Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"A yute? What is a yute?"

posted by Alan
click on pictures to see them full size

A free pat on the back for anyone that can tell me what movie that quote is from.

Just five days after we got back from our NY trip, we left Shanghai for the Shanghai Community Fellowship Youth retreat for the second year in a row. Over two hundred international middle and high school students, one weekend, ICBC Bank corporate retreat site and guest speaker, Pastor Jeff Pratt. I served again as a counselor and workshop leader, while Daisy was mostly there for support and Janie duty.

There is a term for kids who are born and grew up overseas. They're called Third Culture Kids (TCK's). They're citizens of one culture, but grew up in another, sometimes leaving them not feeling like they belong to either, thus forming their own. It's not good or bad, it's just different (cue ABC afterschool special music.) It can lead to some identity and social struggles, especially as TCK's are in their high school/college years and try to assimilate to one culture. But it also takes away the sense of entitlement and self-centered thinking that you see in many American teens today. These kids seem to understand that the world doesn't exist to cater to them.

Nobody knows the future, but there is a real chance that Janie will be a TCK. While I do think about the adjustments and challenges that she might have to deal with, part of me is kind of glad she won't be bombarded with the Jersey Shore, the Kardashians and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Either way, if she grows up with the maturity, passion and broad view of the world of these teens we spent the weekend with, I'll be a happy daddy.

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