Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Identity and such



It is New Year’s Eve and as is the habit in this house (if the chance), time for oliebollen….. That real Dutch treat of deep fried yeasty dough balls sprinled with a bit of powder sugar at the end. So rewarding, so good, so Dutch….

And that is it, I am Dutch and I have some real Dutch traditions that are hard to get rid of. Some though have gone, like Sinterklaas, we actually don’t do that anymore, but that is mainly because youngest one was born just two days before, and thus it was easier to give up on that one and do Jul-afton instead.  But oliebollen on NewYear’s eve, no they are too good to be missed so...

What brings this on is the decision of my husband to apply for Swedish citizenship. We have been 20 years here so yes, it is time to do this. We are not going to move, my job is one of the most exciting ever, our children are born here and though they are blends, they are more Swedish than anything else (except for blood that is). So I should apply too, it only makes sense. Except when I do so, I will lose my Dutch citizenship and apparently that is something I still have an emotional attachment to, I am Dutch, if pressed I will cheer for team Oranje whatever sport is played. I am still proud of Dutch tolerance (but not the kind of the last 10 years) and I know more silly facts about Dutch history than Swedish. I do think Amsterdam is a grander city than Stockholm and van Leeuwenhoek was a better scientist than Ångström. Painters, there is just no competition, so in the end ? And really I was only coming here for 2 years, not 20 or even more….

And yet I live here, want my voice to be counted here, SD is a party to vote against and as I live here is it not worth to give up something?

So I will make my Oliebollen and contemplate, be practical or nostalgic…..


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your perspective. Family, identity, belonging, pride... big questions.
    I have moved from northern to southern Norway, and even after 10 years I sometimes feel like I'm a strange mix that doesn't quite fit anywhere, haha. But I am encouraged by my Kurdish colleague and friend, who had no citizeneship in her country of origin. She is Kurdish with a passion; yet proud of her Norwegian citizenship.
    I agree about SD, they are a bad lot.
    A happy new year to you!