Generation everywhere Most of us at METROPOLE were third culture kids (TCKs). Maybe we still are, but nowadays that’s nothing special. Authorities (i.e. Wikipedia) define TCKs as “children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years.” As TCKs, some of us felt enriched and like better, or simply more interesting...
We’ve been getting great feedback from our readers over social media. Thanks very much for your thoughts, ideas and insights, and make sure to like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! To the Editor Benjamin Wolf (“No Country for Old Economists,” March 2016) wonders why the Austrian School of Economics “remains unpopular in its land of origin.” The answer is not hard to find....
Q: How can my child best learn our host country’s language? A: I asked Zwetelina Ortega, a language consultant dealing with this potentially overwhelming topic and herself a parent of third-culture children, to provide some guidance. Ortega encourages parents to immerse their children in the host country’s language. She cites research studies that claim bilingualism will benefit their future social and...
April is the cruelest month according to T.S.Eliot, but he’d obviously never been to Vienna, at least not in the spring. Although March 1 is the earliest official date to roll out the sidewalk cafe seating, the Schanigärten, it’s in April that they really start to unfurl onto the city streets, like the carpets of Maiglöckchen on the forest floor. But...
The Austrian Presidential elections used to be a dull affair. Not anymore. The Austrian Presidential elections used to be a dull affair, with candidates of the two main parties SPÖ and ÖVP sparring with each other over issues they didn’t have the power to change anyway and the electorate languidly casting their votes. Not anymore. On April 24, Austrians may well...
Austrian leaders took some risks – and a lot of criticism – to start the diplomatic conversation As I write this Brussels is still smoldering from terrorist bombs that have killed at least 30 people and wounded 350 at Zevetem Airport and the Maelbeek subway station near the EU headquarters.  It seemed ironic amidst the relief at the arrest of...
Britain, our role model in language, constitutional law, education and business, would gradually feel farther and farther away I want to encourage my children to learn English, although they are not always as enthusiastic as I would wish.  So this year I am taking them for the first time to London, to show them the cradle of that global language,...
This April: the Vienna City Marathon, eating outdoors, the presidential election and May Day   Marathon Time The largest sports event in the country, the 33rd  Vienna City Marathon will lead 42,000 runners over the traditional 42.195 kilometers past the city’s iconic sights. Both amateurs and seasoned professionals like Levy Omari will participate in the race, starting between the UN skyscrapers. Accompanied by...
Third-culture kids
For third-culture kids, international schools around the world become an important but temporary extended family You can hear them on the subway, a gaggle of teenagers from all backgrounds, speaking in an English that defies description, in an untraceable accent peppered with local and foreign words. A stranger, baffled by the diverse group, might ask them the simple question: Where...
Making the Most of the Life and Lessons of a TCK Kilian Kröll remembers the day he first heard the term Third Culture Kid (TCK). “It changed my life, just learning the term,” he says. The son of an American mother and German father, Kröll was 12 years old when he moved from Germany to Austria, where he attended public school...
Born in the chilliest era of the Cold War, Vienna's OSCE fosters common-sense cooperation between people of good will “What we do is soft power,” said Natacha Rajakovic, spokeswoman for the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE. Not easy to reconcile with trigger-happy hotspots like Ukraine and Kosovo that put them in the news. But everyday reality...
For these international families, being multicultural brings benefits well worth the effort. While children find their footing in their adopted land, parents help keep them connected to their culture of origin while encouraging them to stitch their own identities. By Michael Bernstein & Benjamin Wolf The Morozov Family “Lilly and I know that our parents aren’t really good at German,” said Jan,...
Being an expat in Vienna doesn't necessarily mean turning your back on all things home Often, it isn’t until you live outside your native land that you begin to see its culture. Things you assumed were universal turn out to be idiosyncrasies; what to you is normal, others find strange. Confronted by difference, you see yourself. Gradually, you realize that...
