Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Re-acquisition of Italian citizenship - Part 3: The doubts
I had no plans to live in Italy, I was not going to buy property there, AND there was no financial gain in "being Italian." Furthermore, since my children were born when I was NOT Italian, my re-acquired Italian citizenship, as the law stands now, would not benefit them (were they ever want to have it).
So why was I doing it? Why was I going through the steps,hunting down documents, looking for translations, paying fees all over, for what? In my never ending self-questioning,and doubts, I scoured the web looking for answers, looking for others who may have felt the same way, gone through the same troubles, even if of different nationalities, others who may have struggled with the same issues. Did not find much, but a few going through similar self-questioning.
A few friends added to my doubts by asking "why"or, worst, thought that I would financially gain something by "being Italian", maybe a pension ..... (sorry, no.... sigh ...). Others wondered whether I was planning to move to Italy. It would not surprise me if someone wondered about my mental health, though it was never stated it! Only a few seemed to understand my quest for my roots and supported me. They may not have been aware, but their sympathy made my struggle seem lighter.
If you are reading this, you have to understand that I am extremely proud to be Canadian. I love this country where I spent most of my life, where I made a difference even if in a small degree, a country that has given me so much. My life is indeed here and I would fight for it.
It is in that context that my efforts to re-claim something that had been taken away from me, my Italian citizenship, were really troublesome to me. There are many proud Canadians that are also proud British or American or Australians, etc. and have dual-triple citizenship, are proud of their heritage, and would not renounce to any of them. I am proud of my Italian heritage. Whatever I am, what I have become, is largely due to where I grew up, my schooling, the culture within which I developed into an adult human being. Was I wrong to attempt in re-acquiring my Italian citizenship, something that I felt had been taken away from me ? Was I being "uncanadian"? I did read somewhere the difference between "citizenship" and "nationality", which applied to my situation meant: I was not an Italian citizen, but I was still"Italian". However, that sounded like an empty distinction,valid in concept, but not necessarily emotionally satisfying.
As I look back, I now realize that may be I was not searching for my roots, rather I wanted to understand them. I left Italy after obtaining my Doctorate degree. As a young researcher, my focus was on my scientific and professional development. And, since then, my full focus was on science and, later, raising my children. No time to wonder about"other things". It is only as we age that we look back and try to understand who we are.
After my solemn declaration to theItalian Consul in Vancouver that indeed I wanted to regain my Italian citizenship, I had to provide an address in Rome (where I was born)which would be my "residence". Searching online for an apartment inRome is an extremely frustrating process and that did not settle my doubts.