September 21, 2015

Where are my kids from?

When people ask me where I am from it is hard enough to answer but when they ask me where my children are from it becomes really complicated. My classic response would be to ask my kids directly. However, as they grow older, their answer becomes shorter because they start realizing that they are what the French call "hors normes" or out-of-the-box. In their head they are thinking, should I give the long version or the short one?

This makes me wonder: what country DO my kids feel the most affinity with? Because none of us consider ourselves of ONE nationality. Home country and nationality have become two very different concepts for our Expat family.

Yesterday, I came up with a brilliant way to answer my question thanks to a guided tour through the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that we enjoyed during the European Heritage Days.

Now, my tip is to stick your kids in an empty OECD conference room with the huge, oval, brown, wooden table covered with the name plates of 34 member countries which span the globe, from North and South America to Europe and Asia-Pacific and then wait and watch.

Behind which country plate will they sit? Bingo, there's the answer!

Delegations use their name plates to request the floor. This is done by turning the nameplate to the vertical position in its holder. Expat daughter went straight for Switzerland's seat. That's my girl!

However, my theory came to a grinding halt when my son told me with a smile he would like to sit behind a name plate marked Napoli! I am thinking at this point, possibly next to Diego Maradona from Argentina?

Château de la Muette is located on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne.
Baron Henri James de Rothschild built this new château in 1921 at some distance from where the original château stood.

In 1949, it became the headquarters of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) set up under the Marshall Plan to help administer funds provided by the United States to promote post-war recovery and to encourage European economic cooperation.

The OEEC developed into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1961, with the new Château de la Muette as its headquarters.

Expat girl's seat

Which one is your flag?

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