Snezana

Macedonia

This is
Snezana Zivcevska-Stalpers (1973)

Country of origin
Macedonia

In Amsterdam since
14 years

Profession
Projectmanager

Loves
Her children, computers and going out.

First impression of Amsterdam
The vivacity, I wanted to live here immediately. 

Macedonia in Amsterdam
'Call me and I organize a party!'

Misses
'The food, in Macedonia we have tomatoes and cucumber with really taste, in the Netherlands it's okay, but not very tasteful.'

“I came to Amsterdam for the first time in 1998 for a fortnight’s holiday. I walked into the centre from Centraal Station. Oh my god, it was beautiful. I still remember how impressed I was about how many people there were. I look about 100, at that time it was still analogue, photos. That first day was one of the best of my life. I encountered a totally new world.


At home I was studying computer science. This was when the Internet was really taking off, but Macedonia was still a bit behind because, even though it wasn’t at war. Because even if no war was going on in Macedonia, there was in Croatia and Bosnia. In the Netherlands they were looking for ICT workers and I knew, “This is my chance”. I got a job in Hilversum. I was twenty seven and this was the beginning of a new life.

I was an expat and had a good life. For fun things, like going out and eating out I would go into Amsterdam. I didn’t really want to live in Hilversum and moved to Amsterdam in 2002. Three years later I met my Dutch husband in café Luxembourg on the Spui. A relationship consisting of two nationalities means compromise in all things. I’m an orthodox Christian and he’s catholic. We celebrate two Christmas and two Easter holidays.

The relationship was a challenge, but my husband really helped me learn Dutch and learn about the Dutch culture. After the birth of our first child you really started to notice our differences. The Dutch way of raising children is very different from the Macedonian way. In the Netherland’s it’s all about structure; wake up at 7 am and eat at 6pm. In Macedonia it’s less planned; you eat when you’re hungry. Breakfast there is lunch here. And lunch there is what the evening meal is here. In Macedonia we eat light dishes in the evening like soup and salad. There are climate differences too, of course, which also adds to the more structured existence in the Netherlands. You need a reason to go outside. In Macedonia it’s sunny every day and your life outdoors. We hang around outside and look for something to do.

My husband and I were given the opportunity to emigrate to Switzerland. The day before my husband was supposed to sign the contract I burst into tears. I wanted to stay here. I don’t want to leave Amsterdam. At that moment I knew I loved this city. I go to Macedonia for holidays, but after two weeks I’m ready to come back home. Because here is home.”

173 people in Amsterdam have the Macedonian nationality

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