Monday, January 23, 2006

What Makes a Citizen?

Edward Rothstein has a neat article on the tests different countries give to immigrants apiring to become citizens--Refining the Tests That Confer Citizenship.

Questions include: "Where does Father Christmas come from? How old do you have to be to buy a lottery ticket? If your adult son declares he's a homosexual, what do you do? If a film or a book insults your religious feelings, what is your reaction? Why are aboriginal peoples seeking self-government? Who has the power to declare war?"

Raises questions of what we hope to achieve by the tests. Would life experiences be a substitute? (Like, if the immigrant provided x ticket stubs from baseball games, or had watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", or ??)

No comments: