Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Emotions

The Naturalization ceremony went on without a hitch...except for maybe one. After we did the "Oath", which was weird, a man sang the Star Spangled Banner. I've never been emotionally attached to this song, but I almost started crying. It wasn't because I was so glad to be a US citizen. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to become a citizen. But, during that song, I was overcome with the feeling that I had somehow betrayed Canada and it made me want to cry something I wasn't expecting.

I've been thinking a lot about this which has made me even more confused. My great grandfather was a US citizen as were his parents. My grandma was born in Wales. I have ancestors from Norway and various other parts of the world. So...how does becoming a US citizen invoke feelings of betraying Canada? Thoughts? Comments?

5 comments:

Laura said...

I was thinking yesterday about the whole thing...and I got emotional thinking about me getting US citizenship. I don't know why either, but I think some of it is that I wish I still lived in Canada. Plus being Canadian is a good excuse whenever you think something people do in the USA is dumb, you "don't get it" because you are CANADIAN.

Xiaoshan said...

The reason may be because the American national anthem is referring to the war of 1812, which was in essence the only war the United States has had with Canada (although we weren't really Canada then). If it makes you feel better, we burned the White House down.

I'll probably get U.S. citizenship eventually as well - I don't think of it as being a big deal at all - it is just a practical thing. If I had my way, I would collect citizenships - maybe I can get a job in England after I finish my PhD so I can work toward EU citizenship as well........ Getting another citizenship doesn't close any doors for you - but it does make things more simple.

Anonymous said...

I think it is sort of sad. I understand why it is logical to do it, but there is something about changing citizenship that is an alteration of identity. I don't like it that the US only recognizes you as a US citizen. They should also recognize you as Canadian too. It is who you are. But that is just a governmental/paperwork thing I guess.
Kent asked me if I would become a Canadian citizen if we moved to Canada, and I said yes. But it made me pause and ask myself, "If I did that would I be in a way symbolically turning my back on my homeland and heritage?" The rational answer is "of course not." But I am not always a rational person. I have emotions too--and honestly, it made me feel sad for some reason. The United States in the aggregate can be idiotic at times, but it is my home. And that makes it special to me. I think it is okay to not feel elated to become a "on paper" US citizen. You don't have to love this country like you love Canada just because you can vote.
Kent might say that I am being uneccesarily nationalistic, but I guess that is just the way I am.
-mel

Myriah said...

What does it mean to be 'naturalized'? Is there some type of machine?

Anonymous said...

I don't know. These kind of suprising emotions are just head scratchers. gj