Born in Australia to New Zealand and Dutch parents, technically should make me Australian, however due to Australian stringent immigrant laws, it does but not completely. It’s a fine line really. I however hold both New Zealand and Dutch passports, not an Australian one.
So having a New Zealand passport, the problem isn’t where I can and can’t live, its rather how do I define myself, where am I from? On legal forms and documents I’s either a New Zealand or a Dutch citizen depending on which is most convenient at the time, but in many matters I’m also Australian, I’m required to vote, I’m eligible for HECS and unemployment benefits.
I have an Australian accent (albeit a weak one) and have spent most of my life there, Australia will always hold a place in my heart, but I’m not sure that I feel it’s my home, or really where I come from.
I do currently now live in New Zealand, I study here, it will be my home for quite a while longer, and after that who knows, will I stay? Will I return to Australia? Will I go elsewhere?
I’m not sure? All I’m really wanting is to be able to tell people where I’m from simply. I’m not sure it can be done though.
The problem is, when I’m in New Zealand or when I was in Europe last year I was considered Australian by all who I met, and that’s what I usually told people.
But in Australia, I’m considered foreign, not foreign enough that English is not my mother tongue, or foreign enough not to have an Australian accent, but foreign enough to be slightly exotic, foreign enough that people you were considered different at times.
Foreign enough that people would ask me where my name came from, or why I was so tall, and when it was explained that my dad was Dutch, it was understood. And from then on that’s how they classified me. I’m not really sure why, considering in this day and age unique (almost weird) names are far more frequent and my height is not that much of an anomaly, especially considering the varied descent of so many Australians.
At the same time though, I would never really consider myself Dutch, even though that’s what I wrote on numerous documents and forms throughout Europe, I can’t even speak the language. But then at the same time, the fact that I’m Dutch is used to define so many of my traits, features and even my name (both first and last), so how can that not be a part of who and what I am.
Some could say I’m lucky, I get to be exotic and I get to belong at the same time. I’m a mix of such diversities. But at the same time, it can make you feel lost, rather than belonging to many I often feel I belong to none. It leaves me wondering, who am I? And what am I?
I guess that’s just something I have to build, to define for myself, to find where I belong, where my heart feels my home is.