Interview on PRI’s Otherhood

Where are you from?

Having grown up all over the place, I really suck at answering this question. And in 2008, I wrote about how I stumble through answering it in an essay called “The White Lies that TCKs Tell.” I published it on, a website I had created for Third Culture Kids. It struck a chord with the community, and since, the article has been shared by more than 10,000 people on Facebook.

Earlier this summer, Rupa Shenoy from Public Radio International found Denizen and reached out to talk about growing up as a global nomad. I wandered over to her studio in Boston and we ended up chatting for a little over an hour. She ended up using the interview in her show Otherhood, a podcast for people who came to the United States as children or are the children of immigrants. It was published this week, and you can listen to it here. Update: Rupa let me know that they also discussed the podcast on PRI’s The World, you can listen here around the 38:00 mark.

“Tangled,” an illustration David Habben created for my first Denizen essay.

I’m happy to have been able to share my story, but there are lots more. If you’re interested in more immigrant stories, check out Rupa’s podcast, Otherhood. The stories are heartfelt and I love how conversational she is with her interviewees.

If you’re interested in more TCK stories, here’s a few for you to check out on Denizen:

  • In Shanghai, Seeking Ramadan – “And there I was,” Neeha Mujab writes. “An Indian Muslim speaking Turkish with a Chinese street vendor while celebrating Eid in the streets of Shanghai.”
  • Drifting Between Nations – “I was born on vacation,” Atossa Araxia Abrahamian writes. “My parents – Armenians from Iran – didn’t want their first-born child to be saddled with their politically unfortunate nationality from the get-go, so they chose the most innocuous of jus soli granting states and planned my birth accordingly. By this logic, I’m Canadian.”
  • I don’t understand the words – “Though I grew up in Saudi Arabia and India, I was raised speaking English,” Feroz Salam writes. “In India, nothing can make you stand out more than a complete inability to speak a single Indian language in a country where most people speak at least two.”