e-pal sweden

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 June, 2008, 12:00am

Connecting with teens around the world

Name Natalie Claire Telin

Age 16

City Sigtuna

Star sign Sagittarius

Sigtuna is a small town, about an hour from the Swedish capital, Stockholm. It has a population of only 7,000, but it's the oldest city in Sweden so is quite well known.

The weather right now is sunny but a little chilly. Sweden's weather is extremely unpredictable, especially in April and May. But we usually get warm summers and snow in winter.

My school is the largest international school in Sweden. School life is pretty stressful, but it's also activity-packed and flexible as to what we do.

As extra-curricular activities, I play tennis, volleyball and other sports. Playing sports at school is extremely beneficial because, if you're lucky, you may be chosen for the team that takes part in 'NECIS' and fly to another country to compete with other European schools. For example, I have competed in Amsterdam and Hamburg for volleyball and tennis.

My first language is actually English but I do speak Swedish and a little Spanish and Mandarin.

With my friends, I either do sporting activities, bake cakes or just sit at home and watch a movie. Most of the time we go into the 'centre' of Sigtuna to have what we call Fika - we drink coffee, eat cookies and mingle.

During the holidays, I actually come back to Hong Kong - even though I live overseas, my parents and family still live in Hong Kong.

What I like most about Sweden is how clean it is and how laid-back and friendly everyone is. I also find the various traditions help people connect.

As many people know, the most well-known cuisine in Sweden is meatballs and potatoes - you can even find this in Ikea in Hong Kong.

However, once a year, in the spring, people in Sweden enjoy a very smelly fish called Surstromming - people either love it or hate it.

I love hip hop music and listen to techno occasionally. I also have some rock and other genres in my play lists. As for movies, I hate horror films and love comedies.

In the future, I plan to move to Shanghai for a year to learn a little more Mandarin.

Then I want to move to Paris or the US for university. I want to major in event management because I love organising events and socialising - I think having fun is important for everyone.

Mid-Summer is a popular festival in Sweden - it's the longest day of the year and we celebrate by covering a wooden post in leaves and flowers and we sing and dance around it.

Another popular festival is Valborg where we celebrate by gathering dead leaves and branches. It's the last time in the year when people can make bonfires at home under the watch of the fire service.