Being a TCK: culture mocktail interview

TCK. A word that has been used now more than ever, but is yet to be definitively known by the general public. A TCK is a third culture kid. But, what does that even mean? As defined by Google a TCK is an “individual who is raised in a culture other than their parents or the culture of their country of nationality, and also live in a different environment during a significant part of their child development years.”Being a third cultural kid, is so much more than what the so-pronounced label entails. It’s an identity. It’s the struggle to learn to accept your difference. It’s the multilingualism. It’s adopting different traits from the cultures you’ve been exposed to and making them your own. It’s a lifelong experience that can’t ever be put into words. Except that’s exactly what Nour & Aisha did. And they did it perfectly.

Nour Aisha, are the hosts of the podcast that’s known as Culture Mocktail. An online platform which provides a safe haven for other cultural misfits alike and where they do everything from give advice, to talk about their cultural upbringing to overcoming struggles. The podcast as we now know it, came to life on June 14 th as their first episode was uploaded on the Apple Podcast app. So if you’re interested in knowing more about the bits and pieces of the voices behind the visions and dream, do read on!

So what sparked the idea? “We’re the kind of people that are always down for a good discussion or debate. Distance was no barrier because even from miles away, the voice notes, texts and calls about a whole range of topics, would always have us joking about starting a podcast. To put it simply, once we start talking about a topic… we can’t stop. We always enjoyed media based things, we did live radio together and filmed videos together for YouTube too. So, at the beginning of quarantine we decided to make that joke of “we should really start a podcast, huh” a reality. As third culture kids, we felt like we had never really fit in. We were the ‘misfits’ and couldn’t entirely relate to our surrounding cultures. Learning to embrace your cultural identity as a misfit is a topic and struggle we feel really passionate about, so we made it our niche. We spent a month researching, branding and planning and launched our podcast on June 14th 2020.”

However, as glamorous as it all sounds the hosts still sometimes get nervous before releasing an episode. That being because,whilst delving into newer topics, that’re unspoken of, they expose parts of themselves to the public and make themselves vulnerable for criticism as these are topics they often wouldn’t talk about publicly and would only save for their close circles. Not to worry though, as that feeling is usually overtaken by them not caring about others’ opinions and carrying on with what they do best! “We know we’re speaking about our experiences for good reason and we’re passionate about giving misfits like us a space where they finally feel like they belong.”

The idea that they’d like to propagate throughout their episodes is that being a TCK isn’t always going to be easy. It could make one feel as though they’re in an ocean with no lifeline in sight, because of how different you are from others in your community. At some point, the feeling of alienation seeps into you as a third cultural kid, because in a sense, no one will ever quite get to understand your endeavours. No one will ever get to feel like they don’t quite belong, nearly as much as you do. But as much as it’s a scary experience, it’s one that helps you grow more as a person and opens your eyes to just how versatile the human race truly is. It allows you to encompass and grasp the true meaning of compassion and acceptance on a whole entire other level; “we definitely think it gives you a huge advantage in the long run.”

But how does a TCK learn to fall in love with their identity and who they’re and embrace what the label holds with open arms? How do you overcome the emotion of loneliness that feels like it’ll last a lifetime? “The only thing you can do is step into who you are with pride and unapologetically. That comes with time, but it’s a mindset you have to choose every day.” Fitting in, is luckily a trend that’s starting to become overlooked, but nonetheless, it’s human nature to want to feel like you belong, more so by members of the TCK community; you feel like you belong everywhere and yet no where all at once. But all you’ve got to do is to acknowledge these emotions, encapsulate them and move forth without giving a damn about what others have to think or say.

What’re some of your takeaways from having a podcast? (BTS, pros,cons, anything you’d like to share!)

We have learned SO much about podcasting and trying to grow an Instagram page over the past month. It’s been a trial and error process and has been a lot of hard work, the technical side has been especially difficult but we’ve pushed through and it’s been so much fun.

 It’s been really cool and slightly surreal to see people tag us in their stories whilst listening to Culture Mocktail. We just love seeing others really connect with our message and hope they continue to do so as we continue on this journey!

Written by: Mia Malak

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