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Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 19:30

Absorbing Cultures

Speaker: Tanya Crossman

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
LA10-04 Liangmaqiao DRC, 22 Dong Fang Dong Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

北京市朝阳区东方东路22号亮马桥外交公寓 A区LA10-04


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BIS events are open to foreign passport holders only, please remember to bring your passport.
All BIS events are off-the-record. Photography, filming and recording are not permitted.

Inflamable or explosive materials are strictly prohibited.

Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60;
students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture.

Culture is a broad term – it includes our external habits such as how we speak, eat, dress, and interact with others, and also our internal value systems. When we live in a different culture, the way we naturally do things, and expect things to be done, comes into conflict with different ways of being. How we react to this conflict affects how we feel about living abroad, and how we are shaped by it. Learning to recognise and appreciate deeper levels of cultural values enables us to learn from a culture, even be changed by it, without losing who we are and what matters to us.

Tanya Crossman moved to China as a 21-year-old student nearly 15 years ago. She has spent most of her adult life steeped in Chinese culture, and it has shaped who she is. Her talk will examine ‘different levels’ of culture and the ways we absorb these cultural elements – for better and worse!

Hear how Tanya learned and absorbed elements of Chinese cultural habits and values, while retaining her Australian identity and values. There’ll be stories of her cultural mis-steps – both here and in taking Chinese culture back to Australia. Above all, discover what China has taught her; about the Chinese way of seeing the world, about her own culture and about herself.


Tanya Crossman is the author of ‘Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century’. She is an internationally recognised expert and speaker on Third Culture Kids and on the issues facing cross-cultural families. Research for Misunderstood included 270 interviews and a survey of 750 TCKs. Her current research is in support of young adult TCKs. 

Tanya first moved to Beijing as an international student in 2004, and stayed for 11 years. This year she returned to Beijing after 3 years in Australia. Tanya holds a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies (Chinese) from the Australian National University, and a diploma in Mandarin Chinese from Beijing Language and Culture University.