One thing I can pinpoint as a goal in my life is to be able to flow seamlessly between America and Scotland, to blend within both societies as if I grew up wandering between them.
You know, without the Scottish accent (although I wouldn’t mind….).
Anyway, basically, I want to live in Scotland long enough, including work, relationships, and hobbies, that I become Scottish. Well, Scottish-American.
This is a bit of a silly goal, but given that I’m studying Celtic and learning Scottish Gaelic, it isn’t too much a surprise.
Because of this, I’ve wondered what exactly it takes to make me Scottish. It can’t be the accent. Maybe it’s becoming aware of all the regional stereotypes. Or embracing Scotland VS England. Or learning enough slang. Or seeing enough places.
Or just…being here long enough, and slowly accumulating all of the above and more.
I think the last option is most likely, and so I’ve come up with a system. It’s not scientific. It’s rather silly. It’s not in any way meant to be taken seriously. Although it does sort of match up with the visa regulations.
Anyway, my theory is that every year you spend in Scotland, you become 10% more Scottish. And if you marry someone Scottish, you get a 50% kick to your Scottishness. But every year you aren’t in Scotland, you lose 5% of your Scottishness.
How does this fit visa stuff?
Well, after ten straight years of being in Scotland on any visa (or what I’ve concluded to be any visa based on what I’ve read….), you have the ability to apply for dual citizenship, which the UK allows. (The other country might have problems with this, though). Depending on the visa with which you’re in the UK, it’s less time, in which case the percentages don’t quite fit, but that’s okay.
And if you marry someone Scottish (or generally from the UK), you can apply for dual citizenship after three to five years.
So my percentages roughly fit the length of time it would take to be able to apply for dual citizenship and literally become Scottish. www.gov.uk has more information, because this obviously doesn’t include everything and is a general idea.
Plus, I just figure after 10 years of living in a place, dual citizenship or no, you’re pretty set to blend in as if you’ve been there most of your life.
Your Bonnie Celtophile,
PS-I don’t mean this to be an actual formula or something taken completely seriously. It’s just something I think about for fun, and so that when my program is over, I can jokingly claim to be 10% Scottish.
I’m also not any sort of expert in visa laws and dual nationality. Although I’m sure you’ve guessed that.