To be a citisven

Written by Sven Eberlein

Five years ago today I became a U.S. citizen. As I’m currently visiting my native Germany it occurs to me how fortunate I am to have had the experience of spending half of my life in each country and immersing myself in two different cultures. There’s more to be said about this journey when time allows but I can’t help but think the world would be better off if everyone had at least two nationalities, including knowledge of language and culture of each country. If you could choose, what would be your two picks?

I may be mistaken, but I think I must have been the only one of the 1500 newly naturalized folks who celebrated his citizenship with a cake on a Corporate States of America flag. It’s a great country and I love my Yankee friends! 🙂

photos by Debra Baida

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Sven Eberlein

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  • Wow, congratulations, Sven! I think you’re right–dual citizenship is a great idea. Especially in America, we tend to think everyone else should live like us. I remember your beautiful pictures from Germany–was that last summer?– and how struck I was by the feeling of “home,” of time having slowed down. But, here you are, an American, too, and we are the better for it.:)

    • those pics were actually from December, the medieval christmas market in Esslingen, Pam. Somehow the old world keeps calling me back, some pretty strong roots. The cool thing though is that it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive, I think we can build some very strong and meaningful roots (Germany) and also keep exploring new territory of the mind (U.S.). And you can do either in pretty much any place, but it’s good to see a few different ways of doing it, like practice.

    • unforgettable! I’ll never forget how they called up each nationality to stand up at Masonic Auditorium. I think I was the only German and when they called out China and Mexico all hell broke loose.

  • Congrats Sven, My mother is Dutch and she recalls when she became an American citizen back in the mid 1960’s and she had to recant her Dutch citizenship. She did so, however, in her heart she remained from Holland.

    • Thanks Al. We may be able to recant a piece of paper, but there’s no way and no reason to abandon our identity. I really think that people who have spent significant amounts of time in several countries should be able to attain those nationalities without having to give up their country of birth.