Ramon Tikaram — When Many Cultures Form One Identity

Ramon Tikaram in BBC's 'Happy Valley' (Image credit: Red Production Company Limited)

Identity is a dynamic and often complex part of people’s lives. At some point, everyone struggles with their sense of identity. This is particularly true for multicultural individuals.

If everyday people struggle with this, one might wonder how a professional actor may feel – they often take on very different identities in their roles.

How might things be if you’re an adult Third Culture Kid (TCK) and professional actor? There’s not just one simple answer, of course.

For Ramon Tikaram, this unique position has had an overall positive affect on his life and sense of identity.

Ramon Tikaram in 'Pennyworth' (Image credit: HBOMax)
Ramon Tikaram (left) in ‘Pennyworth’ (Image credit: HBOMax)

In an interview with Emma Cook from the Independent, Tikaram talked about his background and upbringing. His mother is from Borneo and his father from Fiji. Tikaram himself was born in Singapore.

As with many TCKs, Tikaram was a Military B.R.A.T. and traveled all over the world. Later in his life, he joined a military school in Dover, England and eventually got into drama at Kent University. In the interview, he explained how acting ultimately helped with his sense of identity.

Both my parents were from cultures alien to each other, moving to a third culture alien to them both… I felt acting described another world or another me. A sense of uniformity in my life was absent, creating another identity was very important.

Ramon Tikaram in The Independent

Tikaram and finding uniformity

It may seem contradictory to take on completely different identities to feel “uniformity.” However, Tikaram is apparently empowered by it. His positive attitude is reassuring as he has taken roles with a variety of different backgrounds. His mixed heritage got him into roles as a Native American, a Palestinian, a Malay pirate and characters with Latino background.

Tikaram has taken on vastly different cultural roles. However, he has a particular insight into Asian cultures and media as an actor in the Bollywood scene. His cultural background also probably gives him more of an “insider’s” perspective. In an interview with Terri Paddock, he offered insight into Bollywood as its popularity was growing.

The British Asian is pretty much integrated into society now; we are part of the cultural, economic and social fabric of this country. The popularity of Bollywood is partly I think just the media latching onto that now, but it also reflects where we are and how far we’ve come.

Since then, Tikaram has taken even more diverse roles; he acted in the recent TV series “Brassic,” “Feel Good” and “The Victim.” He’s even voice-acted in several video games such as “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” “Greedfall” and “Subnautica.”

Ramon Tikaram’s broad experiences and diverse cultural background have ultimately given him the sense of identity he wanted.

Ramon Tikaram in 'Pennyworth' (Image credit: HBOMax)
Ramon Tikaram in ‘Pennyworth’ (Image credit: HBOMax)
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