Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Citizenship

The other day I got talking to some friends and it gave me an idea to write about this topic. One of them has also got a Finnish citizenship, but she said that it felt weird saying to people, "I'm a Finnish citizen" because she felt that her roots were in her home country. She said she had heard other expats saying those words without any emotional attachment whatsoever to her home country. Another friend told me that her mother would be so sad if she had opted to have a Finnish citizenship.

That made me think about me. Some people may think that it's so easy for me to let go of my Indonesian citizenship (Indonesian government won't accept dual citizenship, by the way - otherwise I'd have kept it, too). For me, a citizenship is just a citizenship. It doesn't mean I'm denying who I am.

Additional note: I don't want to give the wrong idea with this post, so just wanna add here that it WAS easy for me to let go of my Indonesian citizenship due to the reasons I've written in this post. Plus another practical reason is that having Finnish passport enables me to travel more easily compared to having an Indonesian passport.

Maybe one thing that is different from me and that friend whose roots were in her home country is that even though I was born and raised in Indonesia, but I know that some people there would still tell me that I'm a non-native Indonesian. I'm Chinese by heritage, but the Chinese government and people won't accept me as one of their own because I don't speak their language, I don't even know how life is over there, and I have NEVER been there, either.

That said, it's actually helped me a lot when I moved to Finland because I'm used to being a "non-native". I may never be a full-blown Finnish or Indonesian or Chinese woman, but that doesn't matter. I'm a citizen of the world and I love living here. Period. :-D

Anyhow, here are some pictures I've taken lately:

My first snow angel ever ha ha ha...The head looks weirdly small for the body and wings HA HA HA...

Doesn't the snow look so fluffy and soft? :-D

Not a really good pic, but I just wanna show the pink sky the other day:


  1. I completely understand your reluctance to give up your Indonesian citizenship. The US has funny rules about dual citizenship (I think you can have another citizenship so long as its a matter of heritage; if you choose to adopt the citizenship of your country of residence, then I think you have to relinquish US citizenship. Though I could be wrong on all this...). Even if you'd rather live in another country, it's hard to see giving up easy access to and identification with your "homeland."

    So, I dunno, even if I could apply for it in Finland now, I don't think I'd be quite ready emotionally. We both have oodles of time to make such a huge decision. :)

  2. @Elena: No, what I meant to say in this post is that I don't feel reluctant to give up my Indonesian citizenship, but if I can have dual citizenship, it'll be more practical 'coz when I go back to Indo for a holiday, I don't have to pay any visa he he...

    That was what prompted me to write this post - that compared to my friend, I don't seem to have such a huge emotional attachment to my home country.

    But yeah, I understand what you mean about having oodles of time still before you think about making this kind of decision. :-D For me personally, having an Indo passport doesn't get me anywhere, so in terms of travel as well, it's by far easier for me to travel with a Finnish passport (that's also one big reason why I opted to have the Finnish citizenship - more for practical reasons).

  3. Amel-
    I LOVE your photos--especially your pink sky and the photos from 3BT: Random Days! I feel happy and peaceful looking at them. Thank you!

  4. Sorry -- reading comprehension is 50 percent less since the jet lag set in! :)

  5. @Karen: THANK YOU for your comment! Nice to see someone else commenting he he...Glad you enjoyed the pics. :-D

    @Elena: Oh, you're there already? HAVE FUUUNNNN then!!! Don't worry about the misunderstanding. Your comment made me reread my post and I realized that it could be taken the wrong way he he...thus the additional note. :-D Have a blessed Christmas and New Year!!!

  6. Totally get what you mean when it comes to releasing Indonesian citizenship. I am like you .. I don't feel too attached to it, but if I could keep it I would for practical reasons hahaha

    LOVE the snow shot!!! :D

  7. @Shinta: I knew you'd get it hi hi...:-D

  8. My saddest day was giving up my birth citizenship to become South African. I had no choice. When Rhodesia became Zimbabwe I lost citizenship of my birthland and being a non-citizen with no right to a passport is not safe in the world, so my dad and I had to become South African. That was 1981.

    So... I lived being a citizen where I felt I didn't fit for a long time! I became a British citizen almost 30 years later and it felt good. My ancestry is 70-80% British so it didn't feel weird. It is the culture I grew up with as a child - same traditions, religions, even superstitions! lol

    The nicest bit for me is that at my ceremony here Iwas also declared a "moravian" (citizen of Morayshire) and they gave me a framed scroll declaring this. Ity made me feel personally wanted and welcomed. I loved that!! :-D

  9. @Michelle: AWWWWWWWWW...having to lose your birth citizenship like that must've been tough!!!

    I'm GLAD you've felt personally wanted and welcomed there now (and that's a COOL thing that they did with the scroll!!!). I never got any citizenship ceremony, just a piece of paper telling me that I've got Finnish citizenship ha ha...