Here’s an album for ‘third culture kids’

There’s a term for children who were raised in a

culture outside of their own parents’. Usually these

kids, known as “third culture kids” (or TCKs), spend

their formative years in different countries.

So, it can be a struggle for TCKs to understand their

identity. They often feel like they don’t fit in

anywhere. This is exactly what the artist Sirintip

expresses on her debut album, “Tribus.”

Sirintip was born in Thailand to a Thai father and

Swedish mother. She lived in Thailand until she was 11

years old when she moved to Stockholm, Sweden.

Sirintip says she felt like a stranger in both places.

“In Thailand, I felt like an outsider because my mom was

much taller and much bigger than all the other kid’s

parents because she was Swedish,” she says. “And then if

we had birthday parties, we had all these other weird

games that none of the other kids had played before. And

as much I thought it was fun, it was scary because, as a

kid, you just want to fit in. Then when I moved to Sweden

it was the opposite … like, ‘Oh, here comes that Thai

girl who has all these weird Thai games.’ I guess because

I have that experience of not fitting in 100 percent.”

Sirintip admits she didn’t understand how she felt being

a mix of cultures. That was until she became a young

adult and moved away from her family.

She moved to New York City. It was while living in the

Big Apple that Sirintip finally felt she could could be

whatever she wanted to be.

“I think everyone deals with that difficulty of deciding

which direction to go with your life and how,” she says.

“And then not listening too much to the outside world and

all the things you’re expected to do.”

When you listen to Sirintip’s music, you’ll hear trip-

hop, electronic pop and the occasional flourish into

jazz. The latter element is a result of her training in

jazz both at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and

the Manhattan School of Music. Her rich-sounding pop

album is produced by Grammy-winning producer Michael

League of the band Snarky Puppy.

Sirintip wanted her album to be a sort of virtual space

for third culture kids: something they could claim as

their own, something that could inspire them to accept

their individuality.

“I think it’s important to cherish that difference that

we have as individuals who have not grown up in just one

place. And not be scared of the differences that makes us

the way we are,” she says.

Third culture kids might be an undefinable mix of their

own global culture, but they’re each on their own

unpredictable path.
For more on third culture kids, check out Rupa’s

Otherhood podcast. Look for the episode about former

President Barack Obama being a third culture kid.