I have quite the conundrum. I wonder if you could help me with it.
My Scots-born best friend moved to Beijing in 2005. She previously spent a year studying in Canada, but when she came back I found no traces of latent Canadianism.
Over the last few years she has learned to speak Mandarin quite competently. She also works for the EU. That could be another nail in her coffin, right?
Whilst in Beijing she met and fell in love with a Northern Irish chap. Except he was born and spent the first five years of his life in Germany as a “forces brat”. (No trace of a Germanic accent though, or Northern Irish for that matter. He sounds English.)
Anyway, I digress. They’ve been together for a few years and announced earlier this year they are going to have a baby. He was born safely today.
I am not sure if I should be excited. I need to clarify a few points: Did both my friend and her partner move to China and become foreign, or were they already foreign from living in Canada and Germany? Is it worse or better that China is outwith the EU? I am not sure how Labour feel about the EU, you see.
Will their son be Chinese because he is born in Beijing, or is his nationality determined by his parents, and if that’s the case, which nationality is the dominant? Is it his mother’s Scots or Canadian or Chinese? Or is it his dad’s Northern Irish (or German, or Chinese) nationality?
I’m in a real quandary. You’ve been known to express an a opinion or two about folk moving “abroad” and becoming foreigners. Until the point I heard your cogent argument, I was tempted to treat their son as an honorary nephew on account his mother and her family feel as close to me as my own. I was naive to think the bonds that bind us, of blood and/or of love, were more important than borders.
Can you help me?
Should I even buy them a present?