‘Third culture kid’ is one of those terms I am coming across more than I actually want to recently. Wikipedia (please do not judge me) defines it as ‘a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years.’ I do not quite get those trendy terms that pop out of nowhere that the masses suddenly identify with. Some researchers in the 50s came up with the term itself and used it to describe the children of American citizens working and living abroad.
I completely understand the tribute and pride one takes in ones own ‘metissage'(cultural mix of society). Mixed cultures, multi colored countries and everything they have to offer are definitely very rich environments to grow up in. Coming from Mauritius, which is massively described as this peaceful multicultural country, maybe the reason why I cannot grasp mono cultures. I have never witnessed or lived in a mono cultural society. I am used to fusion, the fusion of food, the fusion of people, the fusion of colours, religions, practices, beliefs and crazy people driving on the streets. I personally think that mono culture is an obsolete and non appropriate term, specially in the ‘global village'(oh look another new trendy term) world we live in.
What I am trying to say is; with the whole world rapidly and constantly evolving into this colorful melting pot, aren’t we all third culture kids? Are we not assimilating food, music, entertainment, religion, style… everything from all over the world? Aren’t we all kind of embracing something that is not completely ours – that is nobody’s actually.
Those ‘trendy terms’ as I like to call them do help us identify with a certain group of people, but they also divide us. Yes, I think such terms divide us instead of bringing us all together. Why you ask? Because they push us further away from the one thing that makes us all the same. The many things we all have in common but that somehow still manages to divide us all – being human.
Alright, alright, enough of the philosophical neuro soup of my ‘oh so hard -even I don’t get it’ brain. Now comes the fun part. One of the first things that struck me with beautifully busy Manchester, is it’s multicultural background. You can hear languages from all over the world, see all kinds of beautiful people, of all shapes, sizes, styles and colours and walk into the weirdest coolest places. The awesome bunny I have for a boyfriend made me discover The Ultimate Palace of Weirdness and I completely fell in love with the place. Ladies and gentlemen I give you (drum roll) ‘Affleck’s Palace’.
This 36 year old building is a mecca for alternative lifestyle and culture. It literally is a maze of indian rugs, crystals, medieval corsets, geeky gadjets, gothic and indian shops. You quickly get caught in a whirlwind of art on all the walls, of sexy lace and underwear, of oceans and rivers of band shirts, music shops, wellness books, gemstones and wiccan attire, boots, and high heels with kitty ears! And that’s not even all of it! I was mindblown and felt like a kid walking in a toy store for the first time. Affleck’s is levels and levels and levels (it doesn’t seem to end – and you always walk out feeling like you’ve not seen it all) of everything I love in terms of clothing, accesories, music, decorations, art… WELL EVERYTHING! To top it all if you get lost during your exploration of this alternative culture paradise, you can just walk into a coffee shop, a tattoo shop, or come across a couple of fairies applying henna on each other. Should you happen to be hanging out around the Northern Quarter, Affleck’s Palace is definitely a place you have to check out!!