e-pal: sweden

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 July, 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 capital Stockholm. It has a population of only 7,000, but it's the oldest city in Sweden.

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.

I play tennis, volleyball and other sports. Playing sports at school is an advantage because, if you're lucky, your team might get chosen to compete with other European schools. For example, I have competed in Amsterdam and Hamburg.

My first language is English but I do speak Swedish and a little Spanish and Putonghua. With my friends, I play sports, 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 come back to Hong Kong - even though I live overseas, my parents still live in Hong Kong.

What I like most about Sweden is it's clean and everyone is laid-back and friendly. 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 at Ikea in Hong Kong. However, once a year, in the spring, people in Sweden enjoy a very smelly fish called Surstraming - 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, love comedies. In the future, I plan to move to Shanghai for a year to learn a little more Putonghua. 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.