Soy Argentina!

Today is the day for which I’ve waited a long time  — obtaining citizenship in Argentina.  Please forgive this personal post that has nothing to do with tango, the milongas, and the milongueros.

My life is all about tango, the milongas, and the milongueros.  I write about tango in this blog.   I dance in the milongas with many milongueros  who kept this social dance alive for decades.  I have the honor as godmother of a tango radio program, Cumbre de Tango.  And I have the privilege of looking after Alito, who is so very dear to me.

Argentina has been my home since 1999.  Today I took the oath of citizenship and applied for my national identity document.  Today I am a citizen of Argentina!

DSCN5328It’s a good thing I didn’t notice the handwritten errors when I was asked to review this letter that was already signed by the judge.  They wrote Illinois as the city (pueblo), and Chicago as the state (provincia) where I was born.  And they don’t allow white-out on these types of documents.  I imagine that my oath ceremony would have been delayed until a new letter was prepared and signed by the judge.  I was too nervous to notice the mistake, but it’s no big deal.  I never had to speak before Judge Horacio Cecelio Alfonso in federal court nor did I even get to meet him to say thank-you.  The clerks who handle his cases know me as the American tango dancer.


While I sat at the desk in this office reading my case from start to finish a week after the ceremony, Gustavo (in the middle) tuned his radio to 2×4.  Gustavo was in charge of administering the language test by dictating paragraphs from the Constitution which I wrote long-hand in a court document.  There were documents with my first name spelled MANIS and my last name KEYNON.  I cried when I read the official order dated July 4 (Independence Day in the USA) that declared me an Argentine citizen.


As I entered the ladies’ room to change into my dance shoes on Sunday at Lo de Celia, Alicia said she had something for me.  When I sat down at my table, Alicia turned around to give me a tiny bag.  She and her sister Margarita gave me this beautiful rhinestone Argentine flag pin which I immediately pinned to my dress. I will wear it proudly.  Margarita wrote the note — Congratulations! Welcome!! Compatriot!!!


In a way I’m glad that things don’t always happen as scheduled here.  After providing all the information to get my national identity document, I was told it would be delivered within 15 days.  There was no notice of attempted delivery by the post office last week, and I hoped I would be home the day it arrived.  I was.  It took only 19 days to process, and I have my official ID for Argentina.  The next step is getting my Argentine passport.


Romaine and I went out for dinner at Le Bistrot in Alliance Francais to celebrate having our DNIs in Argentina.




15 Responses to “Soy Argentina!”

  1. Geoff Nicholls Says:

    Congratulations, Janis!

  2. mario0 Says:

    Congrats Janis… I hope that you feel really Argentine before too much longer!

  3. jantango Says:

    I have felt Argentine for a long time. Now it’s official. I have dual citizenship.

  4. Alan Jones Says:

    Congratulations, Janis. And more good news (well,for me), the wife is agreeable to go out to BA in the next couple of years, so I had better start saving. 🙂

  5. Maricarmen Says:

    Felicitaciones Janis! Nos vemos en octubre 🙂

  6. michaelbede Says:

    Well done and congratulations Janis, you’ve followed your heart.

  7. Jun Says:

    Congratulations, Janis! Tango mom in BSAS!!

  8. tangocommuter Says:

    Felicitaciones! But what do you mean, it has nothing to do with tango! You are ‘Argentina’ because of tango, no?

  9. Evaldas Says:

    Congratulations, Janis!

  10. Mark Says:

    Congratulations, Janis 🙂 I dread to think how many forms you had to fill in, how many lines you stood in and how much time it all took.

  11. jantango Says:

    Completing paperwork was a small part of the process. Getting everything translated and certified took more time. I had two sets of fingerprints taken in three different places to confirm that I have no criminal background anywhere in the world. A lawyer did the running around and checking on the status for me. It took only a total of 17 months to complete. This is something anyone can do for themselves if they have the time and patience. There are no forms online or information about the process. Now that I know what is required, I hope I can help other retired Americans.

  12. mary ann henderson Says:

    Very happy for you Janis! Felicitaciones!

    But isn’t it curious – all that paperwork, translations, fingerprints, police checks etc. – and then they make such basic mistakes on the final form…. You gotta love Argentina!

  13. tangobob Says:

    Congratulations, I’m afraid you will have to wait a while yet for the celebration meal, but we will have one, I promise.

  14. Ann Tjian Says:

    Congratulations my Argentina friend, I admire your courage and determination, hope to see you soon in BA.

  15. The Accidental Tangoiste Says:

    Belated but hearty congratulations, Jan!

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