Either you're French, or Russian - you can't be both!

You just wake up one day and realize you're Russian.
I just can't resist commenting on the recent fuss surrounding Depardieu and his change of citizenship. It's funny how upset people get!

But it just uncovers how nationalist our view of citizenship is: surely, you can't change citizenships just by clicking your fingers! If you want to be one of us, you have to have a deeper connection, you have to know our language, know our culture... You have to understand, you have to feel and be one of us! You cannot just come one day, and say: Hey, can I join you guys?

And that's the way our states work these days: they're erecting and raising the bars for every migrant who comes to a country... You have to fulfil and pay and know this and that, you have to speak our language this well - no, wait, that's not enough - that well! Oh, and you have to know aaaaaaall this about our culture and country. What? That our own nationals don't know that? But they were born here! They have a natural right to live here, but you don't, you have to earn it!

Why is the case of Depardieu so controversial? He's a famous actor, he brings popularity where he goes, right? He'll pay taxes - which will be a lot if he earns a lot... So what? Would Russians object if Bill Gates or Barack Obama came instead? What's the problem? That he doesn't live in Russia? And how about the thousands "native" Russian citizens residing in Europe, US and elsewhere?

I might not have all the information surrounding this case - and honestly, I don't really care. It's just amusing, observing how appalled some people are. And surprisingly enough, it's not because the French government decided to impose an appalling income tax on its rich citizens. 75%? Are you kidding me? How motivating is that? At that point, I'd rather stop working, or move out of the country myself! That's an outright robbery in plain sight!

So there are these two sides to citizenship - the emotional one which is poured into us through our educating systems, sports events, literature, mass media etc.; and the administrative one - controlling and complicating our everyday lives. Don't we have a right to influence the latter one? Or do we just envy Depardieu, because he has the power to solve it quickly, while most of us have to bear it and suffer and can't do nothing against? And if we decide to move elsewhere, we'll be nobodies - doing meaningless unrewarding jobs, fighting another pile of administrative rules, and after a loooooong looooong time - perhaps - getting a citizenship of another state.

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