Third Culture Kids

What’s it like growing up in another country? I wouldn’t know, but as I observe my kids I see the differences between their childhood and mine. They are Americans absorbing the Hungarian culture, which equals a unique mix – a third culture. Here’s some of the new things they have encountered while living here:

They watch Dora and Diego in Hungarian,
Electronic toys talk in Hungarian,
Language doesn’t really matter when there is another kid to play with,
When we buy a DVD here, we get to choose from Czech, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Hungarian or English language,
Our cereal boxes can have ingredients written in up to 20 languages on the back,
We don’t use idioms in our house, or try very hard not to use them simply because they are too difficult to explain to the kids,
Our son has friends from around the world at the international school,
Our daughter prefers to play while speaking Hungarian even while at home,
I had to explain corn dogs, smores, root beer floats, and Taco Bell,
Toy selection here is nothing compared to ToysRUs or Walmart (I am grateful for this),
Toy selection here is very expensive, and we don’t buy unplanned purchases,
They know the clothes drying rack works better than the dryer,
And to turn on the AC they open the window (in the van or in the house),
Free drink refills and ice at a restaurant?
No free ketchup at McDonalds,
Fast food restaurants are not a part of our daily life, so we eat healthier!
The girls have learned how to make biscuits and roll out tortillas and pizza dough,
They have learned that anything you want to eat can be made at home – and you don’t need a boxed mix!!!
They love paprika on their food,
Pre-packaged “snacks” are too expensive or non-existent, so we eat fruit, homemade cookies, etc.,
The fresh breads and rolls are in abundance and our kids know how to choose a good croissant,
The children help carry our bags to the stores, help bag the groceries, and like to pay the 100 forint to “rent” a grocery cart!
They visit their grandparents through Skype, and
Church is not about great programs, large video screens, age-graded classes, or colorfully printed take-home papers……it’s simply a group of people who meet together, adults and children together, to pray, sing, and share the Word.