Category Archives: Third Culture Adults & Kids

All Saint’s Day vs. All Souls’ Day

All Saint’s Day vs. All Souls’ Day

Today, November 2, is All Soul’s Day, It is a day of prayer for the dead, particularly but not exclusively, our relatives. Whereas, yesterday, All Saint’s Day, the Catholic church asks followers to live as saints did, on All Souls’ Day we honor and ask for mercy for our ancestors and the souls departed from this world as we know it.

Yesterday, on All Saint’s Day, the family back home cleaned our family tombs in cemeteries around the city, some so old they were built when la Louisiane was still a colony. Today, on All Souls’ Day we honor our dead because we believe their souls and spirits live on even when the body dies. To us death is not creepy or scary, it’s a part of life. In a way, we keep our dead alive, the lines a little blurry. Our ancestors live on in those left behind in their families and communities. Those are our customs and traditions and in our culture, that’s the way we roll.

I lost two elders recently, a 5th cousin and my mother. Today they are in my thoughts and heart as are all the family departed I was fortunate to know in their lifetimes. As our family historian, I also honor our ancestors whose stories I have uncovered, buried in documents and dusty archives. Prayers up mama, love and miss you dearly. Tell everyone I said hello.


Let us now sing the praises of famous men, our ancestors in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. There were those who ruled in their kingdoms, and made a name for themselves by their valor; those who gave counsel because they were intelligent; those who spoke in prophetic oracles; those who led the people by their counsels and by their knowledge of the people’s lore; they were wise in their words of instruction; those who composed musical tunes, or put verses in writing; rich men endowed with resources, living peacefully in their homes-all these were honored in their generations, and were the pride of their times. Some of them have left behind a name, so that others declare their praise. But of others there is no memory; they have perished as though they had never existed; they have become as though they had never been born, they and their children after them. But these also were godly men, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten. Their offspring will continue forever, and their glory will never be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name lives on generation after generation.

Shy Mama’s Halloween by Anne Broyles

Shy Mama’s Halloween by Anne Broyles

Title: Shy Mama’s Halloween

Written by: Anne Broyles

Illustrated by: Leane Morin

Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; (August 1, 2000)

Age Range:4 and up

Themes/Topics: holiday, courage, shyness, immigration, cultural awareness

Brief Synopsis: Anya and her sisters want to go trick or treating in their new neighborhood. Their papa agreed to take them but now he’s sick. Their shy mother overcomes her fear of all things new and experiences her first Halloween.

Why I like this book: A nice story about the holiday seen through the eyes of immigrants new to the United States.

Resources: See the author’s site for a teacher’s guide.


Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet Wong

Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet Wong

Just in time to find and read for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

Title: Apple Pie 4th of July
Written by: Janet S. Wong
Illustrated by: Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; May 1, 2006
Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: celebrating holidays, community, immigration, cultural awareness, third culture adults and kids

Brief Synopsis: A little girl questions her parents’ understanding of the Fourth of July holiday when they open their store to sell Chinese food.

Opening pages: “Seven days a week, fifty-two weeks, three-hundred-sixty-four days a year (and three-hundred-sixty-five in a leap-year) our store is open.

Christmas is the only day we close.

Even on Thanksgiving we open the store.
Even today, New Year’s Day.
Even today, the Fourth of July.”

Why I like this book: Firstly, the main character is a feisty female! The book is based on a true life conversation with the author and her father on the Fourth of July. The book is based on a true life conversation with the author and her father on the Fourth of July. But the conversation was brief because her parents were busy selling food from their family mini mart. When asked why the store opened on the holiday, “And why not, “Fireworks are Chinese, father says.”

Wong is able to show the complexity of cultural adaptation. A perfect book for third culture kids and adults.

How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?

Resources: (author interview) (page 9)

Apple Pie

Check out the March 2014 edition of Among Worlds Magazine

Check out the March 2014 edition of Among Worlds Magazine

My article, The Unexpected Expected: The Transition of My Third Culture Kids, is featured in the March 2014 edition of the Among Worlds Magazine. The magazine targets issues faced by Third Culture Adults & Kids (TCAs and TCKs). This March edition is dedicated to Reentry and Repatriation.

As an adult I have reentered and repatriated more than once. And although there are some similarities shared through reentry to one’s passport country the transition of a child has different challenges.

“Of course we expected the kids to be asked, “Where are you from?’’ A question often asked over and over while living abroad, but their answer usually sufficed and immediately identified them as ex-pat kids.  Upon re-entry, one answer did not project that identity. One answer was incomplete. Stating where they grew up or where they lived or where they were born were only parts of their stories. Our struggle as parents is to  help them feel whole.”

I told some of their stories about their adjustmentDawson Among Worlds Mar 2014 cover and lack of to shed light on what I observed during their transition.

I am happy to report my teen and young adult children are indeed well-adjusted in their passport country. And they are still and will always remain third culture kids with third culture adult parents.