Robotics for Children
Viennese startup Robo Technologies turns children, or anyone, into robotics engineers Imagine your child playing with blocks, snapping them together like Legos into different shapes and configurations. Then she grabs an iPad, and after a few simple swipes, bam! Her creation begins moving on its own. She has just programmed a robot. All she needs is Robo Wunderkind – a product...
multilingual children
Do multilingual children have an advantage? Perhaps; but the ability to learn languages may be inborn. Either way, stakes are high and consensus is rare Today’s world has become “hyper-diverse,” with 244 million migrants worldwide in 2015 qualifying as the fifth largest “country” on earth. Through globalization and mobility, cultures mix, and not just in the neighborhood. Often it’s right at...
Understanding requires much more than merely speaking the same language. It’s the culture that matters. In a Viennese café: you’ve found a table, caught the waiter’s eye and call out “Herr Ober!” He goes right by, oblivious? You turn to your new acquaintance apologetically, trying to work out in ten seconds whether to use Du or Sie… Does her raised...
Eric Weiner
Eric Weiner traces how time, place, background and clutter figure into the settings where genius is born. What happens when former National Public Radio correspondent and journalist Eric Weiner sets out to determine how and where genius develops? The answer is surprising and told compellingly in The Geography of Genius. As Weiner notes, “Today, we suffer from a serious case of...
Open to the public for 250 years, the Prater is the city’s ever-evolving leisure center If play is an integral part of a well-lived life, then every community needs its playground, a place to blow off steam where normal societal rules don’t quite apply. New York has Coney Island, San Francisco Fishermen’s Wharf, Tokyo Yoyogi Park, and Vienna has its Prater....
When I first strolled under the lush canopies of the Vienna Woods, described in the pages of Elfriede Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher, I never imagined I would one day be living there. But now, 15 years later, here I am, taking daily walks around Pötzleinsdorf, a charming hamlet on the residential edge of the Wienerwald in the 18th district, waiting...
Agents Provocateurs: Vienna’s two seminal 20th century art movements go head to head. Body, Psyche and Taboo, currently showing at the MUMOK, brings together a large selection of work by the early Viennese modernists and the Viennese Actionists, inviting “intellectual and formal” comparison between them. It’s an interesting idea, perhaps, but the result is hardly a fair fight. The modernists, Egon...
The Russian avant-garde’s most fertile years get a comprehensive show With few artistic periods as  innovative as the short window between the last days of the Tsar and the death of Lenin, the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century was a kaleidoscopic mix of different aesthetic styles, each seeking to break with the past and competing to define what’s...
Nigel Kennedy pays tribute to the king of electric guitar with his Jimi Hendrix Project Lime green sneakers, a messy, greying punk haircut, baggy black pants: Nigel Kennedy stomps around the stage shredding through the solos of “Purple Haze” on his electric violin. Jimi Hendrix doubtlessly would have approved. Hearing the king “made me want to play the violin like...
Art and music collide at this two-day electronic music festival Kicking off the warm season at MusemsQuartier, Electric Spring both showcases and celebrates the Austrian electronic music scene, with most of the culture center’s venues participating in this free festival. Sponsored by the city (with special participation from the Kunsthalle, whose current exhibition The Promise of Total Automation goes well...
The Radiokulturhaus introduces Britain’s post-jazz scene Attracting a plethora of talent, London has long boasted a lively jazz scene, with many musicians willing to push the envelope. Four of the most acclaimed artists show how they move past the standards: Alexander Hawkins (and trio), a pianist whose free jazz interpretations are firmly rooted in jazz and classical lore; the experimental band...
Two Pints of Theatre & a Packet of Crisps: English Mondays promise a provocative brew of cutting edge theatre English is made for the stage. It’s a language Stephen Fry calls “ proudly barbaric, deeply civilized, a mongrel mouthful of Shakespearean and Ghetto discourse, a shameless whore.” And for expats in Vienna, there is never enough. English Mondays at Vienna’s experimental Schauspielhaus...
