Almost 500 new Dutch citizens take the pledge of allegiance

POSTED: 10/24/11 1:58 AM

DAWN BEACH – St. Maarten is almost five hundred Dutch citizens richer since Friday, when 446 people took the pledge of allegiance in front of Governor drs. Eugene Holiday at the Westin Hotel in Dawn Beach. The pledge of allegiance is the final step in the process of obtaining Dutch citizenship.

“Obtaining the Dutch nationality through naturalization or option is a defining and special moment in a person’s life,” Governor Holiday said.

The legal and administrative process leading up to Dutch citizenship includes requirements about residency, parental ties, good conduct, demonstrating attachment to the social and cultural values of St. Maarten and proving knowledge of the constitutional principles of the Kingdom and St. Maarten.

The 446 new Dutch citizens represent 22 different nationalities.

“As you leave the ceremony, you will all leave this room with one common nationality and one common bond: you will be Dutch citizens,” Governor Holiday said. “Thus it is – in the context of our St. Maarten community – my hope that your citizenship transformation will result in the embrace of the social and cultural customs and traditions of your new country. It is my hope for each of you that your citizenship transformation will be a multi-dimensional journey of individual and broader societal growth towards a stronger St. Maarten.”

The governor advised the new citizens to respect the St. Maarten song, to salute the St. Maarten flag, to observe St. Maarten’s Day, to acquaint themselves with the island’s history and customs and to serve their new country.

The naturalization ceremony was split in three sessions; one was especially for children. Every participant received a royal decree that confirms their Dutch nationality.

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