For most of my life, I had dual citizenship.
I lived in one country. But I really cared more about my adopted country- Hayal.
Hayal was a great place to belong to. Such a feeling of belonging. Hayal was my mother tongue as well. As we were ex-pats, it was great to have a codified language to communicate in. There were so many clans with different dialects, however, that sometimes it got tricky. I belonged to a relatively small clan. We felt threatened by the other larger clans and often made fun of them- in love, of course.
One of my countries calls itself a democracy, the other follows a feudal system. Each clan follows a different system. Some have monarchies, some dictatorships, and some are also limited democracies. My mother was close friends with a communist type group with fascist leanings. Like my other country, Halal ultimately is a monarchy, but much more fractured.
While I have actually seen Queen Elizabeth, I’ve never even known someone who has seen our other king.
One of my countries upholds education as a cherished value. Hayal has so many different ideals regarding education. My own clan was rather anti-education, believing that rudimentary reading was sufficient. We had travelling teachers come and teach in halls and houses, but no formal schools. It discouraged any type of academic study of its own history, philosophy or writings. Rote memorization was good.
One of my countries believes in equal rights. The other does not. Both tax on a sliding scale based on the amount of a person’s income.
I was willing to die for Hayal. Its citizens I considered my true family. My other country was merely a convenient place to live in order to gain resources to send to Hayal.
Unfortunately, it was always at war. Of course, it was a justifiable righteous war- what war isn’t? Often one of my countries seemed to be fighting against the other. There was no question of loyalty- it was obvious who was right.
My entire life was dedicated to my ‘true’ country. You see, I was only an ex-pat living in one country. I knew I would ultimately move to Hayal for good, if it didn’t overthrow the other country in time.
You can imagine my shock when I found out Hayal* was just that- an illusion.
It now seems bizarre to me as I talk to my neighbours. I now only share one country with them, not two. But I still speak their language. I still know their symbols, flags, holidays and anthems.
Bizarre. At least when Atlantis disappeared, no one still claimed they lived there. My country disappears and there is nothing tangible to mourn. But there are still citizens.
*Hayal is ‘illusion’ in Turkish