Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Third Culture Kids: Learning Hindi and Arabic

Where we live now, we have the unique opportunity for Talia to attend a school right behind our house where she can learn Hindi and Arabic in addition to normal subjects. With language-lover parents and an interest in learning languages herself, combined with the closeness and super reasonable fees, it was a great opportunity. Hindi and Arabic both use a different alphabet than English, and that is where they are starting.
Talia's first Hindi alphabet lesson
 Many times what can be gained by living in another culture is found within the context of community, a context that can be avoided to a large degree in a land full of many expats. Some tend to stick to communities of people just like themselves and re-create the country they left behind to the best of their abilities. And, of course, time spent with familiar people and languages is definitely refreshing in a sea of unfamiliar languages and customs. However, the unique thing about Abu Dhabi is the immense variety of different cultures that are co-existing with the indigenous one. Most of the time harmoniously.

 Something we have to balance with third-culture kids (children raised outside of their parent's culture where they  have neither the culture of their parents, nor the culture of the land they live in, but rather a combination of both) is providing them with a stable home base and familiarity with the culture from their home country, but also finding ways for them to experience the culture they are living in as well. What's the point of living abroad if you're only going to insulate yourself and re-create something that will never live up to the original in your mind?

It can be challenging, but many times it's mind-stretching, interesting and fun!

1 comment:

  1. That's wonderful, how neat to have a school like that so close to you.