I knew that Belgium is one of the easier countries if you are looking to become a European citizen. That a German national could become a Belgian without consent was new to me.

Belgian PuceWhen I wanted to register in my new commune last week, the woman on the counter had a long and suspicious look on the registration document from my former commune and exclaimed then: Mais vous êtes belge!

Not that I’m totally opposed to such a change of nationality but first, the Belgian one wouldn’t be my first choice and second, I would like to be asked. Obviously, I never had a close look on my registration before, needed only pro forma, but before she could send me away to another department, I managed to convince her that I’m German. I got an appointment for the proper registration and I’m curious to see how the clerk there will manage with my double nationality.


19 responses to “Naturalized…

  1. This document suggests that you have a middle name…

  2. And what kind of Belgian are you? Do you know your anthem by heart (hint: it does not start with Allons, enfants de la patrie…)? What about the national holiday?

  3. @ Maik: I do have a middle name and I mind it far less than in former years. And this is as much as I will write here 🙂

    @ Heinz: National holiday – 21st of July. In 2007, I saw the Army parade and visited the Parliament at this opportunity. That’s probably more than most Belgians can say. R
    Regarding the anthem, I’m the wrong person to ask. I’ve already trouble not starting the German one with “Auferstanden aus Ruinen…”

  4. As someone with a middle name I can understand your feelings. My only problem are public servants scrupulously filling in my full name whenever I leave it out (and no, it is not Heinrich, Heinz or any other derivative thereof).

  5. I can’t see any problem with “Auferstanden aus Ruinen…”. Makes for a nice bit of variety 🙂 However…tell me if I’m wrong, but I thought that since the early 1970s, “Auferstanden aus Ruinen” was a purely instrumental anthem, as the lyrics referring to German unity were deemed uncomfortable by the Politbüro. As the early 1970s predate you, I wonder how you come to know the lyrics…did you grow up to be a subversive element? 🙂

    On a different note – why is that document in French and not in Dutch? Or rather, why not in French, Dutch and German? Or did you get all three versions, but put only one up here?

    It’s funny…most people I know don’t like their middle names. Whereas I am still kind of angry with my parents that they didn’t give me one.

  6. @Heinz: I understand your issue with overly correct public servants. When I saw my middle name as part of my email address at the EC, I deeply regretted ever having put it in the application form.

  7. @Maik: My mom liked the lyrics of the anthem very much and didn’t get tired to explain me why it wasn’t sung. BTW, I can play it on guitar 🙂

    For the registration: You get documents here in Dutch or in French, depending what you speak with the administration. Private companies will add English and occasionally German as choices.

    And, last but not least: My theory about middle names is that the parents couldn’t agree on one name and so they add the other options (I have a friend who has 6 middle names) on top of it. You won’t be angry with your parents because they did agree, will you? 😉

  8. Well, “Auferstanden aus Ruinen” certainly doesn’t fit for someone living in Brussels. 🙂
    Hey, I like my middle name very much, but still keep it secret just for fun! Though I use it as abbreviation, so that people not always use my first and surname wrong.

  9. I think it would be a great idea if “Auferstanden aus Ruinen” were the German anthem. At least we could use our own anthem again.

    Of course your secret is safe with me, B. And this is as much as I will write here.

  10. @ Umwalker: You are right. Brussels is making it’s ruins all by itself and it’s questionable if they every gonna rise from it again.
    AND, you are the exception confirming the rule Maik stated. Congrats!

    @Heinz: I think Auferstanden aus Ruinen would be a great German anthem. Much more fitting than the one we have now especially with regards to history of the early and mid 20th century.

    I’m soo glad I can count on you… 🙂

  11. Maybe we could start a petition for “Auferstanden aus Ruinen”? Given that the Palast der Republik lost out to the Reichstag, it would be only fair (and restore a bit of historical balance).

    About middle names – in my family (both sides, mother and father, and they come from very different places) it has always been very traditional. You got two middle names. The first one is your father’s (or mother’s, depending on your sex), the second one is your grandfather’s (or…see above). So parents still have to agree on the one original name to add to the genealogy. But for some inexplicable reason, my parents broke with tradition. Quite possibly the most revolutionary thing they ever did…

  12. Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang I think I like the text.
    My objections are based on the history of the 19th century.

  13. @ Maik: Let’s start a petition for Auferstanden aus Ruinen… That would be a nice, revolutionary thing to do.

    @ Heinz: 1866? or 1871? Or something completely different?

  14. 1797 (which obviously is in the 18th century, thank you for pointing that out).

  15. My middle name originates from the name of my godfather… whom I haven’t seen for at least 20 years. Only letters from my bank include the name, so I know that whenever I see the name on a letter addressed to me, it ain’t good news 😉

  16. @ Heinz: Now I have no clue what you mean. What do you think about sharing your immense knowledge?

    @ Uli E. H.: Good to know that you have a middle name. I wonder if I can do something with this… BTW: Could it count as good news that you haven’t seen your godfather in the last 20 years? Just to balance the bank letters?

  17. Mais alors ? Vous êtes vraiment belge ?

  18. Pingback: Administrative logic « La puce, die Welt and everything else

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