This romantic comedy of beginnings and endings challenges believability Debuting on the continent after selling out its initial run at the Hampstead Theatre in 2013, this contemporary play by first-time playwright Peter Souter seeks to bring 21st century romance to the stage. The initial premise is good: illustrating the beginning and end of a relationship by showing a couple move...
For this Vienna-based improvisation group, there is no such thing as mistakes Starting as a reading group in 1997 and moving progressively towards all-improvised performances since, the English Lovers bring their frenetic, light-hearted energy to three different formats, promising a unique show every time: Their regular Late Night Theatre Jam depends heavily on mood and audience interaction; Their big show...
Pawn Sacrifice revisits one of the most unlikely proxy battlefields in America’s fight against the Soviets: the chessboard At the height of the Cold War, a poor kid from Brooklyn dreams of being best in the world, beating the Russians and winning it for the U.S.A. He trains daily,  becoming arrogant as he obliterates rivals. After getting whipped by the...
Canadian artist Guy Maddin’s retro feast A fever dream of stories within stories owing more than a little to surrealist grandmaster Luis Buñuel, this tribute to lost films and the power of human imagination defies logic in favor of visual poetry. Noted for recreating the look and sound of late silent films and early talkies, director Guy Maddin (alongside co-director...
This story of love, justice and equality is a shining example of excellent filmmaking Based on the Sundance and Academy Award- winning documentary of the same name, Freeheld is both love story and courtroom drama, with a bit of police procedural thrown in. Dramatized by Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia), the love story part follows hard-boiled New Jersey cop Laurel Hester (Julianne...
Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s thriller has sex, murder and rock n’ roll in the Sicilian sun This loose remake of the French classic La Piscine (1969) features Tilda Swinton as Marianne, a rock star recovering from vocal cord surgery on a remote Italian island with her younger boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Their days are soon disrupted as Marianne’s old flame...
Where cosmopolitan kids can get the garb they need to shine no matter where life takes them Besides being multilingual and quick to adapt, international kids develop a varied fashion sense. Whether you have a young dandy, sporting a blazer to elementary school, a skater-girl with striped tights and an ice-hockey jersey, a hipster with skinny jeans and signature shades,...
Dark, trendy and with an unerring eye for quality, Kleinod is a barman’s bar A soft golden light glows from behind the dark paneling, bouncing onto the cushioned walls as I walk into the smoke-clouded room. I passed between the late-night guests crowded around the long white tables or leaning on the bar.  Above is all curves, the luminous brushed...
The new downtown hotspot Kitch serves up pimped Neapolitan with industrial chic The neon signage and bare-brick interior don’t scream pizzeria. There is genuinely little to suggest the main fare at Kitch until you venture past the large natural wood standing table to the back where, next to the round white pizza oven, you’ll find the pizzaiolo, Carmine Cilento. Formerly...
Fusing Korean and European cuisine is a natural fit Just behind the Volksoper, Danny Kim cooks up dishes you have never seen before. Even Beef Tartare, a quintessential European dish, is served here with Korean chili sauce, pumpkin mousse and rice. Scallops are served with sweet potatoes, miso and cucumber. Tuna steak is accompanied by quince, nashi pear and bok...
Viennese wine’s local specialty enters, stage left In wine, as in any consumer industry, producing a brand that transcends the sum of its parts has always been The Holy Grail. This enviable position has traditionally been the cornerstone of success for a select few countries: think Champagne or Chianti in Europe, or Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as a new world example of...
In Graz, Austria’s second city, a charming old town with lively Mediterranean flair, and the biggest farmer’s market in all of Europe Regarded for ages as the modest cousin of the great Habsburg capital, Graz, despite its charm, was used to keeping a low profile. Thrown into the spotlight in 2003 as European Capital of Culture however, the city drew...
Meet our youngest fan – Aodhan Kirkham-Healey: Age six, Belgium born, raised in Canada and now a budding hipster Wiener dedicated to learning German and enjoying Vienna’s café culture. Like so many other third culture kids, he’s multilingual, wise beyond his years, and already nostalgic for the people and places in his transnational existence.   When people ask me where I am...