Swiss Locals Deny Citizenship to ‘Annoying’ Vegan

Couldn’t resist sharing this – another example of identity issues (and having lived in Switzerland, cowbells are part of their identity if not a reason to reject an application for citizenship):

A community in Switzerland recently turned down a vegan’s request for Swiss citizenship because she “annoys” local residents and does not respect their traditions.

Nancy Holten, 42, applied for citizenship in Switzerland and faced no formal objections from municipal and cantonal authorities, but a local committee of residents, from the community of Gipf-Oberfrick in the canton of Aargau, has twice denied her application, according to the Local, a Swiss English-language news site.

In Switzerland, local communities often have a larger say in citizenship applications than the federal government.

Holten moved from her native Netherlands to Switzerland when she was eight years old and has children who hold Swiss citizenship. She is an outspoken vegan who regularly campaigns against cowbells, the noise from church bells, piglet racing, and other Swiss traditions, drawing the ire of locals.

Holten regularly does interviews with the press about her activism and views.

Much of the annoyance with Holten is not that she speaks her mind, but that she does so in such a public manner and draws negative attention to the local community.

One of Holten’s biggest targets are cowbells. She complains that the weight of the bell and the strap holding it hurts cows’ necks.

Source: Swiss Locals Deny Citizenship to ‘Annoying’ Vegan

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About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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