23 November 2009

The Newest Amreekan!

Last Thursday, V became a US citizen! It all happened so fast. We went to USCIS expecting that he'd just be taking the civics test and we'd have an interview and be given an appointment for the oath in several weeks, but after V passed the test, the interview officer told him to come back that afternoon to swear the citizenship oath.

It was a slow day, and only 10 other people were being sworn in. I had to sit at the back of the room to watch V and the others raise their right hands and swear the oath. The officer played a video of the national anthem, a welcome speech from President Obama, and a video of the song, "Proud to Be An American." That's a song I've never particularly liked (it became connected in my mind with wars I don't agree with), but I was surprised to shed a tear or two as I watched.

I asked V how he feels now that he's an American citizen and not an Indian citizen. He said he doesn't feel any different--and that a passport or a political designation doesn't change who he is. Furthermore, V can get an OCI ("Overseas Citizen of India") card and have the best of both worlds. Sensible, as always!

10 comments:

Ramit said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for the both of you! Tell V I'm very happy for him!

Anonymous said...

Really, how has your relationships with white friends changed since your marriage?

I live in the stupid south: north carolina (lack of caps or respect intended). And almost every chick assumes that dating outside her race is wrong. They have interracial friendships and what not: but dating and marrying outside is rare.

Really, do you think your life would be different had you--just hypothetically--married, say, a white dude?

D. Jain said...

Thanks Ramit!

Anonymous, my relationships with my friends and relatives have not changed since I married my husband. My friends from childhood that I stayed in touch with, I stayed in touch with because we had more in common, including NOT being racist. My other friends are from grad school or from the university town, and for the most part I have seen that more highly educated people tend to be less racist. I have never really wanted to stay friends with people who think that dating outside their race is "wrong."

I did grow up in a really small town (one stoplight, one high school) and I definitely have no desire to live there again because there are definitely more backwards attitudes there about race (among other things).

adi said...

Thank you for your reply.

:)

Gori Girl said...

Congratulations to V!

Did he get all of the questions right on the citizenship test? (Have you seen the Simpson's episode where Apu gets his citizenship? http://www.movieweb.com/video/HU9BqfecBsgtcb)

D. Jain said...

He got the first 6 right, and then the officer quit asking them because you only have to get 6 out of 10...how easy!

nickelo said...

YAY congrats to V I'm happy for the both of you. As for what anonymous said you could not have said it better. I have growen up in the south Texas as an army brat and seeing interrical realtionships was is common to me and beging on them was nothing to me I did not think about it. I live in small town USA as well but they are open about things like this. If people stop beging your friend because of this then they are not your real friends. D.Jain you said it best that high edu people are more open and accpting this is true. I agee with you 100%. I did not know that the test was that easy I need to get my bff moving so he get his citzen ship

Jenn23 said...

Great news DJain! Congrats to both of you-how did you celebrate?!! :)

D. Jain said...

Thanks! Actually, the day of the citizenship oath, I was coming down with the flu or something, so I dragged myself through the day and went to bed as soon as we got home. But that weekend we made dinner at my aunt and uncle's place and invited their friends (by chance, an American woman married to an Indian man who have been together 20+ years) and we had champagne with our gajjar ka halwa!

Jenn23 said...

Sorry you were sick-that's no fun! But I'm glad you had fun the following weekend!!