Dutch Citizenship?

Since June 23rd I have had a rather big dilemma on my mind. As most of you will know the citizens of the United Kingdom have voted to leave membership of the EU, nicknamed Brexit. I think no one really saw it coming, that it would be official, since the polls were so close but really? Who really imagined that they would no longer be part of the EU?

Within the first few days after the vote I was curious what my options had become, as an English person living in the Netherlands. Up until now there is still no certainty what will actually happen, or how I will be personally affected. So everyone is having the same doubts and concerns.

Now that it is getting closer to August I have the option to choose to apply for Dutch Citizenship, and to become a rightful owner of a Dutch passport. Because in August I will be officially living in the Netherlands for 5 years. However there is currently a motion at the government that will most likely go ahead, stating that it will be 7 years residency instead of 5. So I may still need to wait another 2 years to apply. What also makes this more amusing is that my passport runs out also in 2 years so I’ll most likely have to apply and pay for a UK passport again anyway!

The doubts I have, is that if I apply for Dutch citizenship through naturalization (the only option that applies to me) that I will lose the right to keep my English citizenship so it will not be dual citizenship. Of course no one really knows what will happen to expats abroad who still have English citizenship, but I don’t know if I should apply for Dutch citizenship in August or to wait and see how the United Kingdom plays it out.

And the only way to have dual citizenship is if I was married… well I’m not rushing into that anytime soon haha! But I do feel that having dual citizenship will give me better options in the future, in regards to travelling back home and visiting family/friends, or to work in England if I return, or even when I have children in the future who could then also have dual citizenship.

Well for now I am playing the waiting game with the UK. Waiting to see what their next move it, what will be decided and what options I may have.

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Redhead Days – Breda, Netherlands 2012-2014

Breda is a beautiful little city in the province of North Brabant. It has a centralised square with the Grote Kerk church and filled with multiple restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the weather outside. The shopping street has all the usual stores with a few unique boutiques too and between the city center and the train station there is the Valkenberg park.

Redhead Days

To me, Breda is the place where every year more than a thousand redheads meet together for the annual Redhead Days festival. This beautiful city comes alive with people of all ages who want to experience how amazing and unique it is to be in one place with so many other redheads of all colours.

I have been to the festival three times in total. I first time I attended was in 2012 after moving to the Netherlands, so there had already been 6 years that I had missed, however each year it has been expanding with popularity. The colour theme for 2012 was green, which is one of my favourite colours so I had plenty of clothes to choose from!

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For 2013 the colour theme was blue. I was chosen from the 2012 festival to use one of my photos on part of the new advertising, which was pretty cool!

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When I attended the 2nd time in 2013 we broke the Guinness World Record again for having 1,672 redheads in one place!

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The festival always organises a group photo of all redheads at the Valkenberg park, where they also count how many redheaded people there are. This is the main part of the festival with the opening from Bart Rouwenhorst, the CEO who started the festival now 11 years ago. The festival also has many other activities such a a pub crawl, catwalk shows, live music, free mini photoshoots, kids activities and more.

The 3rd time I attended in 2014 the colour theme was purple, another great colour that goes well with the different red hair colours. They had a fantastic idea of stickers of your nationality flag to stick on you, so you could easily spot others from the same country and to meet new people who have travelled from abroad to visit the festival.

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I even took part in the 2014 crowdfunding video for the festival to raise more awareness of the festival. So awesome to support the festival!

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This year it will be the 11th year of the Redhead Days festival, with the colour theme as red. The funny thing is, red it not actually a colour I wear as I feel it clashes too much with my hair colour (pink and orange too!) but I will embrace it and plan to wear a red dress!

Being a redhead is something I have always loved, even with all the verbal abuse I had during my younger years. It wasn’t easy, but I’m still unique and I’m proud to be supporting the 2% of redheads in the world.

I was unable to attend in 2015, so I can’t wait for this year’s event in September. Will you be there too?