On nationalities and citizenship

Considering my last name, people will always keep considering me to be “Dutch” or call me “the Dutch”. However, I was born, grew up and have always been living in Germany. I possess a Dutch passport, for the obvious reason that my parents were of Dutch nationality. That’s probably about all that is Dutch about me. I have never lived in the Netherlands and only went there on vacation just like anybody else, so I can’t really give answers to questions about Dutch people. Although I’ve been taught the language as a child, I have forgotten many words and speak with a German accent. And if that ain’t enough, people who know me will testify that I have undeniably adopted German virtues such as diligence. Therefore I am German to the Dutch and Dutch to the Germans, a fate shared with many other foreigners who can not clearly associated with just one nationality any longer.

Now this all may sound as if I’m caught between two stools. In reality, however, this turns out to be more often a strength than a drawback. Consider for instance the football world championships. When I was asked whether I would support the German or the Dutch team, I could smirkingly answer “I’ll support the better team”…

In the end, it is probably most beneficial to say that I consider myself European. Which is not to set myself apart eg. from Americans or Asians but merely the most seizable description of the culture I have been exposed to.