- About US

Amrita Sanju Daryanani

Being exposed to different situations allows me to gain more understanding of
how to deal with different problems and people.

The World As My Home

In this current era of globalization, a new group of generation is being observed known as the Third culture kids, which basically are reference to children who are raised in a culture outside of their parents' for a significant part of their development years. I consider myself to be third culture kid. This is because I have an Indian origin, but I was born in Indonesia and lived there for twelve years before living in three different provinces in China for six years and Hong Kong for the past two years. You might be wondering, what is my identity or where is home for me? Well, personally speaking, I believe that because of my background, I am able to connect with a greater number of people and cultures as I am capable of adapting to any environment. This is very beneficial because it helps me associate and empathizes with the different regions.

Recently, my Indonesian background has led me to connect with different groups of people, For example, I organized a visit for domestic workers to HKU in April 2015, for them to do some activities with my hall mates. As some of them had difficulties to speak both Cantonese and English, my friends and the workers encouraged me to help them translate the instructions into Bahasa Indonesia. I was really nervous because it had been a long time since I had spoken the language, but I decided to try. In the sharing session, I joined their group discussion circle to make them feel more comfortable to share their life experiences. I was really shocked to learn about the challenges and yet, I was grateful that the organization we were cooperating with had helped them to increase their hope.

These experiences have highlighted to me that the world is not limited by political borders because you can find people from any part of the world in one single place or have at the least visited the same place as you. This means it helps to minimize the possible social distance between the people with whom we are communicating with.

My background as a third culture kid allowed me to be more familiar with different cultural values like what I should do or not do when I am around people from different cultures. This unintended imitation allows us to be chameleons that can subconsciously mimic the behaviors and cultural values. This is further enhanced by taking more initiative to familiarize myself with other culture values, principles and beliefs. For example, I am currently working with floor sisters on planning an integrated orientation camp for the floor. Since I know that they are very busy and are unable to devote as much time, I try to make the meetings very efficient and quick as to ensure that their time won’t be wasted. This would be different as compared to when working with students from the mainland, who prefer to have longer meetings to ensure that everything is clarified and decided in detail. Through my understanding of their cultural values, I understand that it is necessary to activate different parts of our identities with situational awareness. Therefore, it is necessary to have a flexible personality to be able to easily connect and identify with a group of people.

Another interesting aspect of being a third culture kid is that you are very open-minded to different things whether it be interests or situations. Being exposed to different situations allows me to gain more understanding of how to deal with different problems and people. For example, I have this very close local friend in the hall, Manni who has the same passion as me to help integrate the locals and non-locals within the hall. This might be considered one of the very rare friendships found in the hall.

However, my belief it is matter of realizing that there is no difference between us and you just have to step up to break this wall. We were connected because of our visions to end this divide and encourage more integration policies within the hall culture. My belief is that when you are third culture kid, you tend to develop more significant relationships that are long lasting and a deeper understanding of problems that are faced by people who in close proximity with you. Therefore, with the vast social circle and interest, you are able to find more people to work with you that have the same goals and interests as you and thus, you can work with them to achieve the ultimate goal.

Basically with all these exposure to different cultures, values and people in addition to being a third culture kid has allowed me to learn that the world has no borders and you can always blend in with the situation and face challenges easily. But the most ultimate advantage is building connections in the matter of seconds that is beyond your ethnic identity. Third culture kids like me have this unique personality that allows them to continuously be open minded, quench their curiosity and explore the world, which is unseen in people who don’t have such backgrounds or exposures and thus, tend to be more introvert and conservative.

I am really grateful to my background because this has been my key to success in building my connections and being flexible to adapt to different scenarios. I thank my family always supporting and encouraging me to be a global citizen and providing this exposure to the world and helping me to understand the importance of connections and networking.