This clip is from the movie Mean Girls. The main character has just returned from Africa to enter a typical American high school, and she totally doesn’t fit in. Besides this scene, she also says “jambo” to a table full of African-American students, and has to hide her mother’s tribal fertility vase while she’s throwing a party.
Mean Girls exemplifies the challenges faced by a really transnational group: Third Culture Kids. As a TCK, I was raised outside of my parents’s home countries (in fact, they were both TCKs as well). When I think about transnational space I think about the way I can feel at home in a place other Americans consider “foreign,” but feel out of place in, for example, an American high school.
In fact, I often find that I have more in common with other TCKs (regardless of where they’ve lived or where their parents are from) than with other Americans. We’ve created a transnational space where we can connect, not because of our shared backgrounds or nationalities, but because we feel the most comfortable with others who cross-cut national boundaries.