Where are you from?

Of Austria and Bangladesh and the dreaded question “Where are you from?” [The Culture Guy Podcast]

He grew up in the Austrian culture, his family taught him the traditional values of their native country Bangladesh, and he attended university in Scotland. Today, Sudip Khan lives in the Southern United States and inquiries about his background remain a part of his multicultural life.

Born and raised in Vienna, you’d think Sudip is as Austrian as it gets

Where are you from?Sudip knows how to ski and how to dance the Waltz. When he speaks German, his unmistakable accent and his charming “Wiener Schmäh” should leave no doubt about his origins. If it weren’t for his physical appearance. Sudip’s parents immigrated to Austria from Bangladesh, which means he looks like he could be from Dhaka. In more diverse societies like the United States, the UK, or France this would likely not cause much attention. In comparatively monocultural Austria, however, the combination of a dark skin complexion and an Alpine accent is often perceived as a little more unusual.
Which means Sudip has seen himself responding to the question “Where are you from?” quite a bit throughout his life.

Where are you from?During their conversation Sudip and The Culture Guy talk about what it means for third-culture kids (and multicultural adults) to having to explain themselves. They also discuss how growing up with more than one culture equips people with the cultural and emotional intelligence to quickly adjust behaviors when faced with a new set of social norms. Sudip’s advice: stay humble and be mindful.

Sudip works as a project manager in the financial services industry. He and his U.S.-Palestinian wife live in the Atlanta area. Feel free to connect with him via LinkedIn.

 

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