As of today, everyone in our household has the same status as far as the government is concerned. V and I took the oath at the naturalisation ceremony to become bona-fide US citizens. Although we are quite proud to be US citizens, please don’t congratulate us. It was very sad to give up our Indian citizenship. I consoled myself saying that all these countries and boundaries between them are not really real, they are just drawn on paper. In reality, we are citizens of the Earth. That doesn’t change with this ceremony. It doesn’t feel any different to be a US citizen. We are still breathing the same air and paying the same taxes.
Also, I didn’t feel that it was a big achievement. There were some people that were taking photos and videos at the ceremony as if it was their graduation or wedding. We just couldn’t understand why. All it took us was filing the right forms and satisfying residency requirements, etc. It also helped not being a member of the communist party or not being associated with the German Nazi or any other fascist regime. Our high moral character was also important in getting our application approved. It is good that we are not habitual drunkards or drug addicts or practice polygamy. Surprisingly, there was nothing about polyandry in the application form. That must not be immoral.
I sincerely think that the ideas described in the “Decleration of Independence”, the “Constitution” and the “Bill of Rights” are fundamentally great and I feel proud to be a part of the nation that is built upon those. I wish the signature on the letter that I received from the White House was of somebody else, but now I get the right to vote and a chance to choose the next President in 2008.
There are various advantages of being a US citizen.
- First one is getting the right to vote. I really missed voting for the last 16 years since I was out of India during all the elections since 1991.
- No need to get pesky visas to visit most countries in Europe, South America and most of far east Asia.
- I’ll be called on for jury duty, which could be quite boring, but I hope to send a pedophile to the electric chair if given a chance.
- As part of the oath, I swore to bear arms, if called by the United States. Finally, I may get to fire a gun. Yay!
Did I mention the biggest disadvantage? I AM NOT AN INDIAN CITIZEN, ANYMORE.
Not for too long. I have already gathered information to get dual citizenship (Oversees Citizen of India) and plan to file all the necessary forms as soon as I get my US passport. Then, I’ll have the desired status.
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