The 29-Day Blogging Challenge: C is for Canada
Canada. C! Eh! N! Eh! D! Eh! It is pure coincidence that this post follows mere hours after our Olympic hockey team spanked the Ruskie rumps a deeper shade of red. I don’t really follow sports – it was my wife who stayed up until 4am cheering on our team whilst I slept snuggly and spaciously in the next room – but am proudly wearing the red & white today and showing off my maple leaf tattoo to anyone willing to tolerate some moderate at-work nekkedness. Patriotism comes in many forms, and outside of international competition – like the Olympics – Canadians in general are fairly subtle about it.
That last point is rather poignant – our subtle displays of patriotism – because I’m finding it hard to write anything meaningful here. I know what Canada means to me, who our famous sons and daughters are, our participation in peacekeeping and military campaigns, our contributions to arts and literature and music (sincere apologies for Celine Dion – our bad). I could talk about the difference between Canadians and Americans, and their views on national identity as a ‘cultural mosaic’ versus a ‘cultural melting pot’ respectively. I could give examples of why Europeans generally dislike American tourists but love having a Canuck in their midst. I could relay some of my experiences in travelling and living around the world as a Canadian and the overwhelmingly warm and inclusionary reception I’ve been given. I could outline our history, our political influences, our standing in contemporary TV, movies, and music as the butt of jokes – and our self-deprecating chuckles and good-natured acceptance of such barbs. I could do all of these things and more, but in a way, that wouldn’t be very Canadian.
There’s an old adage that says “If you have to tell people why you’re cool, you’re not cool.” In a way, that describes a lot of Canadians. We’re generally quiet, quick with an apology (even if you’ve stepped on our feet), don’t make a ruckus, don’t stir up a lot of trouble, and generally just want to get along – maybe over a beer, feet up on the Chesterfield, watching the hockey game. We know who we are, we’re staunchly but quietly proud of our country, and are happy to let others storm into the spotlight while we applaud from the sidelines.
I’ll end off with one of my favourite commercials, a brief but succinct nod to our great nation, our peculiarities and subtleties, our distinctions, our symbols, our pride. I Am Canadian, and damn proud of it.