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
“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
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.