Dividing Dutch between natives & ethnics key to MP’s “allochtoon” debate

Multicultural Crowd (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/mattbuck)Multicultural Crowd (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/mattbuck)

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament wants Minster Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Integration to examine the use of the terms "allochtoon" and "autochtoon". The parliamentarians feel that people's backgrounds should only be pointed out if it is relevant to solving a particular problem.

The term "allochtoon" is used to refer to residents of the Netherlands who have at least one non-Dutch parent or grandparent. "Autochtoon" refers to Dutch natives, both parents are Dutch.

This motion was brought to the Kamer by the SP and PvdA, and a majority adopted it on Tuesday, Dutch news wire ANP reports.

According to SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut, it is very outdated to label people natives or ethnics. "There are people of the second and third generation who are doing very well and wonder: when will I be Dutch", she said to the news wire. The MP believes that not the origin but the shared future is what should matter.