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Dutch citizenship day untied from summer vacation season


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE The date of a fairly new Dutch national ceremonial day is being moved from August to December. Dutch municipal authorities and the Caribbean islands were unhappy with the August 24 'naturalisatiedag' for immigrants taking out Dutch citizenship. The August date represented the day in 1815 when the Dutch constitution was proclaimed (only the U.S. document is older). The date was found to conflict with the (faraway) vacations of officials who were frequently forced interrupt their holidays to travel home for the ceremonies, presumably at the expense of local governments. The December 15 date also has significance. In 1954, officials signed the statutes covering the relations between the Netherlands and its remaining colonies abroad, now only the Caribbean islands.