Monday, September 27, 2004

Yes I am Canadian

Lately I've been in contact with people from the around the world, from places as close as the U.S. (The border is only a few hours drive) to New Zealand (That's as far away from here as you can get), either through Instant Messenger or leaving comments on each other's blogs but I have been communicating with people around the world.

Now I've been thinking what would it like to live in these places and what would it be like to be a citizen of another country like the ones that the people who read this blog are from and then it occurred to me that they may wonder the same thing about being Canadian so I'm going to tell you.

Being Canadian can be many things, a Canadian who is from Newfoundland (or a newfie) is different from a Canadian from Ontario or Alberta or the Yukon. Canada is so big that we have many different cultures within our borders. The country is so that there are 6 different time zones. One of them being Newfoundland and that one is a half hour difference the Atlantic Time zone (I find it weird too but it’s a newfie thing).

Though there are some things that all Canadians share like the love of Hockey, a Tim Horton's donut and the CBC. While the official sport of Canada is suppose to be lacrosse (who came up with this idea?) Hockey is the sport that Canadians gather around the television to watch on Saturday Night with Hockey Night in Canada.

Hockey Night in Canada has been part of Canadian Culture for so long that people use to listen to the game on CBC radio before CBC Television even existed. However even to this day, it seems that CBC English always has the Leafs, and CBC French has the Canadiens (or Habs, I can't explain that one either).

That's another thing; we have 2 official languages here, English and French, and let me tell you that it has caused problems over the years. Quebec is a province that primary speaks French and they feel they have the right to protect their culture so much that they have a sign law that states all store signs have be in French. Now that sounds anti English to me. In fact once I meet I woman in Orlando who told me of an experience where she was in Quebec City and she was lost and no one would help her because she wasn't speaking French. Its stuff like this that makes me embarrassed to be a Canadian. This attitude from Quebec has been so bad that they have had referendums on separating from Canada. Well if all they can contribute to Canada is being rude to U.S. tourists, then don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Quebec is the spoiled brat of Canada.

Canada also means being a peace keeper. Canadian forces have participated in every U.N. peace keeping operation since the concept was created (by a Canadian). I take pride of the fact that we are known for this a well.

Being Canadian means many things, were polite and we try to look out for each others and we don't tolerate racism. In fact, promoting racism is considered a hate crime and is illegal. Now I've had the "free speech" argument before about this, and we do have the freedom of expression but we also have to be responsible for what we say. We can't just should fire in a crowded room and not answer for it if it’s not true and causes a panic. We have to take responsible for the people hurt by the stampede if it’s not true.

Being Canadian is more complicated than others may believe and its proving to be more difficult to put into words that I thought, so I'll continue this another time. Perhaps I'll talk about what being an Albertan or a Calgarian is about the next time.

My 2 bytes


Vics said...

ahhh... i actually read somewhere that Canada was the place god created to place all that was good and the rest of the world came about just to balance things up a bit.
Bryan adams definitely gives the lie to that *grin*
admittedly, Canada is very high up on my list of places to visit, maybe one day...

Whatever your feelings though, at least you can attempt to say what it means to be a canadian. i'm apparantly british - yet i truly feel no national identity, any true 'british feeling' i'm just me and britain happens to be a place i live, mainly because i dont know what its like to live anywhere else.
what does being british mean? i couldnt tell you. the closest i could come to describing it is to say, work all hours you can just to survive, compete with everyone around you at all times, drink when you dont have to work and attempt to find some common ground with another person you feel an attraction for.
oh wait - thats just being human. silly me...

Kati said...

I met a Canadian once who was very mean and kept telling me about every thing the US does bad. But, other then that, I love Canadians. They are so cool.

K. Restoule said...

As a Canadian, I apologize for that. Maybe he was from Quebec, Quebecer as major asses, then again a lot of people from Ontario are like that as well, that’s why I moved out west Apparently Bush Bashing and being negative about the U.S. in general has become the "in" thing, but I've never been like that. As a Canadian, I apologize.