August 23rd, 2005

Whenever one of these high profile immigration-naturalization cases come up in the media, I love to see people with no idea having their blood boil. Quite often it's about athletes having to choose which nation to represent, and that's a fun scenario because most athletes are just regular people who say stupid things sometimes. Even though they will get crucified for what they say, it's much more interesting to hear what people have to say about them. And by people, I, of course, mean people who have no idea. Case in point, the Zidane case. "He should represent Algeria, that's where his roots are!" Well gee, you didn't grow up in France to Algerian parents so much, did you? I'm not saying you have to be an immigrant to get it, but at least use your imagination a little. Talk to some immigrants, understand where they're coming from. Of course, every case is different, but for someone who has spent his entire life in the country his parents immigrated to, it is completely natural to feel "at home" in this adopted country. Why would he want to represent some strange country he has no idea about, just because his parents are from there? Parents and children are separate entities, just because his parents experienced something doesn't mean the child has. And vice versa, mind you, there are a lot of immigrant parents who would like nothing else than to go back, meanwhile the child has a perfectly good life right here.

This comes to me at a time when there is no big story in the press, but I'm sure that before long there will be one, so just you wait.

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1 Responses to "naturalization"

  1. Erik says:

    Always a complicated issue - I agree on most parts.