In recent weeks, I've been painting a lot of nostalgia-inducing etegami for an upcoming class reunion. Many of us were born and raised in Japan, while not being of Japanese roots. Nowadays they call us Third-Culture-Kids (TCKs), which has been defined by sociologists as: people who spent a significant part of their developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.
I don't know if that's a helpful label or not. I feel it is totally inadequate to describe either my own experience or my relationship to the world. However, the label does conveniently tie in with this week's Illustration Friday challenge topic: Hybrid. And that's really the only reason I mention it. : )
The first etegami shows a girl at a summer festival, wearing a yukata with a fan at her back, tucked inside the bow of her obi sash. The second shows a taiyaki, which is a fish-shaped snack made from pancake batter and stuffed with sweetened azuki beans. It is cheap, sweet, filling, and a popular food stall item. The third etegami shows a bowl of the Japanese shaved ice dessert called Kakigoori, so indispensable to the Japanese summer. The writing on it says "(It takes me to) the Alps from the first mouthful."