i’m indonesian

MOH: what do you think about becoming a british citizen?

me: i don’t want to.

MOH: why?

me: why should i? i’m not british.

MOH: but it would be easier to travel with a british passport. you need a visa to go to the u.k. even though you’re married to a british citizen.

me: look, i know nationality doesn’t mean much to some people but it does to me. i’m an indonesian. the country isn’t perfect but i do love it. being an indonesian means something to me. it’s not just something that stands on my passport.

am i weird? this is my eleventh year living away from indonesia but i still consider it to be my home. true, i don’t need an indonesian passport to prove that but that’s part of my identity so if i want to have it in black and white, so what.

i know there are people out there who think that asian women (or women from any countries that aren’t so wealthy, for that matter) who marry westerners only do it to get out of their country, or to have a better life. while that might be true in some cases, there are actually some of us who do it for no other reason but love.

so why would i want to become a british citizen? i haven’t even been there (well, i was there for a bit more than 24 hours on the way to indo but i only saw heathrow and the inside of the airport hotel we were staying at). i’ve only ever read or heard about it, i haven’t experienced it myself. i don’t love it, i don’t hate it; to me it’s just a country. yes, i’ve always wanted to go there. yes, i’ve said to MOH again and again that i wanted to move there but it’s only because i want to get away from norway. how can i be a citizen of a country that doesn’t mean anything to me? call me stupid but i believe in patriotism.

i think, to become a citizen of a country, you need to live there for a while, be a part of the country, experience the way of living. just a because a country is good on paper, doesn’t mean you would feel home there. just look at me. i live in norway. a rich country with small population. life is good here. and it’s a safe place. do i love it? absolutely not. there are things about norway that i like but i don’t love living here. so no, i don’t want to become a norwegian citizen.

that’s just my opinion. people do whatever they think is right for them, i do the same. to each his own and all that.

i’m not saying i will never, ever consider it. i might do it one day, who knows. never say never, right? my only hope is that, if i ever make the decision to change my citizenship in the future, i would do it because i fell in love with the country. or if indo became a totally dangerous place to live in and i’d get too scared to go there. or if i had to do it for my family. or if i didn’t have a choice (but then again, we always have a choice, don’t we?) either way, i hope it wouldn’t be for silly reason like ‘because having an indonesian passport is inconvenient’. i would be so ashamed of myself if i did that.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mira
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 15:23:00

    wow… i am totally the opposite…
    i’ve become Singapore citizen since Q3 2006, but it doesn’t mean I love it here. I’m in the process of applying for Australian PR.. (although I’ve only been there once, briefly)

    But I definitely dislike Indo…… (or to be fair, Jakarta. But then again, I can never picture myself living in Makassar)

    Did you move to Norway because you have no choice?
    Or because of your hubby?


  2. christy
    May 01, 2008 @ 11:08:59

    huehuehue.. kayaknya kalo ditanya soal kewarganegaraan.. i still prefer mine as the citizen of indo. hahhaha, meskipun negara ini bobroknya ampun2an, i still love it. sampe2 kalo nyanyi lagu2 nasional, se jadi tergugah dan nangis2 sendiri =’I

    tapi kalo suatu saat kelak se berganti kewarganegaraan, indo is still my homecountry.. XD


  3. 1980chandra
    May 02, 2008 @ 07:59:27

    mira – i’m not a big fan of jakarta either. but i’ve never lived there so i don’t really know 🙂 yeah… mks is a bit too small and sleepy (although compared to where i live right now, mks is a big, noisy city. sad or what).
    norway because we’re just starting up in life and thought it would be easier to be at a place where at least one of us is familiar with things and where we have family.
    i want to go back to aussie, hey… absolutely love it there.

    christy – memang, sebagaimana hancurnya pun indo, it’s still home. huahahaha… saya jg begitu. kl dengar lagu nasional bisa nangis2, dari jaman dahulu waktu msh sd, smp. kampungannya deh kita 😀


  4. christy
    May 02, 2008 @ 17:31:58

    yeah.. we’re so kampungan! hahahha


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