Famous Third Culture Kids (TCKs)
American Sociologist, David Pollock, is a pioneer in the Third Culture Kid (TCK) movement. In his book “Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds,” he elaborates, “A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”
It’s surprising how many of us there are in the world. Even more surprising is how many have become famous… Here’s a short list:
1. Barack Obama
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States is a TCK. He grew up in a family where his mother was American and his father was African. Obama’s mother divorced his Kenyan father, and remarried an Indonesian man, and they lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for a while. Obama returned to live with his maternal grandparents when he was in grade five. Overall Obama has three different backgrounds the United States, Indonesia and Kenya, and this is why Barack Obama is one of the most famous TCKs.
2. Kim Jong Un
Surprise everyone! Did you know that Kim Jung Un is also a TCK? It’s been told that Kim has been educated at an International School of Bern, Switzerland until he was 15 years old.
3. Uma Thurman
Hollywood actress Uma Thurman, best known for her acting career in movies like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but until nine years old she grew up in the Himalayan town of Almora Uttarakhan, India. Her father was a Buddhist writer and named her after a Hindu goddess “Uma,” which also means light.
4. Kobe Bryant
Five time NBA Champion, Kobe Bryant grew up in Reiti, Italy until age 14 and there Bryant learned the fundamentals of basketball. Bryant also gets his incredible athleticism from his father Joe Bryant, a former basketball player and a former coach.
5. Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury, the legendary lead vocalist of British rock band Queen was born in Zanizibar, Tanzania to Indian Parsi parents. Mercury was sent off to Bombay, India when he was ten years old and moved to England at the age of 17. According to Queen Band member Roger Taylor, Mercury hid his identity as an Indian, and thinkthat it was because Mercury felt that people would not relate being Indian with rock and roll.