Monday, 8 July 2013

Andy Murray and my citizenship status

A spurious connection? Let me explain.

I've mentioned on this blog a few times now that although I've lived in the UK for the best part of my adult life, I've never felt the need to apply for British citizenship. Also, when the children were young, the crazy pre-EU Finnish laws stated that my children, because they were born outside of Finland would lose their dual (British/Finnish) citizenship if I were to apply to become a British natural.

This has long since changed (when Finnish Expatriate Parliament pushed through the legislation in 2005), and nowadays it's quite possible to be a Finnish citizen while also being in possession of another country's passport.

But, I've never seen any reason to apply to become British. Why would I? I know I live here, but I still feel very Finnish. And more importantly, not very British.

Or so I thought.

It took a Scot to change all that…last year when Andy Murray lost in the final at Wimbledon, something snapped in me. I hadn't realised how much I wanted him to win; how much I felt that his winning would also mean that my nation would win. When I was struggling to hold back my tears, and Murray freely shed his on Centre Court in 2012, I suddenly thought, hold on a moment: why am I in tears - UK isn't my nation!

Roll on a few weeks, and Murray is in the Olympics Tennis Final and WINS! I cried like a baby. It was the day after Super Saturday when Team GB got so many medals, and I'd been joining in all the celebrations, laughing and crying, and feeling very patriotic towards a country I have rebuffed so long.

So I decided I would apply for British citizenship. Finally.

And then British winter happened, it rained, and rained and rained, and the citizenship application lay unattended to -  forgotten in a obscure folder on my computer.

Until Wimbledon comes along again, and I get the same feeling of pride in my nation: the UK. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know that from the very beginning of the two week marathon for Murray, I vowed to apply for British citizenship if Murray won.

AND ON SUNDAY MURRAY BECAME THE WIMBLEDON CHAMPION!

Picture: The Times
So, I've just dug out the file again, and I will be sending the application on by the end of the week. Wish me luck with the citizenship test…will 30+ years in this country be enough to know the correct answers? And will Team GB want me? What if, after all these years, they turn me down?

*Makes a Munch Scream face*

7 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Good for you. Britain and the world are proud of him. That test will be a golden set for you too; enjoy it.

Margit Appleton said...

*shudders*

Kandy Newton said...

Of course you won't get turned down - We welcome all lovely people, it's the rotters we don't want, thank you very much. Good luck and the best of British!

Helena Halme said...

Thank you for your support Joanne and Kandy! I actually can't wait to take the test.

kristian said...

I've recently also started thinking about being naturalised but now that you mention your reasoning I noticed how almost 'negative' mine is; I want to vote in 2015. Negative because it comes from dislike of the way things are run.

But now watching the tennis last weekend with my Scottish wife and her family, and especially going back to last summer and the Olympics and how proud I felt for Mo Farah and the British team, I think it might be the time to do it.

Helena Halme said...

I too want to vote, and on a serious note, that is one of the main reasons I've considered this (rather drastic) move. And sometime you just have to take stand on where your heart lies too!

Helena xx

Ethan Marcotte said...

Murray made a history and he made the entire nation proud.