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P1070134Ever heard the phrase TCK? It was something i’ve known about for a few years, but i’ve suddenly realised that i am parenting one! “A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture.” So Sam is a TCK as he lives and grows within the Yolgnu or indigenous culture of Arnhem Land, a culture that is different to what Jason and i grew up within. P1040053 TCKs were something i read a lot about before i went and taught in Ethiopia, as most of the kids i taught there were TCKs, kids who held a passport declaring them to be one nationality, but their lives and hearts were linked to a different nation or region. As Sam approaches his fifth birthday, and we begin saying goodbye to Arnhem Land and transitioning into thinking about Timor I am aware of how much more aware Sam is of change, culture and language at the moment. Sam’s always coped with change pretty well, but I am reading a little more and thinking a little more about how to prepare him for this change. P1030741 Awhile ago we were sitting at dinner and Sam asked why so many Yolgnu people live here. Jason explained that this is the home for the Yolgnu and that we are allowed to visit and live here because of Daddy’s job as a pilot. “Will there be Yolgnu people in Timor?” was the next question. When Jason explained that there weren’t, that led on to questions about who lives there, what do they look like and do they speak Yolgnu Matha (language spoken here). He’s processing things and making sense of culture and language in a way that he never has before.IMG_1781 Yesterday we spent the afternoon with a Mum and her daughter who spoke a language other than English. They didn’t use the language often, just every now and then through out the afternoon, but it was interesting that Sam noticed and asked the Mum what language they were speaking. Somehow he knew it wasn’t Yolgnu Matha, which he hears spoken a lot and his curiosity was awoken. He has recently got interested in language as well. He has a handful of Yolgnu Matha words which he likes to put together into sentences and is delighted when we understand what he said. Ironically he is too shy to use the words with Yolgnu people, but gets so excited when he hears them used in conversation or church services. I love hearing him declaring that his lunch is good food in Yolgnu Matha, with a look of utter pride on his face, as he remembered the right words. He is experimenting, listening and trying out his ideas in relation to language at the moment, and i love watching it, and encouraging it.P1070151 We are hoping that a change of culture at this time of interest and curiosity will be beneficial and helpful for language learning in Timor for Sam. And that his sudden interest in letters and words and sounds in English will continue to, leaving him a willing learner for the changes that are ahead. Here’s another blog from another Mum of TCKs, who describes the TCK-ness of life in a great way…. have a read… https://underthebigtopp.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/purple-people-im-suddenly-the-mum-of-a-tck/

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