Daily Archives: July 1, 2002

On Being Canadian

I’m certain that others of my generation have the same problem I do. You know, the one where you start singing our national anthem in one language and slip into another somewhere? And you don’t realise you’re doing it until you get stuck on one line?

Maybe it’s just here in Quebec. Or maybe it’s from sea to shining sea, since all of us used to watch Hockey Night in Canada and the anthems are always sung bilingually.

Isn’t that a lovely phrase? “From sea to shining sea” is my favourite way to describe our nation. We start at the East (because it’s where the sun rises, silly) and travel through red soil, farmland, fishing villages, farmland, mountains, farmland, prairie, mountains, fishing villages, and the sea once more as the sun sets in the West. Thousands and thousands of kilometers of a grab bag of geography. Going from South to North, we travel through, what is it, three climates? More? (I mean, do we seperate tundra from sub-tundra or whatever it is?) And Montreal encapsulates all of them, from sub-tropic to sub-arctic. Go us!

Looking at the stupidity going on in the rest of the world, I can confidently say that I’d choose to live in Canada every time. Our commitment to education, research and development, peace-keeping, religious and racial tolerance, farming and umpteen other disciplines makes us one of the leaders in the cultural and scientific world. I don’t know whether to be annoyed that the rest of the world hasn’t figured out how terrific we are (wake up!) or relieved (we’re still safe!).

Overall, we’re a terrific country. We’re lucky to live here. And we have kick-ass Olympic hockey teams. So hoist that Maple Leaf high; wear your red and white proudly; sing our anthem at the top of your voice when you’re at whatever celebration you’re at today. In whatever language. Heck, switch back and forth. The rest of us will be doing it too.