It’s the big game, everyone is dressed up in the colors of their national flag, faces painted, colorful wigs, all feeling patriotic to their national team and where do I stand? “I’m cheering for the winning team!”
You see I’m a third culture child. My parents come from multi-cultural backgrounds; I have a mix of Latin American, Middle Eastern and European heritage. But that doesn’t explain completely the term third culture. I was born in the Gulf, which added a new cultural education to my family. I spent a significant amount of time with people just like myself with multi-cultural backgrounds, integrating cultures and traditions.
I live and practice many cultures from food to holiday celebrations. Meals can vary from enchiladas to plain and simple hamburgers. I’m talking about celebrating Arabic, European and North American holidays. It honestly is very exciting to celebrate and use any excuse to practice these festivities. Not only do I get to eat turkey twice a year, but I cherish the moments spent with people who have sentimental feelings for these special occasions.
It can be a bit frustrating at times though, I must admit. When the World Cup came around last year, everyone picked their national team and bought tickets to go watch the games. I wasn’t sure who to side for. I stood with hesitation worrying that I’d be betraying one of my heritages. So that’s when I decided to go for the winning team. That’s the great privilege of being a third culture child. You get best of all worlds: from holidays to winning teams.
(Nadia Idriss Mayen, Executive Producer of Web TV at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: email@example.com)