make sure we all pay taxes (some of us pay more due to multiple citizenships). Identity cannot be so easily contained.

Here’s the thing…why do you feel the need to explain your life story in order to identify yourself? Why not pick one place with which you identify the most? I have been in Taiwan for 1/8 of my life as well as in France, but there’s no doubt that despite how I feel about going back in the near future, I am American…simply because a) that’s where I spent the majority of my life and b) it’s where my passport is from. I understand you have a different situation since you have three passports but surely you must have a stronger connection to one of those three countries.
It’s almost as if you are justifying your skin color and accent by producing a big long story about where you have lived. If people care that much about it, they probably aren’t going to change their opinions much no matter how much you explain to them.