I’ve thought a lot lately about passports and citizenship, namely whether I will become a Swedish citizen in about 18 months, when I am eligible.
I lived in Sweden before in 2004 and 2005 and the answer then was never or at least not for a long, long time. I feel American. I do not feel especially Swedish. I would need to feel invested in the culture, the essence, the fate of another country before I took on that identity.
E seemed to feel the same way about American citizenship while we lived in New York.
But now, just in the past few months, it seems so clear. Of course I’ll become Swedish. I would be crazy not to.
After all, I hate nationalism. I am not a huge fan of the nation-state in general.
And this means an EU passport. This means working all over Europe. This means not flashing my American passport in, say, Cuba or the western reaches of China (because I am planning to spend LOTS of time there).
I am hoping that the shame of the American passport will fade now, with Obama. And I hate to think that US passports really make you a target.
But if terrorists hit my hotel, I’m flashing the Swedish passport and speaking nothing but svenska.
On a more realistic note, it also means having the same passports as my children and standing in the short line when we enter Sweden.
I am apparently not alone. In a pretty standard (meaning boring) story, the New York Times has found an unconfirmable trend in people like me, taking second passports for practical reasons.
It all makes me feel a bit mercenary. But it also makes me feel good.
Now I have to figure out what I really think about Swedish politics …