Matteo Zecchini arrived in Sweden from Italy last year shortly after turning 18 and eager to start a new life in a new country. He made the decision after spending two weeks in the country the previous summer and realizing that “my place in the world is Stockholm”.
During that first visit, he met Adam Olsson, a Swedish teenager who has become one of Matteo’s best friends in Sweden.
Together, they share some of their thoughts for this edition of The Local Voices’ Snapshot
What does Sweden mean to you?
Sweden for me means a brand new start, a new book to write starting from zero. I have a romantic view of this country
It means a lot to me. I love it here and I have lived here my whole life so Sweden is everything for me.
What makes you feel happy in Sweden?
I’m happy to see people get angry about discrimination and fight for equality. I’m happy to see gay people holding hands without being afraid, and men fighting for the equality of women.
The summer – when Swedish people sort of become warmer and you feel like everyone’s happy and you can approach a stranger without feeling that you’ll bother him or her.
Matteo. Photo: Private
What upsets you about Sweden?
One of the few things that make me a bit sad with Sweden is that there seem to be areas in cities where regular Swedes who were born and raised here don’t want to live; I feel that everyone should be more mixed together if this is a society where everyone is equal. I am also a bit sad to have to wait up to five years to sign my first lease in Stockholm
I get upset about people who don’t accept people for who they are and people who are narrow-minded and don’t understand why they should respect and accept the fact that not everyone is exactly the same.
What makes you such good friends?
Adam is one of my best friend in Sweden. He’s a very unique guy – he's always so funny, and not in the typical Swedish way, I have to say. Since he was one of the first people I met here. He’s very open minded, not shy and he is usually the guy at center of people's attention. He also gives me great tips on how I should solve love-related problems.
I like the way Matteo views the world and how he inspires me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. And I of course also like the the way he encourages me to do silly things together with him [laughs].
Adam. Photo: Private
How do you see yourself in Sweden the future?
I have a very romantic view of my future in Sweden. I want to be married, have kids and live in a red country house just outside of Stockholm. I always focus more my dreams about where to live my life rather than what I will become in life. So for now, I would say that I would like to have a simple job that will make me satisfied.
Gosh, I have no idea what I’m going to have to dinner today. I guess I hope to become a real estate agent because I love to sell things and the aesthetics of different apartments. But I also hope to become a fashion designer.