Thursday, 19 September 2019
Cultural Chameleon :: Essays Papers
Cultural Chameleon For me, being late to school meant chasing down taxis at 7:15 am and hurriedly telling the driver, in broken Cantonese, to please hurry. A day of shopping meant searching the Hong Kong market streets for a pair of shoes larger than a size 7 and bargaining for thirty minutes with the shopkeeper to bring the price down to fewer than ten dollars. Lunch with a friend was being the only white girl in a small noodle house tainted by the smell of the ducks and chickens hanging in the window, my voice drowned out by music blaring through Cantonese speakers. Sometime in the five years I had lived in Hong Kong, between speaking a little Cantonese and knowing the downtown streets like the back of my hand, I was promoted from my status as a typical American blonde to a true Hong Kong kid. When I moved away the summer after my sophomore year in high school, I was leaving home and going somewhere completely foreign. Texas. I will always remember the first day of public school. My mom dropped me off at the front of the school, as kids sped by us in their huge SUVÃ¢â¬â¢s to viciously snag a parking space. Inside, I was met with a swarm of Abercrombie-clad blondes and brunettes in every hall and at every corner. My thoughts were drowned out by singing of the latest songs on the radio, gossip, and laughter. Seeing as these were people who spoke the same native language as me, who looked the same and sounded the same, you would think that I would finally feel at home and relieved. But I had never felt so foreign in my life. This American culture that my parents called their own, did not at all feel like something that was mine. I was confused by the fact that I felt more at home and at ease in a culture where I stuck out as blatantly different, than in one where I blended in completely. It was this challenge and these feelings that established me as what is commonly referred to as one of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"Third Culture Kids.Ã¢â¬ In their book so titled, David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken describe in detail the concept of what it means to grow up in a culture other than that of your own native culture, and the challenges and emotions that are often met.