'Big mouth' Dutch woman denied Swiss citizenship for being too annoying

  • 12/01/2017
Nancy Holten poses with cat
"This is how I wear fur, and the only way" she captioned the photo (Twitter)

A Dutch woman has been denied a Swiss passport for the second time because her neighbours say she is too annoying.

Forty-two-year-old Nancy Holten moved to Switzerland as a child, speaks the language fluently and her children are Swiss nationals. 

But she is also a passionate vegan, something her community has not aligned with. 

Ms Holten describes herself as a freelance journalist, model and drama student. Her campaigns for animal rights and against cowbells, a Swiss tradition, made her unpopular with the locals in the Alpine municipality of Gipf-Oberfrick.

"A big 'no' to my citizenship," her tweet reads. "Free speech, in this case, does not belong in the democracy of Gifp-Oberfrick."

It is a Swiss tradition for cows to parade through the streets decorated with flowers, with loud bells ringing around their necks. 

"As you can hear, is the sound of the cowbells very loud. Who could still say, that this isn't animal abuse?" she wrote online. 

She is also known for hanging cowbells around unsuspecting people's necks as a way to protest against the tradition. 

Nancy Holten putting cow bell around man's neck in Switzerland
Nancy Holten putting a cowbell around a man's neck at a parade (Screenshot: Tele1)

The Swiss passport is considered one of the most difficult to attain in Europe. Applicants need to go through a voting system. 

Ms Holten received a definitive no with 203 votes against to 59 for, local media reports.

The residents committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national.

The president of the local branch of the Swiss People's Party, Tanja Suter, told local media Ms Holten has a "big mouth".

"I have learnt not to take the criticism personally," Ms Holten said in an earlier interview. "It is important for me to stand up for what I believe in."