Not an easy questions to answer if you think of how my life has shaped the way I am. Born in Taiwan to a Dutch father and a German mother. Raised in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore only to move to Germany when I started my working life.
I hold a passport issued by The Netherlands allowing me to travel to many places, yet I do not consider myself Dutch. My very first language was Chinese which I forgot when we moved to Indonesia. My primary language is English (with an American accent) followed by German, Indonesian, Dutch and French. So I have no “mother tongue”.
So where am I from? I don’t know!
- The Netherlands : never lived there. Spent some summer holidays there as a kid. Love Gouda cheese, licorice and can walk in klompen. Lastly I will be cheering for the Dutch team during the world cup (soccer).
- Germany : Lived there for a long time, my daughter was born there, like the German sausages, but cannot understand their use of articles and excessive capitalization.
- Taiwan : yeah I was born there but since we left when I was 8 months old I can’t really say I’ve been there!
- Hong Kong : besides having been able to speak Chinese as a toddler and remembering living in Deep Water Bay that is about it.
- Indonesia : spent my formative years here and really disliked my parents for moving us to Singapore after 9 years of Jakarta. I love this country despite its many problems that I am moving back and have even married a Balinese (no out of love not for the citizenship!).
- Singapore : a very organized and functioning city. Useful that it is so close to Indonesia, but I could not live there.
- USA : it is one beautiful country and they bring out some good TV shows and movies. Grew up with American language, books, movies etc. Oh and I spent 1 year at a University in the US.
- Switzerland : went to Hotel Management School there out of boredom.
But none of these countries really define me. I have been shaped and molded by my upbringing and experience. Yes my parents are from Europe, but my Dad was born and raised in Indonesia (his parents are Dutch).
I am a global nomad and a 3rd generation TCK!